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Forming diminutives.

Italian diminutive form.

Some terms have been taken over from Italian or are familiar from that language: bambino, baby (a diminutive of bambo, silly); cappuccino, coffee made with milk that has been frothed up with pressurized steam (literally ‘a Capuchin’, because its colour resembles that of a Capuchin's habit); casino, a public room or building where gambling games are played (a diminutive of casa, house). The ending appeared in scientific use following the naming of the neutrino (Italian, diminutive of neutro, neutral), a small uncharged nuclear particle, by the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–54). Others coined in imitation include photino, the hypothetical supersymmetric counterpart of the photon, and virino, a hypothetical infectious particle postulated as the cause of scrapie, BSE, and CJD. See also ‑ina and ‑ine2.

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