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25 votes
Accepted

What does the “l” in “Christkindl” mean?

It is a diminutive suffix used in Bavarian and perhaps some other south-German dialects. Christkind (without the -l) is perfectly fine German.
user1583209's user avatar
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7 votes
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Does the name Alex in German has its dimunitive variant?

Alex is the short form of Alexander (for male persons) and of Alexandra (for female persons). And of both names there are diminutive forms: Alexanderchen (m) Alexandrachen (f) All names are stressed ...
Alina's user avatar
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6 votes
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"Das arme Gretchen" oder "Die arme Gretchen"?

Note, that Gretchen must be considered as a diminuitive from Grete or Gretel. (The name-based diminuitive is only in wider use for some well-established names, I would guess from the Grimm tales era, ...
guidot's user avatar
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6 votes

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

The diminutive suffixes -l/-el/-le/-li are southern dialect variants of Standard German -lein. The diminutive suffixes -je/-tje/-ke are northern dialect variants of Standard German -chen. Both -lein ...
Janka's user avatar
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6 votes

Swabian terms of endearment

The german expression for this kind words is Kosenamen. Schätzle: from Schatz, treasure, target anyone Spätzle: from Spatz, sparrow, target anyone Bärle: from Bär, small bear, target mostly male ...
Javatasse's user avatar
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5 votes

What does the “l” in “Christkindl” mean?

»Christkindl« is a diminutive of »Christkind«. German has lots of regional differences (it is a pluricentric language), and the grammar of diminutives is one aspect of German language, that varies ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
5 votes

More on Ambiguous Diminutives

There is no such thing as a standard diminutive -el in Bavarian. Even though I'm from Bavaria I'm not an expert in all Bavarian dialects. However, in the Bavarian dialect you usually hear in the ...
Thorsten Dittmar's user avatar
4 votes

Reduktion von Adjektiven (Gegenteil zur Steigerung)

In keiner mir bekannten Sprache (auch nicht Finnisch, also eine nicht-indogermanische Sprache – dort regelmäßige Steigerung von schlecht: huono – huonompi) existieren negative Steigerungen oder ...
Jan's user avatar
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4 votes

More pseudo-diminutives like “Eichhörnchen”?

Veilchen kommt vom lateinischen Viola, und das Wort "Veil" gab es tatsächlich, ist aber ausgestorben. Auch das Eichorn (nicht "Eichhorn"!) bzw. Ekhorn gab es mal. Ein Platz war mal ...
Alina's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

-l as a diminutive suffix is typical for southern Germany, your example "Mäd(e)l" for "Mädchen" is one of the rare cases where this form is also common in Northern Germany. So, -l ...
Michel's user avatar
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3 votes

"Das arme Gretchen" oder "Die arme Gretchen"?

Für das Standarddeutsche würde ich davon ausgehen, daß nur der neutrale Artikel, also das arme Gretchen, akzeptabel ist. Bei anaphorischen Pronomen sieht es anders aus; Fälle wie der folgende sind im ...
David Vogt's user avatar
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2 votes

Is there a distinction between the diminutive suffixes -l and -chen?

My impression is Mädchen refers to younger girls, at most 8 or 10 years. Meanwhile Mädel refers to tweens (10-12) and teens. Adult women sometimes refer to themselves collectively as Mädel as in ...
RDBury's user avatar
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2 votes

What does the “l” in “Christkindl” mean?

The final -l is indeed a diminutive. The non-diminuted version is simply Christkind as the other answer says and is easily understood by translating. The diminutive final -l is Bavarian and an ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.7k
2 votes
Accepted

Reduktion von Adjektiven (Gegenteil zur Steigerung)

Syntaktisch gibt es die Reduktion nicht. Semantisch gibt es die Möglichkeiten mit "weniger" + Antonym oder mit "un" + Komparativ. Beide sind in der Regel korrekt, aber folgendes ist zu beachten: Die ...
Jonathan Herrera's user avatar
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2 votes

How do you say "small rabbit" in German?

Honestly, "kleines Kaninchen" is your best bet. My German teacher taught me that since the word already ends in -chen, it cannot be put into the diminutive form. Now for some controversy: ...
Cat Defender's user avatar
2 votes

Can any name be put into the diminutive with -chen or -lein?

As suggested in a comment, this is possible from the word-formation point of view. Note, however, that this was mostly used for children (as in Hänschen klein song, in the book Peterchens Mondfahrt, ...
guidot's user avatar
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1 vote

Can any name be put into the diminutive with -chen or -lein?

There are more diminutive suffixes than just -chen and -lein, but they are often not used in the whole German speaking area. For example, in Austria and Bavaria you hear very frequently the suffix -...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
1 vote

What is the difference between Bruder and Brüderchen?

"Chen" is a diminutive ending. If "-chen" is added to a word the word becomes neuter and the vowel very often takes an umlaut. (der Bruder) das Brüderchen - little brother (Vogel) Vögelchen - ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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1 vote

What is the difference between Bruder and Brüderchen?

Generally speaking its a diminutive that when added to a word (i.e Brötchen) it means a little version of itself.
PGODULTIMATE's user avatar
1 vote

More on Ambiguous Diminutives

I don't know about dialects but in standard German, a small rabbit would be das kleine Kaninchen. Same goes for das kleine Mädchen etc. The German Wikipedia article on diminutives has a section that ...
Hypnoxas's user avatar
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