1902, "model to display clothes," from French mannequin (15c.), from Dutch manneken "model of the human figure used by artists," literally "little man" (see manikin). A French form of the same word that yielded manikin, and sometimes mannequin was used in English in a sense "artificial man" (especially in translations of Hugo). Originally of persons, in a sense where we might use "model." Later (by 1931) of artificial human model figures to display clothing.
A mannequin is a good-looking, admirably formed young lady, whose mission is to dress herself in her employer's latest "creations," and to impart to them the grace which only perfect forms can give. Her grammar may be bad, and her temper worse, but she must have the chic the Parisienne possesses, no matter whether she hails from the aristocratic Faubourg St. Germain or from the Faubourg Montmartre. ["The Bystander," Aug. 15, 1906]
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "man."
It forms all or part of: alderman; Alemanni; fugleman; Herman; hetman; landsman; leman; man; manikin; mannequin; mannish; mensch; Norman; ombudsman; yeoman.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh "man, male;" Old English man, mann "human being, person; brave man, hero; servant, vassal."
1900, coined by U.S. author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." He never explained how he got the word.
The word most like it is perhaps mutchkin, an old Scottish measure of capacity for liquids, which was used by Scott. (It comes from Middle Dutch mutseken, originally "a little cap," from mutse "cap," earlier almutse "amice, hood, headdress," from Latin amictus "mantle, cloak," noun use of past participle of amicire "to wrap, throw around," a compound from ambi- "around" (see ambi-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)).
But some Baum scholars see a possible inspiration in Münchner Kindl, the name of the emblem of the city of Munich (German München) or in German Männchen, literally "little man," which is cognate with mannequin.
While she stood looking at the strange and beautiful sights, she noticed coming toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although they were, so far as looks go, many years older. ["The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"]