minx (n.)

1540s, mynx "pet dog," later "a young, pert, wanton girl" [Johnson] (1590s), of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortening of minikin "girl, woman," from Middle Dutch minnekijn "darling, beloved," from minne "love" (see minnesinger) + -kijn, diminutive suffix. Klein's sources suggest the word is from Low German minsk "a man," also "an impudent woman," related to German Mensch (see mensch), which also has a sense in vulgar use of "wench, hussy, slut."

Share