September 13, 2013
mannequin (noun)
\MAN-ih-kun\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : an artist's, tailor's, or dressmaker's lay figure; also a form representing the human figure used especially for displaying clothes2 : one employed to model clothing
How do you use it?
As we passed by the department store window, the still mannequins changed poses and we realized they were actually live people.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "mannequin" comes from the Dutch word "mannekijn." What do you think "mannekijn" means?

You're a model student of language if you chose D! Although "mannekijn" was used in Dutch to mean "little man," its meaning -- and its spelling -- changed when the word made its way into English in the early 1700s. Instead of a male of small size, the English word "mannequin" came to refer to people who modeled for artists or makers of clothing. It also referred to a human figure made of cloth, wood, or other material that was used to display clothing. Later, "mannequin" gained an additional meaning of people employed to model clothing.
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