A suffix is an element of a language that is added to the end of a word. E.g. -ly is a suffix often found at the end of adverbs: really, quickly, happily, strangely, etc., -d/-ed is a suffix often found at the end of a verb to denote the simple past: used, bruised, grazed, heated, etc.

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Is there a good rule of thumb for plurals from words ending in “o”?

The following words and their plurals seem to be somewhat inconsistent: combo / combos concerto / concertos grotto / grottos / grottoes (?) hero / heros (?) / heroes potato / potatos (?) / potatoes ...
6
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4answers
6k views

Which is the proper spelling: “Adapter” or “adaptor”?

In my current project we are writing a program to convert a newer protocol to an older one. These conversion programs are being referred to as adapters, but the team cannot agree which spelling to ...
1
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2answers
309 views

What is the meaning of the 'x' character suffix?

The sentence is “2x to 100x speed-ups, typically 4x”.
13
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3answers
3k views

Suffixing by “-rama”, “-orama” or “-arama” — how did this begin?

Suffixing by -rama, -orama or -arama — how did this begin? I mean words like futurama, foodarama, etc.
6
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1answer
2k views

Origins of the “‑cede/‑seed/‑ceed” suffix

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to remember cedere meant “to go or yield” in Latin. Presumably this gives us the words concede and accede. (?) But what about the words supersede and proceed? ...
27
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2answers
5k views

Is there any relation between the suffix “-ship” and actual ships?

I am curious if there is actual relation between all nouns ending in -ship, such as relationship, citizenship, sportsmanship, etc. with the vessel for transporting people or goods over the sea?
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3answers
16k views

Why is a woman a “widow” and a man a “widower”?

There are lots of words that have male and female forms, and usually there are alternate suffixes to the words which indicate the gender; for example, "waiter" vs. "waitress", "mister" vs. "mistress", ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of P.S. in a name?

I have a project to parse names and there's a thing called title (mr. dr.), suffix (esq. ph.d.) and generation (ii, iii, jr.), but I don't have the faintest idea what p.s. is. It's in the following ...
5
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1answer
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Does 'symbolic' mean the same as 'symbolical', and should one be preferred?

Wikipedia's article on vespers contains this passage (my emphasis): The name, however, by which it was most widely known during that period was Lucernalis or Lucernaria hora (l. c., 126). This ...
2
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1answer
1k views

“Scientific” versus “scientifical”

Is there any substantive difference in the meanings of these two words? Is the latter considered a proper word at all? If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, what are these words' ...
6
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1answer
3k views

How did “-ish” suffix come to denote the approximate meaning of the word it is attached to?

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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7answers
648 views

Is there any suffix expressing “demand a lot”?

For example, a job that demands a lot of effort is effort-***? Or a program costs lots of money is money-***? Or a task needs high patience is patience-***?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the limits of using the suffix “-esque”?

I'm seeing this suffix everywhere lately. Of course, there are a number of -esques that are commonly used (i.e. Kafkaesque), but is there some sort of rule for determining who (or what) gets assigned ...
9
votes
2answers
34k views

Why is “happyness” spelled with a Y in the movie title “The Pursuit of Happyness”? [closed]

I just noticed that the word in the movie title The Pursuit of Happyness is spelled with a y instead of an i. But my spell checker highlights "happyness" as a mistake. Why is it spelled differently ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Use of “-en” suffix

"Woollen" is an Old English word that uses the suffix "-en" to turn a noun into a verb. As I understand it, the use of this suffix died out in Middle English. Do any more modern words use this ...
7
votes
2answers
571 views

Why is it “serviceable” but not “servicable”?

I came across this word in the answer provided by Robusto for the question about Thank you. Because the last e in service is not pronounced, I thought it should be deleted when service is appended by ...
33
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3answers
2k views

Origin of “-ing”

What is the origin of the suffix -ing used to form gerunds and present participles? Why is the suffix the same in both cases?
9
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3answers
6k views

What would be a a linguistic term for those nouns ending with -ing?

What would be a a linguistic term for those nouns ending with -ing? Examples: building, scaffolding, ending. What are some other examples, and what do they all share in common semantically?
4
votes
1answer
556 views

Does the suffix in “lipolysis” and “ketosis” have the same meaning in both the words?

Lipolysis and ketosis both end in ‑sis. Does that suffix have the same meaning in both the words?
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Archivable” or “archiveable”

I have an entity and I would like to describe it as being able to be archived. Is it archivable, archiveable (which seem OK for me but no wiktionary.org results) or something else?
10
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2answers
4k views

Adjective form of “collide”—“collideable” or “collidable”?

