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I know it's currently more of a slang to attach and use it as normalish (see what I did here?) suffix, but still — was there any evolution for this? Also — maybe it had some special meaning?

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Since the related links are anything but related, I'll supply a couple myself: Usage of the suffix “ish” and Is ‘Yes-ish’ a perfect alternative to Yes, or is it Yes ‘on condition’? Is it received English? –  RegDwigнt Mar 31 '11 at 19:56

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

The suffix -ish comes from Old English -isc and is a diminutive.

So it means the word is lessened in intensity. Normalish (while not a proper word) means a bit normal. Yellowish means the thing is a bit yellow. Smallish means something is small, but not overly so.

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There is of course the suffix -y, which can have the same or similar meaning - as in yellowy, for example. Oftentimes if the answer is "something-ish", there's an exagerated pause before stressed & stretched ish. That's easier to do with -ish than just -y, which is why I guess it's always first choice for the informal slang context. –  FumbleFingers Mar 31 '11 at 22:42
When appended to times or dates (12 o'clock-ish), it means approximately. –  Callithumpian Apr 1 '11 at 3:22

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