- quaint (adj.)
- early 13c., "cunning, proud, ingenious," from Old French cointe "pretty, clever, knowing," from Latin cognitus "known," past participle of cognoscere "get or come to know well" (see cognizance).
Sense of "old-fashioned but charming" is first attested 1795, and could describe the word itself, which had become rare after c.1700 (though it soon recovered popularity in this secondary sense). Chaucer used quaint and queynte as spellings of cunt in "Canterbury Tales" (c.1386), and Andrew Marvell may be punning on it similarly in "To His Coy Mistress" (1650). Related: Quaintly; quaintness.