- -kin diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland, probably from M.Du. -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to Ger. -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. ["An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]Used in later M.E. with common nouns. In some words, it is directly from Dutch or Flemish
Etymology dictionary. 2014.