Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

"Ish" is a recently derived word (free root) conveying a sense of "so-so" or approximation. It is most commonly used as an adjective but occasionally as an adverb. I would not be at all surprised to see it appear in standard dictionaries within the next decade. Is there a term for the morphological process that derived the term "ish" from the derivational suffix "-ish"? Or is this an example of slang/colloquial usage?

share|improve this question
    
It's more of taking liberties with language, I'd say. Colloquialism is not quite the same as such "creativity". –  Kris Jun 29 '12 at 14:03
add comment

1 Answer

Ish is listed in the OED as colloquial, first used 1986, and defined:

Qualifying a previous statement or description, esp. as a conversational rejoinder: almost, in a way, partially, vaguely.

It's also listed in at least some of these dictionaries, including Collins:

(slang) used to express reservation or qualified assent ⇒ Things are looking up. Ish

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.