off cvb aff. use a noun suffix occurring orig. in loanwords from French (brunette; cigarette; coquette; etiquette); as an English suffix, -ette forms diminutives (kitchenette; novelette), distinctively feminine nouns (majorette; usherette), and names of imitation products (leatherette)
Compare -et
Etymology: < F, fem. of -et -et usage: English nouns in which -ette signifies a feminine role or identity have been perceived as implying inferiority or unimportance and are now generally avoided. Only (drum) majorette is still widely used, usu. indicating a young woman who twirls a baton with a marching band. The leader of such a band, male or female, is a drum major. See also -enne, -ess, -trix .

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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