I am wondering what the correct diminutive of the word “génie” would be in French. Wikipedia lists several rules for forming the diminutive in French, but as “génie” is a masculine noun, the rules given there would make -ot, -on, -ou, or -et endings possible, plus it’s an old word so the rules given under Old French might be more appropriate.

I also could not find a diminutive form of “génie” simply given in any French-English dictionaries; not knowing the language, searching a proper French dictionary is not going so well.

So, is any diminutive form of “génie” accepted and used, or failing that, which would be the appropriate ending for this word?

Ultimately, this is for a bit of creative writing in English; I simply am trying to be as true to the roots of the English word “genie,” which means determining the diminutives of the Latin genius (genulius, I’m reasonably sure), French génie, and Arabic djinni. Thus, a best guess, something that a French speaker could hear and both understand and accept, would be sufficient, if no form is strictly attested.

2 Answers 2


L'usage courant est petit génie :

  • Galilée est un génie de l'astronomie, il a remis le soleil à sa place centrale, mais il a été contrarié par l'Eglise.
  • Les geeks sont des petit génies de l'informatique, ils s'en servent souvent de façon inattendue.

Géniot, génion, géniou, géniet sont des constructions absolument inaudibles : aucune relation intuitive avec génie pour une oreille francophone.

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    En plus, géniot est homophone de et sera inévitablement confondu avec géniaux.
    – Circeus
    Apr 19, 2015 at 20:58

Are you planning to use this diminutive of génie as a francisation of smartphone? Something small … with special powers … that grants your wishes … only to slip back into your pocket at the end?

  • Don't post questions as answers but as comments, that's not what they are there for. Apr 21, 2015 at 9:55

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