Origin of the word “Mignon / minion”

Just learned the origin of the word minion (mignon) which I thought was pretty interesting.  

min·ion [min-yuh n] 

—noun

a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power.
a favored or highly regarded person.
a minor official.
Printing. a 7-point type.

Definition of minion: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/minion at Dictionary.com

Although Henry III valued privacy, he liked to surround himself with a select group of intimate friends, mostly men of his own generation who came to be known as mignons. In the first half of the sixteenth century the word simply meant ‘companions’, but during the second half it acquired a pejorative meaning. The king’s mignons were commonly portrayed as effeminate fops whose morals were as loose as their clothes were extravagant. But the mignons, like the king, have been largely misrepresented. They were essentially members of the lesser provincial nobility who, unlike some richer noblemen of ancient lineage, were totally dedicated to serving the king: they shared his pleasures, copied his manners and helped him assert his authority. Letters written by Henry to his mignons are full of expressions of love baffling to a modern reader. He implores them to love him as dearly as he loves them. They, in reply, assure him of their readiness to sacrifice their lives for him. Henry also gave them affectionate nicknames. Too much, however, should not be read into these epistolary flourishes: hyperbole was fashionable at the time. – See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/robert-knecht/last-valois-tragic-story#sthash.EBoogPio.dpuf

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Author: 魔手

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/