Entries linking to shaveling
Middle English shaven, from Old English sceafan (strong verb, past tense scof, past participle scafen), "to scrape, shave, or pare away; to polish," from Proto-Germanic *skaban (source also of Old Norse skafa, Middle Dutch scaven, German schaben, Gothic skaban "scratch, shave, scrape"), from PIE *skabh-, collateral form of root *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (for which see scabies).
Related: Shaved; shaving. Original strong verb status is preserved in past tense form shaven. As "remove the hair or beard of with a razor" from mid-13c. Intransitive sense of "shave oneself, remove the beard with a razor" is by 1715. The sense of "remove by slicing or paring action of a keen-edged instrument" is from late 14c., as is the general sense of "cut down gradually by taking off thin pieces." Figurative sense of "to strip (someone) of money or possessions" is attested from late 14c.
Both these suffixes had occasional diminutive force, but this was only slightly evident in Old English -ling and its equivalents in Germanic languages except Norse, where it commonly was used as a diminutive suffix, especially in words designating the young of animals (such as gæslingr "gosling"). Thus it is possible that the diminutive use that developed in Middle English is from Old Norse.
updated on August 12, 2022