"female supporter of the cause of women's voting rights," 1906, from suffrage, with French fem. ending -ette, but not in the sense in which it was in vogue at the time.
suffragette. A more regrettable formation than others such as leaderette & flannelette, in that it does not even mean a sort of suffrage as they mean a sort of leader & of flannel, & therefore tends to vitiate the popular conception of the termination's meaning. The word itself may now be expected to die, having lost its importance; may its influence on word-making die with it! [Fowler, 1926]