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For instance trichomania is a love of hair, and trichophobia is a fear of hair. But what suffix would denote a loathing of hair?

Edit: Maybe I'm looking at the wrong end of the word, and I should be considering the prefix "miso-".

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I think -phobia (which isn't a suffix, by the way) is what you're looking for. Would you claim that homophobia is the fear of homosexuals rather than loathing? –  Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 19 '12 at 16:35
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@ArmenTsirunyan: I would say that homophobia literally refers to the fear of homosexuals. However, it has come to be used to refer to those who exhibit hatred or loathing for homosexuals, based on the implicit assumption that such loathing is necessarily rooted in fear. –  Nate Eldredge Feb 19 '12 at 16:50
    
I think it's just "too localised" to ask for a suffix meaning loathing rather than fear. –  FumbleFingers Feb 19 '12 at 16:52
    
@NateEldredge: For a lot of things, extreme irrational fear (one that could be called a phobia) cannot come without loathing and vice versa. You can't not loathe something if you're irrationally afraid of it. Example: can you imagine an arachnophobic person, who just loves spiders but experiences great fear before them? –  Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 19 '12 at 16:56
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@ArmenTsirunyan: I disagree that fear and loathing necessarily come hand-in-hand. (For one thing, it would make Hunter S. Thompson's title a redundancy.) Many people enjoy horror movies precisely because they are frightening. Conversely, I strongly dislike eating runny eggs and find them disgusting; by Merriam-Webster's definition, I loathe them. But I certainly don't fear them. I will agree that there is often a connection, but to consider the two to be synonymous goes too far. –  Nate Eldredge Feb 19 '12 at 17:09

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

With apologies in advance, I offer the following neologism: -odiumic, derived from odium, "quality that provokes hatred; offensiveness" (from Latin odium) plus ic, "used to form adjectives from nouns with the meaning 'of or pertaining to'". Note, it may be that -odious, a suffix carefully derived from odious by prefixing a hyphen, would work better; odious means "arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure." The table below presents some relevant combinations for comparison and gnashing of teeth upon.

  • hirsuodiumic, hirsuodious - after hirsute, from Latin hirsūtus (“shaggy, hairy”).
  • dasuodiumic, dasuodious - after dasypygal, hairy-bottomed, from Greek δασύς (dasus, “hairy, dense”)
  • criniodiumic, criniodious - after crinose, hairy, from Latin crinis hair.
  • comaodiumic, comaodious - after Latin comatus, "having long hair." (Note spelling difference between comaodious and commodious.)
  • trichoodiumic, trichoodious - after trichology, "science or study of hair", from Greek τριχ (trich), root of θρίξ (thrix, “hair”) + -λογια

A concern I have with -odious is it may mean causing dislike, rather than (like -odiumic) being of dislike. For example, while hirsuodiumic may be interpreted as "of disliking hairiness", hirsuodious might mean "causing dislike of hairiness". A second concern, which I will leave to you, is determining which stem to use, with subconcerns of whether to mix Greek and Latin forms and of which stems more connote hair itself vs hairiness.

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That suits perfectly. Thank you. –  nick3216 Feb 20 '12 at 17:14
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But it's made-up! –  slim Feb 20 '12 at 17:41
    
@slim, Yes, and I apologize yet again for the neologisms. Do you have any advice about concerns in last paragraph? –  jwpat7 Feb 20 '12 at 17:48
    
I think it's an interesting answer and deserves upvotes. But it shouldn't be accepted because, as you've said, they're neologisms. –  slim Feb 20 '12 at 17:53
    
@nick3216, slim -- I think one adds the [neologisms] tag to question if willing to accept new words in answer –  jwpat7 Feb 20 '12 at 18:03

People only started using -phobia to define feelings of hate or dislike toward something in the middle of the 20th century (1950-1960), and is, itself, a neologism. I suspect that the origin of its use in this manner was at least partially political, because it makes the resultant word sound like a psychological disorder.

