English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to invent a word by taking an existing word and turning it into a noun a person can be called who is interacting with an object. The trouble I ran into was the initial word's ending.

Since 'message' ends in an 'e', does the new word become messager, messageer, messagor, messageor or something completely different? What would be most consistant with how similar words have originated? I know the word messenger exist, but it does not quite fit what I am looking for. This came up in the context of coining appropriate names for objects invented using a programming language. The new word is supposed to convey that a person can interact with a message (send it, receive one....)

share|improve this question
Closely related is the -ee suffix which means the recipient of an action. For example if you examine someone, the recipient is the examinee. Notice when there is already an "e" there you just add one more. Related answer: english.stackexchange.com/a/103280/14073 – MετάEd Feb 21 '13 at 20:44
I think you're on firmest ground with "messager"; the only real difficulty with it is its similarity to "messenger." Definitely stay away from "messeur"/"messeuse." – Sven Yargs Feb 21 '13 at 21:23
Clearly messager. I am at a complete loss how the other three are even an option. When was the last time you saw an agent noun ending in -eor? I struggle to think of one. (And for every one you can come up with I promise to come up with twenty that do not.) I'm afraid you're making your life unnecessarily difficult by inventing a problem that simply does not exist. – RegDwigнt Feb 21 '13 at 21:43

Would correspondent suit your purposes?

share|improve this answer
It actually DOES suit my purpose in this case. +1 for that! This puts me into a bit of a dilemma though: I am going to use your suggestion in my project, but I am not sure I can mark your answer as 'accepted,' since I am still intrigued by the solution to the word-coinage problem... – DudeOnRock Feb 22 '13 at 6:41

In plain English, I'd use "message manager" since manager is an already existing word for someone who interacts with something in a variety of ways. I might choose a different word more relevant to the particular ways of interacting with it, if such existed, but your question doesn't detail those.

In a programming context, I'd likely be restricted by not being allowed to have whitespace in the term, so messageManager, MessageManager, *message_manager* and so on, according to the conventions used in the language in question for creating labels out of multi-word phrases.

There are many good reasons to coin words, but it shouldn't be done when existing words serve. Leave that to marketing and management ;)

share|improve this answer

I would probably go for messageer, in analogy to private / privateer. It all depends on what best fits into your context of use.

Or you could go a bit over the top and first transform message into a verb (messagise) and then turn the verb into a noun (messagiser).

Messager sounds to me personally a bit too close to messenger (as Sven Yargs commented), so that it could look like an error rather than a deliberate coinage.

share|improve this answer
I have to go with a −1 because 1) I fail to see how private/privateer is an analogy at all, let alone the best analogy, 2) message already is a verb, messagise makes you sound like a non-native speaker, so it's 3) messagiser that looks like an error to me while messager does not and 4) whether or not it sounds "a bit too close" to another word is beside the point (we have an abundance of homographs and homophones, these two words are neither; and if the goal here is to coin a weird word that looks like nothing else we might as well suggest messabrimfodunskrol). – RegDwigнt Feb 22 '13 at 10:12
Well, thanks for that. Of course I know that message is already a verb, I was just trying to show how various morphological processes can be used to create other words from the same root, using real morphemes unlike made-up ones. As for the privateer example, maybe 'analogy' was not the best word for that, as private in this case is not a verb but an adjective, but it is still an example for an -eer derivation. And the whole point of this question seems to me to create a new word as a product name or whatever that is new but still based on existing morphemes. – Oliver Mason Feb 23 '13 at 17:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.