Etymology
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Words related to petit

piece (n.1)

c. 1200, pece, "fixed amount, measure, portion;" c. 1300, "fragment of an object, bit of a whole, slice of meat; separate fragment, section, or part," from Old French piece "piece, bit portion; item; coin" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *pettia, probably from Gaulish *pettsi (compare Welsh peth "thing," Breton pez "piece, a little"), perhaps from an Old Celtic base *kwezd-i-, from PIE root *kwezd- "a part, piece" (source also of Russian chast' "part"). Related: Pieces.

Meaning "separate article forming part of a class or group" is from c. 1400; that of "specimen, instance, example" is from 1560s. Sense of "portable firearm" is from 1580s, earlier "artillery weapon" (1540s). The meaning "chessman" is from 1560s. Meaning "a period of time" is from early 14c.; that of "a portion of a distance" is from 1610s; that of "literary composition" dates from 1530s.

Piece of (one's) mind "one's opinion expressed bluntly" is from 1570s. Piece of work "remarkable person" echoes Hamlet. Piece as "a coin" is attested in English from c. 1400, hence piece of eight, old name for the Spanish dollar (c. 1600) of the value of 8 reals and bearing a numeral 8. Adverbial phrase in one piece "whole, undivided, without loss or injury" is by 1580s; of a piece "as of the same piece or whole" is from 1610s.

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petty (adj.)

late 14c., peti, "small, little, minor," from a phonemic spelling of Old French petit "small" (see petit). From late 12c. in surnames. In English, not originally disparaging (as still in petty cash "small sums of money received or paid," 1834; petty officer "minor or inferior military officer," 1570s).

Meaning "of small or minor importance, not serious" is recorded from 1520s; that of "small-minded" is from 1580s. Related: Pettily; pettiness.

petite (adj.)

"little, of small size," usually of a woman or girl, 1784 (from 1712 in French phrases taken into English), from French petite, fem. of petit "little" (see petit). As a size in women's clothing, attested from 1929.

pettitoes (n.)

1550s, "the toes or feet of a pig," especially as an article of food," from petit + toes. Sometimes in jocular use, "the human foot."

piccaninny (n.)

also pickaninny, "a baby," especially, as used by Europeans, one of any of the black races, 1650s, from West Indies patois, formed as a diminutive from Spanish pequeño or Portuguese pequeno "little, small," a word of uncertain origin, related to French petit (see petit (adj.)). Now offensive; as late as 1836 it was applied affectionately in English to any small child or baby, regardless of race.

piccolo (n.)

"small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary flute," 1830, from piccolo flute (1809), from French piccolo, from Italian flauto piccolo "small flute," from piccolo "small," perhaps a children's made-up word, or from picca "point," or from Vulgar Latin root *pikk- "little," related to *piccare "to pierce" (see pike (n.1)). Other sources suggest it is from the same source as French petit (see petit (adj.)).

The Octave Flute is frequently miscalled a Piccolo, whereas it is merely an octave higher in pitch than the concert flute, and is very effective in brilliant full pieces. ["On Flutes and Piccolos," in The Harmonicon, 1830]