Word of the Day : February 22, 2019

minion

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noun MIN-yun

What It Means

1 : a servile dependent, follower, or underling

2 : one highly favored : idol

3 : a subordinate or petty official

Examples

The senior executive has a small platoon of minions to run both personal and business errands for him.

"Smartphones make it easier for managers to change their minds at the last moment: for example, to e-mail a minion at 11pm to tell him he must fly to Pittsburgh tomorrow." — The Economist, 10 Mar. 2012


Did You Know?

Minion comes to us from Middle French and has a somewhat surprising cousin in English: filet mignon. The two words are connected by way of Middle French mignon, meaning "darling." Minion entered English around 1500 directly from Middle French, whereas filet mignon arrived significantly later by way of a modern French phrase meaning "dainty fillet." The earliest uses of minion referred to someone who was a particular favorite, or darling, of a sovereign or other important personage. Over time, however, the word developed a more derogatory sense referring to a person who is servile and unimportant.



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