Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


soft shoes for a baby made of wool or cloth

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The noun bootee is a diminutive of ‘boot’ formed by adding the suffix -ee. It was first used with the current meanings in the mid 19th century.


Bootees or booties are soft knitted or cloth shoes for a baby. The suffix ‘-ee’ has various functions. It combines with verbs to form nouns that refer to the person who is affected by the base verb, such as employee or tutee; with verbs and adjectives to form nouns and adjectives referring to a person who is doing the thing referred to, such as absentee or attendee; and with nouns to form nouns referring to something smaller than the base noun, such as bootee. While there are many words in the first two categories, the third is very slender indeed; in fact the only one I can think of apart from bootee is goatee, the name for a small pointed beard, derived from its resemblance to the tuft on a goat’s chin. If you can think of any others, please leave a note in the comments.


We also need mittens, hats and scarves for children, and bootees and mittens for babies.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

A cool summer day, Lexie is wearing our handknitted baby bootees in lemon & cream merino wool.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Related words

bib, Babygro, rompers, romper suit

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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