Foreign. Noun (plural bijoux) & adjective. Mid-17th century.
[French from Breton bizoù finger-ring, from biz finger.]
A noun. A jewel, a trinket. M17
B adjective. Small and elegant. M19
Also: bijouterie noun jewellery, trinkets, etc. E19
For such a small, delicate, nay bijou word, bijou certainly is a lot of things. It's a cocktail (gin, vermouth and chartreuse), a classic car in the Citroën Bijou, an actress in Bijou Phillips, a rather obscure Cape Verdean footballer named (obviously) Bijou, and also a retired poodle Beanie Baby (again named Bijou). Oh, it's also a song by Queen and a type of vial used in laboratories. Lastly, for those that like Tintin trivia (and who doesn't?), the French title of The Castafiore Emerald is 'Les Bijoux de la Castafiore'. What a charmingly promiscuous little fellow bijou is; I rather like him and his seductively soft pronunciation.