As has been said above, the opposite of philos is misein, not phobos, and the use of another word is incorrect and misleading. Medically, -phobe can describe an aversion, but that is already a distortion. Taking it further is simply a bad use of language or a tactical feint (still an improper use, but attended by a reason other than ignorance; a worse crime). If you want to say a person hates something we have a word in the English language that covers it: hate.

I have no problems with coining a word, I just think it shouldn't be frivolous.

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Hydrophobia goes back to at least 1547, penphobia to 1803, dustophobia to 1824, cyclophobia to 1896, L.C.C.-phobia to 1902. –  Hugo Sep 26 '13 at 10:37
    
@Hugo I think the point Celiafate is making is that the modern interpretation of phobia, a strong dislike, is used incorrectly. The fact that phobia existed prior to 20th century is not in discussion. –  Mari-Lou A Sep 26 '13 at 12:28

The use of -phobia as a suffix just feels wrong. It's too firmly associated (in my mind, at least) with an irrational aversion to or fear of something. The modern usage of the suffix (homophobia, islamophobia and so forth) seems too contrived, and it jars each time I hear it. I don't fear homosexuals. I like some people and dislike others but my antipathy is based on factors other than their sexuality.

Unfortunately there are some people whose antipathies towards other people are based on the sexuality of those people, so a suffix denoting that is required. Ditto the other words where -phobia doesn't really cut the mustard.

If a correct suffix isn't readily to hand, neither in English nor Greek nor Serbo-Croatian, I don't see anything wrong with making one up. For example, homovilic, using vilify to form the suffix. The difficulty is that the current abusage is too firmly entrenched for anything else to become established.

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Simply put, English isn't built like that, with logical rules that always apply. What tends to happen is words are "coined" and enter general usage where they are sufficiently distinct so that a wide group of people adopt them. That way the language is able to distinguish between the dislike and allergic aversion:

Here are examples of words that have been formed in this way to denote "loathing"

Xenophobia - Dislike of foreigners

Homophobia - Dislike of homosexuals/homosexuality

Gynophobia - Dislike of females (although male chauvinism is more commonly used)

Androphobia - Dislike of males

Anglophobia - Dislike of English things

See this link for many more examples

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Although -phobia is typically associated with fear, it is also used to talk about a dislike. Homophobia is therefore equally applied to a dislike of homosexuals (the more common usage) as the fear of them.

In some cases -pathy can also be used, as in antipathy.

Additionally, mis-, as in misanthropy or misogyny.

Still, phobia is the correct ending.

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As above this doesn't work where the '-phobia' is already medically defined, as per my trichophobia example, and I feel there must be some way of linguistically making the distinction. –  nick3216 Feb 20 '12 at 10:24
    
"I feel there must be some way of" - but, tough luck, there isn't. If there were, then we'd be using homo[suffix] and xeno[suffic] instead of homophobia and xenophobia. –  slim Feb 20 '12 at 16:34

English really doesn’t have much in the way of affective suffixes. One might argue that ‑ette is one such, but that serves several functions, not just one of positive affect. It often serves only to create a feminine version of something, not a smaller or cuter version, like bachelorette, jockette — but ovenette, diskette for smaller versions. For feminines, you might get more traction out of ‑ess as in heiress, or ‑ine as in heroine.

I can’t think of any suffixes in English that work for negative affect, to say that we don’t like something. Spanish has a pretty rich set of augmentative and pejorative suffixes, like ‑ón/ona, ‑aco/a, ‑azo/a, ‑ote/a ‑ajo/a, but I don’t think English works that way. You just have to sneer, I guess.


Edit

Upon reading other comments, you seem to be asking not for a suffix but rather for a combining form. Here are examples of prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms.

