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Where does the word puppet come from?

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1 Answer 1

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The Online Etymology Dictionary and myEtymology mention:

1520s (implied in puppetry),

  • from Old French poupette, dim. of poupée "doll" (13c.),
    • from Vulgar Latin root *puppa,
      • from Latin pupa "girl, doll" (see pupil).

Metaphoric extension to "person whose actions are manipulated by another" first recorded 1540s.

More details in this "Word of the day" entry, including about the related word puppy:

In the middle ages lap dogs were also called poupée because they were thought of as playthings—not working dogs.
Poupée morphed to puppy and so with time any little dog began to be called a puppy.

Note: the origin of the word puppeteer is more recent (1915).

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