Suffix -let is one of many suffixes in English. It originated from Old French -elet, from Latin -āle, a neuter of adjective suffix -ālis, or from Latin -ellus, a diminutive suffix.
Adding suffix -let to a noun will create a diminutive form to the original word. For example, if we attach -let to book, we will have booklet, which means a little or a thinner book.
With an exception to bracelet, which is also a diminutive form of brace, different meanings apply to some jewelries or articles of clothing attached to our body. In such cases, attaching -let will refer to the part of our body on which the jewelries are usually worn. For example, an anklet is an ornament worn on the ankle.
There are three basic rules of using suffix -let. First, when used with an object, it generally indicates diminution in size. E.g.: Booklet, pamphlet, droplet, bracelet, etc.
When used with animals, it generally means young animals. E.g.: Piglet, froglet, deerlet, etc.
When used to refer to a human adult, it is generally depreciative. It denotes pettiness and conveys contempt. For example, princelet is used to refer to a prince who is lesser in rank or displays pettiness (narrow-mindedness).
There are over 200 words with suffix -let. Check your dictionaries often to familiarise yourself with them.
Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 10 April 2017.
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