  • Prefixes: a‑, ad‑, allo‑, be‑, co‑, di‑, dia‑, dys‑, en‑, ex‑, fore‑, giga‑, hyper‑, hypo‑, il‑, im‑, in‑, mal‑, mis‑, meta‑, non‑, ob‑, over‑, peri‑, self‑, syn‑, trans‑, ultra‑, un-, and vice‑.
  • Suffixes: ‑a, ‑able, ‑aceous, ‑acity, ‑ade, ‑age, ‑ality, ‑ance, ‑ature, ‑bility, ‑ble, ‑by, ‑cade, ‑cula, ‑cy, ‑dom, ‑dyne, ‑ed, ‑elle, ‑en, ‑ence, ‑ent, ‑ergic, ‑ery, ‑esce, ‑esque, ‑ful, ‑fy, ‑head, ‑hood, ‑ial, ‑ian, ‑ible, ‑ic, ‑ide, ‑iety, ‑ify, ‑ing, ‑ise, ‑istic, ‑ium, ‑ive, ‑ization, ‑ize, ‑izing, ‑less, ‑ling, ‑lite, ‑ly, ‑ment, ‑most, ‑ness, ‑ode, ‑oon, ‑orium, ‑otic, ‑our, ‑ous, ‑plex, ‑ploid, ‑some, ‑speak, ‑th, ‑trix, ‑tude, ‑ty, ‑type, ‑ula, ‑ulum, ‑ure, and ‑wick.
  • Combining forms: ‑archy, ‑babble, bi‑, ‑cardia, ‑cephalic, ‑cline, ‑cole, ‑colous, ‑core, ‑cratic, ‑cratical, ‑culture, culturo‑, cyber‑, ‑dactyl, ‑derm, dictyo‑, digi‑, ‑ennial, femto‑, ‑form, Franken‑, ‑gamous, ‑graphical, ‑haemia/‑hemia, ‑hedron, ‑iad, ichno‑, ‑iform, ‑ifuge, ‑kinesis, ‑lepsy, ‑lingual, ‑lithic, ‑logical, manu‑, ‑max, Mc‑, ‑meter, ‑morphic, morpho‑, muci‑, myco‑, nano‑, ‑nomial, ‑ocratic, ‑odont, ‑onym, oscillo‑, paedo‑/pedo‑, ‑path, ‑ped, pico‑, ‑scape, ‑sophy, syn‑, ‑tactic, teleo‑, Teuto‑, thely‑, ‑therm, ‑thetic, ‑trope, ‑trophy, ‑uretic, vagi‑, ‑valent, were‑, ‑wise, xylo‑, yester‑, ‑zoa, ‑zoic, and zoo‑.
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Ah, yes. -path might work. Trichopath? –  nick3216 Feb 19 '12 at 21:18
    
No, that is "a disease of the hair". –  nick3216 Feb 19 '12 at 21:19

Initially, words ending in -phobia referred to an irrational fear of something, but it was later generalized so as to include the feeling of aversion. So you could use -phobia to describe an aversion to something, too.

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I would accept this, but this doesn't work where the '-phobia' is already medically defined, as per my trichophobia example, and I feel there must be some way of making the distinction. –  nick3216 Feb 19 '12 at 19:27
    
@nick3216 - How about -odiumic; eg hirsuodiumic, dasuodiumic, criniodiumic, comaodiumic, trichoodiumic, and so forth. Of course they all sound just awful :) –  jwpat7 Feb 20 '12 at 8:26
    
@jwpat - I won;t even pretend to know what -diumic means, but if it allows the distinction I would accept tha as the answer –  nick3216 Feb 20 '12 at 8:58
    
@nick3216 - -odiumic, a neologism from the word odium, "Hatred; dislike; as, 'his conduct brought him into odium', or, 'brought odium upon him'; The quality that provokes hatred; offensiveness." –  jwpat7 Feb 20 '12 at 9:00
    
@jwpat - ah, as in "odious". That would make "trichoodiumic" perfect. Not sure how I mark this question as answered, to my satisfaction at least, by your comment –  nick3216 Feb 20 '12 at 10:23

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