Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"affectedly dainty," 1520s, probably originally in reference to speech, when words were "clipped" to affect elegance; or in reference to walking with short steps; present participle adjective from mince (v.).
late 14c., "to chop in little pieces," from Old French mincier "make into small pieces," from Vulgar Latin *minutiare "make small," from Late Latin minutiæ "small bits," from Latin minutus "small" (see minute (adj.)). Of speech, "to clip affectedly in imitation of elegance," 1540s; of words or language, "to restrain in the interest of decorum," 1590s. Meaning "to walk with short or precise steps" is from 1560s. Related: Minced; mincing.
"minced meat," 1850; see mincemeat.
An unfashionable or tedious person; bore; drip: Anybody who still wears saddle shoes is a ''mince'' (1960s+ Students)
(Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking affectedly short and quick steps. Luther renders the word by "wag" or "waggle," thus representing "the affected gait of coquettish females."