cadet

\ \ [17] Etymologically, a cadet is a ‘little head’. Its original meaning in English was ‘younger son or brother’, and it came from French cadet, an alteration of a Gascon dialect term capdetchief’. This in turn derived from Vulgar Latin *capitelluslittle head’, a diminutive form of Latin caputhead’ (from which English also gets captain and chief). The reason for its apparently rather strange change in meaning from ‘chief’ to ‘younger son’ seems to be that the younger sons of Gascon families were in former times sent to the French court to fulfil the role of officers.
\ \ When English borrowed French cadet, it did so not only in a form that retained the original spelling, but also as caddie or cadee, which originally meant ‘young officer’. The Scottish version, caddie, gradually developed in meaning over the centuries through ‘person who runs errands’ to, in the 19th century, ‘golfer’s assistant’. Cad, originally ‘unskilled assistant’ [18], is an abbreviation of caddie or cadee.
\ \ Cf.CAPTAIN, CHIEF

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cadet — cadet, ette [ kadɛ, ɛt ] n. • XVe; gasc. capdet, provenç. cabdel « chef »; a supplanté puîné au XVIIIe 1 ♦ Personne qui, par ordre de naissance, vient après l aîné (⇒ second), et par ext. après un aîné. ⇒ puîné. Le cadet, l …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cadet — cadet, cadette (ka dè, ka dè t ; le t se lie : le ka dè t et l aîné ; l s se lie : les ka dè z et les aînés) adject. 1°   Qui est né ou née après un autre frère ou une autre soeur, et aussi, absolument, le second des frères, la seconde des soeurs …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • cadet — CADÉT, cadeţi, s.m. (înv.) 1. Tânăr (fiu de nobil sau de ofiţer) care se pregătea pentru cariera armelor. 2. Elev al unei şcoli militare. 3. Membru al unui partid din Rusia ţaristă. – Din fr. cadet, (3) rus. kadet. Trimis de viorelgrosu,… …   Dicționar Român

  • cadet — CADET, [cad]ette. s. Puisné qui a encore son aisné. Il se dit ordinairement pour le dernier des fils; comme, Cet homme est le cadet de toute cette maison, mais quelquefois il signifie seulement le puisné qui ne laisse pas d avoir d autres freres… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Cadet — Ca*det , n. [F. cadet a younger or the youngest son or brother, dim. fr. L. caput head; i. e., a smaller head of the family, after the first or eldest. See {Chief}, and cf. {Cad}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The younger of two brothers; a younger brother… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cadet — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Clase Cadet Número de tripulantes 2 Eslora 322 cm Manga …   Wikipedia Español

  • cadet — c.1610, younger son or brother, from Fr. cadet military student officer, also, as an adj., younger (15c.), from Gascon capdet captain, chief, youth of a noble family, from L.L. capitellum, lit. little chief, hence, inferior head of a family, dim …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cadet — (fr., spr. Kadäh), 1) der jüngste od. jeder jüngere Sohn, bes. adeliger Familien; wegen der Majorate wurden diese in katholischen Ländern meist Geistliche od. Militärs; daher 2) ein junger Mensch, der freiwillig in den militärischen Dienst tritt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cadet — (frz., spr. kadeh, »der Jüngere«), in Frankreich der jüngere Sohn adliger Familien (s. Kadett) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cadet — Cadet, frz., der jüngere Sohn einer adeligen Familie, der früher entweder Geistlicher oder Soldat wurde, daher aus letzterem Grunde die jungen Leute, welche sich für den Kriegsdienst ausbilden. C. ten genannt werden; C.tenhäuser oder C.tenschulen …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • cadet — index offspring Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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