The form of a noun that generally denotes smallness. For example, the Greek terms for “fish” and “boat” are rendered “small fish” and “small boat” when in the diminutive form. (Mt 15:34; Mr 3:9) In addition to size, the diminutive may suggest youth, affection, familiarity and, in some cases, even contempt.
In the Christian Greek Scriptures, diminutives are often used to indicate affection and familiarity. For example, Jesus described his humble followers as “little sheep” (Joh 21:15-