General Question

longtresses's avatar

Is there a "cute effect" when you add "e" at the end of a word?

Asked by longtresses (1332points) November 11th, 2010

child > childe
ann > anne

And there are many other words that I couldn’t think of as of the moment..

I usually struggle with aspects of English that are not explained in textbooks. English is my second language, so..

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23 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I would be more inclined to think that happens when you add a “y” or “ie.”

cute – cutie (or cutesy)
John – Johnny
babe – baby
dog – doggy


YARNLADY's avatar

In English, it usually means the diminutive of something, so that would relate to being cute.

zenvelo's avatar

it’s more like adding an “e” is supposed to make it look like old english, i.e., “ye olde shoppe”. And it really only works with a small number of words. It’s used in advertising and business names, and shouldn’t be used anywhere else.

JLeslie's avatar

Adding e onto the end does not cute it up at all for me. I agree with @zenvelo.

Seelix's avatar

I agree with both @TheOnlyNeffie and @zenvelo. It’s not the letter “e” that makes a diminutive, but the “e” sound.

Some English words used to end in a silent “e” in Old English, which was dropped as the language evolved, so the addition of this “e” is intended to make words look old-fashioned (or olde-fashioned).

As for Ann vs. Anne, I think that’s just a spelling preference, such as Sara vs. Sarah or Jeffrey vs. Geoffrey. (The different spellings of proper names likely have to do with the country of origin of the spelling.)

MrItty's avatar

Only when it’s done by or to a child. When adults do it in every day conversation, it’s sickly, immature, and annoying.

ccrow's avatar

Yeah, the long ‘e’ sound can be a diminutive, but the letter ‘e’ added to a word, IMO, has no ‘cute factor’. It does, however, have a large ‘annoyance factor’. Here’s a link.:-)

gailcalled's avatar

It’s cloying and makes my teeth ache.

ant's avatar

You are thinking of y.

MrItty's avatar

@ant He’s thinking of the long e sound, not any particular letter. Kris -> Krissie, for example.

CMaz's avatar

I have this bad habit of adding “e” to words that do not need it.


I think adding an “e” to the ending of words often makes the vowel in the word long, and long vowels have a cute sound to them. (e.g., cutie pie, sweetie, ooo doggie!)

@ChazMaz It’s great you see everything from a cute perspective. Now if I can only see things that way with that “one little thing” in my world. (wink!)

longtresses's avatar

@YARNLADY The diminutive explanation makes sense.
@gailcalled “Cloying”.. I like that..

@zenvelo Your explanation about it being old-fashioned makes sense too. The “shoppe” part I’ve seen it elsewhere too.
@ccrow Thanks for the link.

@ChazMaz Yes, I see some people doing that to words; they add “e” to words that don’t need it, particularly titles, names, or online names (with cute avatar to boot). Example: “He’s mah cute weedle dogge.”

JLeslie's avatar

@longtresses I think your last example is someone attempting to phonetically write something out as they say it.

MrsDufresne's avatar

My husband does this with everyone’s name. We have a friend named Dell, and he ended up calling him Dellie. I had to run into the other room so they wouldn’t hear my laughter.

80% of the time it adds cuteness, the other 20% it adds either awkwardness, or hilarity.

tigress3681's avatar

Pretty sure adding an e at the end is a british thing…

submariner's avatar

Adding the LETTER ‘e’ adds no cute effect.
‘Ann’ and ‘Anne’ are variant spellings of the same name. They are pronounced the same way. Sometimes the extra e is there because it represents a deliberate archaism, as in ‘shoppe’, or a spelling borrowed from French or another language (especially girls’ names: Anne, Jeanne, Claudette, Noelle, etc.), as was said above.

‘child’ and ‘childe’, however, are different words. ‘Childe’ is an obsolete word that refers to a child of noble birth, perhaps somewhat like ‘infante/a’ in Spanish, but referring to any noble child, not just the child of a king.

Adding the “long e” SOUND as an extra SYLLABLE (usually spelled -ie, -y, or -ey, with the preceding consonant doubled if necessary to keep the vowel in the previous syllable short; less commonly -i or -ee) at the end of the word is the English diminutive, like ’-ito/-ita’ in Spanish, e.g., ‘John/Johnny’ = ‘Juan/Juanito’.

Centuries ago, those silent ‘e’s were pronounced, by the way.

submariner's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES ‘cute’ and ‘sweet’ have long vowels; ‘dog’ does not. Adding the syllable ’-ie’ to them does not change the first vowel in these words. Changing ‘rat’ to ‘rattie’ does not involve a vowel change (the vowel in the first syllable remains short); changing ‘rat’ to ‘rate’ does change the vowel from short to long but also produces a completely different word.

submariner's avatar

A couple more things: as @tigress3681said, there are a few words that end in ‘e’ in UK spelling but not in US spelling, e.g., “grille”, but they are usually pronounced the same way.

Another complication is that some derivative adjectives sound just like diminutive nouns. E.g., “she has rosy cheeks” (rosy = rosada) and “ring around the rosie” (rosie = rosita).

mattbrowne's avatar

It seems that shoppes are more expensive than shops.

gailcalled's avatar

Noe sirree bobbee.

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