midget (n.) as a type of tiny biting insect, 1839, American English, from MIDGE (Cf. midge), perhaps with dim. suffix -et.
Dr. Webster is in error in saying the word "midge" is "not in use" at the present day. In the neighboring Green mountain districts, one or more most annoying species of Simulium that there abound, are daily designated in common conversation as the midges, or, as the name is often corrupted, the midgets. From Dr. Harris' treatise it appears that the same name is in popular use for the same insects in Maine. The term is limited in this country, we believe, exclusively to those minute insects, smaller than the musketoe, which suck the blood of other animals. ["Transactions of the New-York State Agricultural Society," vol. VI, Albany, 1847]
Transferred sense of "very small person" is attested by 1854. It is also noted mid-19c. as a pet form of MARGARET (Cf. Margaret).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • midget — [adj] short, small baby, diminutive, knee high*, Lilliputian, miniature, minikin, pocket, teensy*, teeny*, tiny; concepts 773,779 Ant. big, giant, huge, large, tall midget [n] small person bantam, gnome, homuncule, homunculus, Lilliputian*,… …   New thesaurus

  • midget — ► NOUN 1) an extremely small person. 2) (before another noun ) extremely small: a midget submarine …   English terms dictionary

  • Midget — Midg et, n. [Dim. of midge.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A minute bloodsucking fly. [Local, U. S.] [1913 Webster] 2. A very diminutive person having normal proportions of the body parts; compare {dwarf}. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • midget — n manikin, pygmy, *dwarf, homunculus, runt …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • midget — [mij′it] n. [dim. of MIDGE] 1. a person who is much smaller than average, with head, limbs, and trunk proportionate to each other in size 2. anything very small of its kind adj. very small of its kind; miniature SYN. DWARF …   English World dictionary

  • Midget — For the car, see MG Midget or Daihatsu Midget. For the band, see Midget (band). A midget is a short person with relatively average bodily proportions in comparison with other human beings. The term is often improperly used to describe a person… …   Wikipedia

  • Midget — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Midget — Del inglés (sust.) Enano/a. (adj.) Pequeño/a, diminuto/a; en miniatura. Deportes: Autos Midget (Automovilismo) Categoría automovilística de orígenes norteamericanos, donde los autos se destacan por la ausencia de frenos y no poseer caja de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • midget — I UK [ˈmɪdʒɪt] / US noun [countable] Word forms midget : singular midget plural midgets 1) offensive an adult who has not grown to full size. Many people now think this word is offensive and a more polite word is person of restricted growth. 2)… …   English dictionary

  • midget — midg|et1 [ˈmıdʒıt] n [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: midge] 1.) taboo a very offensive word for someone who is very short because their body has not grown normally. Do not use this word. →↑dwarf 2.) BrE informal someone who is not very tall midget 2… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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