Aglet is one of the more specific words in the English language, and it's wonderful that we have it. Defined as "that metal or plastic thing on the ends of your shoelaces", aglet actually maintained the same meaning since its debut in the mid-1400s, but spelling varied a little; it occasionally took the form of aiglet. Either spelling comes from the Middle French word aiguillette, which is a diminutive of aiguille or aguille, a term for "needle" (because aglets act as needles for threading through the shoelace-holes). As many French words do, this comes from Latin, in this case from the noun acucla or acucula, both of which are diminutives of acus, which still meant "needle". This comes from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction ak, or "to be sharp". Interesting definition, double diminutive, secret meaning: aglet checks all of the etymological boxes!\
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.