Etymology
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favorite (n.)

"person or thing regarded with especial liking," 1580s, from French favorit, perhaps via Italian favorito, noun use of past participle of favorire, from favore, from Latin favorem "inclination, partiality, support" (see favor (n.)).

Especially, "a person who gains dominant influence over a superior" (1590s). In racing, "one considered most likely to win," attested from 1813. In 17c.-18c. also "small curl hanging loose upon the temple," a frequent feature of a woman's head dress. 

As an adjective, "regarded with particular liking, esteem, or preference," by 1711. Favorite son in the figurative sense "noted man who is particularly popular and boasted of in his native area" is by 1788.

As a corresponding noun in the sense of "person who promotes the interests of another," Latin had fautor, hence Old French fauteur, Middle English fautour "an adherent, supporter, follower" (mid-14c.), but it has perished along with its fem. form, fautress.

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fave (n.)

1938, perhaps a Variety magazine coinage, slang shortening of favorite (n.). Later also as an adjective.

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favoritism (n.)

"disposition to favor one person or family or one class of persons to the neglect of others having equal claims," 1763, from favorite + -ism.

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ingle (n.2)
"boy favorite, catamite," 1590s, of uncertain origin.
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minion (n.)

c. 1500, "a favorite; a darling, one who or that which is beloved" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French mignon "a favorite, darling" (n.), also a term of (probably homosexual) abuse; as an adjective, "dainty, pleasing, favorite," from mignot "pretty, attractive, dainty, gracious, affectionate." The French word is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic (compare Old Irish min "tender, soft"), or from Old High German minnja, minna "love, memory" (see minnesinger).

Used 16c.-17c. without disparaging overtones, but also from c. 1500 as "a favorite of a sovereign prince," especially "an intriguing favorite, a low or servile dependent." It also was used from 16c. for "a pert or saucy girl."

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markedly (adv.)

"manifestly, noticeably," 1799, from marked + -ly (2). "A favorite 19th c. adverb" [OED].

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pet (adj.)

1580s, of an animal, "fondled and indulged," from pet (n.1). Of a thing, material or immaterial, "favored, favorite," by 1826.

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Absalom 
masc. proper name, King David's son in the Old Testament, often used figuratively for "favorite son," from Hebrew Abhshalom, literally "father of peace," from abh "father" + shalom "peace."
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Lapith 
ancient people of Thessaly, c. 1600, Greek Lapithoi; they were celebrated for their battle with the centaurs, a favorite theme of Greek art.
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boyfriend (n.)
also boy-friend, "favorite male companion" (with implication of romantic connection), "a woman's paramour," 1909, from boy + friend (n.). Earlier in a non-romantic sense "juvenile male companion" (1850).
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