One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The (usually young) female lover of an older man; a mistress.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Ernest Dowson (1867–1900), poet. Apparently from French petite amie from petite, feminine of petit + amie, feminine form corresponding to ami friend.
petite amie/pəˌtiːt aˈmiː//pəˌtiːt əˈmiː/
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