Mannequin, Manikin, or Manakin

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Mannequin, manikin, and manakin are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words mannequin, manikin, and manakin, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

A mannequin is a dummy that is used to display clothes. Mannequins are common in retail stores and are used to display clothing in windows and on the store floor. The word mannequin came into English usage at the turn of the twentieth century and is a borrowed or loan word from the French. Loanwords and loan phrases or borrowed words and borrowed phrases are terms that have been taken from other languages and used as English words and phrases.

 A manikin is a jointed model of a human body that is used by artists or for medical training. The word manikin is derived from the Dutch word, manneken, which means little man.

A manakin is a species of a tropical American bird. The word manakin is also derived from the Dutch word, manneken.


While much is being spoken about clothing not being inclusive for all sizes, a plus-size mannequin on window display at a UK bridal store was being fat-ashamed and jeered at by passersby. (Indian Express)

“We’re not sure where these mannequins came from or how they got in the water, but have no fear… no mannequins were injured or killed in the making, creating or writing of this post,” the CHP joked. (People Magazine)

The public has picked ‘Moonikin Campos’ as the name for the manikin set to be launched on NASA‘s Artemis test flight around the Moon later this year. (Daily Mail)

This year, I’ve had the pleasure of helping to develop and administer one of the first manikin-based exams to address the unique challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. (RDH Magazine)

For a glimpse of the power of sexual selection, the dance of the golden-collared manakin is hard to beat. (Science Magazine)

Around the world from the cocks-of-the-rock and the manakins, the birds-of-paradise in the tropical forests of New Guinea offer the ultimate examples of extreme displays. (National Audubon Society)

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