I need to name an interface in a program I'm writing as being able to collide, but I've seen use of both collideable and collidable in projects with a similar type. Both of them look right in some ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the origin of “earthling”?

What is the origin of the word earthling? Are there other words with a similar meaning (marsling, venusling)?
17
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3answers
3k views

Creating words with “-able” suffix

What are general rules of thumb for creating adjectives with -able? I wanted to denote an object as having an ability to be tiled, but "tileable" and "tilable" both yielded as incorrect words by spell ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is ‘Yes-ish’ a perfect alternative to Yes, or is it 'Yes ‘on condition’? Is it received English?

I found a word ‘Yes-ish’ in the answer (from PLL) to my question about the meaning of ‘Stuck to the script’ I posted today. As it is quite new to my ear, I consulted with Wikipedia before logging out ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

“-ee” and “-er” word endings

There are a few examples of pairs of words ending with -ee/-er like employee and employer or advisee and adviser. What I was curious about is if there was any rule that would describe the relationship ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Problem with -ance/-ence

OK, so I'm ashamed to admit that as a native speaker I think I've missed something somewhere. I was typing up some documentation and spellchecker kept bugging me. So I looked up some words and found ...
11
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2answers
475 views

Antonym for gormless?

I was sitting at the card table this evening looking gormless (as I am wont to do) when it occurred to me to wonder, are the other players gormful? Is there such a word? Is there such a thing as gorm, ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How are diminutives formed in recent English words?

A large variety of suffixes were used to form diminutives in English. The Wikipedia page on diminutives shows these: * -k/-ock/-uck: balk, bollock, bullock, buttock, fetlock, folk, hark, hillock, ...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

When is it correct to use the “-wise” suffix?

I found myself writing the following in a bit of technical documentation: The Trainers' and Students' clients have very little in common, both user interface-wise and code-wise. At first, I ...
52
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is it “geometric” but “theoretical”?

I just came across a course name: Geometric and Theoretical Optics. The mismatched endings bug me. Why do we have both -ical and -ic endings? Is there any difference in meaning between, say, ...
7
votes
3answers
784 views

-ship vs. -hood

What is the difference between nouns naming states of being or positions ending in -hood and those ending in -ship? In practice, if one were neologizing such a word how would one decide which suffix ...
4
votes
2answers
779 views

Is there any rhyme or reason to when one should double the last consonant when adding -ed or -ing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: focussed or focused? The double consonant Sometimes, final consonants are doubled when adding -ed or -ing to the end of a verb whose penultimate letter is a vowel. ...
4
votes
2answers
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Is it true that if you use a preposition and then a verb, it must end with “ing”?

I've read a grammar rule. If you use a preposition and then a verb, it must end with "ing" Is it always true, or there are exceptions?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of different past tenses for verbs with the same endings?

Why do we have a situation where the past of "to blow" is "blew", but of "to glow" is "glowed"? And don't say "flew" if you mean "it flowed". The poem Lovers, by Phoebe Cary has many examples of ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When is it appropriate, if at all, to use the suffix “ish”?

When is it appropriate, if at all, to use the suffix ish? Consider the following: She was a largish woman According to Google the word largish is defined as somewhat large. However, ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What does the suffix “‑erior” mean?

The suffix ‑erior is used in many words that seem to indicate position: superior inferior anterior posterior However, with my Google-fu, I can’t find a real definition or etymology. What does ...
19
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3answers
2k views

What does the suffix “‑fu” mean?

Can anyone tell me what the suffix “‑fu” stands for in the following sentence? If you want to take advantage of some other Spring-fu, like some of its aspect-oriented features, then you’ll need to ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Origin of the “-y” or “-ie” diminutive suffix to denote intimacy/tenderness? (E.g. Bob→Bobby, dad→daddy, Doug→Dougie)

Many names seem to get a "-y" or "-ie" at the end when the speaker wishes to denote a hint of familiarity, intimacy, or tenderness. Examples can be seen not just in names, but in terms like puppy, ...
10
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6answers
14k views

What's the difference between “adviser” and “advisor” — are both interchangeable?

I work for a financial services provider and we deal with "Financial Advisors" all the time. Increasingly, I'm seeing people send emails and so forth with the term "Financial Adviser" and the terms ...
13
votes
6answers
15k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Do adjectives ending in “-ed” derive from words that were once used as verbs?

Talented derives from talent, which is not a verb in Modern English. Has talent ever been used as verb? Are there any words ending in -ed that derive from words once used as verb that is not used ...
16
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?