-ling1 [liŋ]
[ME < OE, combining the bases of -LE + -ING] suffix forming nouns
1. small or young (person or thing specified) [duckling]
2. one related to a (specified) thing, esp. so as to seem unimportant or contemptible [hireling, earthling]
-ling2 [liŋ]
[ME -linge < OE -ling, -lang < IE base * lenk-, to bend > Latvian lùnkans, flexible] suffix forming adverbs
Now Chiefly Dial. in a (specified) manner, condition, or direction; to a (specified) extent [darkling]

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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