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 ...
2
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2answers
32 views

Appending a suffix to a term which consists of multiple words

I would like to express the circumstance that a device is something like a cash register, but not quite the same. I would like to append the suffix '-like' to do so. However, I am unsure how to ...
3
votes
3answers
52 views

Suffix comparing more than 2 items composed of only 2 degrees of importance?

I have three items A, B, and C. A and B are of equal argumentative strength. C is of very weak argumentative strength. Would I say "A and B are the stronger of the arguments." or "A and B are the ...
0
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2answers
326 views

“Utilisability” vs. “usability”

I tried hard to find if we have the noun utilisability in dictionaries but it does not exist. But, when goolging, I found some articles that contain this word. I know that we have the verb to use ...
0
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2answers
37 views

The use of the suffix -al in adjectives [duplicate]

As a non- native speaker of English, I often find myself struggling with the usage of the suffix -al in adjectives. For instance, what's the difference between the words "historic" and "historical", ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

-igible, (suffix) [closed]

negligible = able to be neglected corrigible = able to be corrected dirigible = able to be directed eligible = able to be elected Are there any other words following this pattern?
0
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2answers
60 views

Word with -ee as a suffix

Is it correct English to be able to add the suffix -ee on to any verb to show the object of that verb? Ex: Abandonee is "one to whom something is abandoned" Observee is "one who is observed" ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Verb + '-ly' = adjectvie?

I am learning in Korea. So I rarely have an opportunity of real English. Anyway, My Teacher said that 'noun + -ly = adjective' and 'adjective + -ly = adverbs' Then, what about 'verb + -ly'? Is it ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Is there a rule for the pronunciation of words with the suffix -ative?

I have observed that there are, at least, two patterns of pronunciation for words ending in -ative: The first syllable is stressed and the suffix is pronounced as /eɪtɪv/ (e.g. qualitative) The ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Motive, Motivative, or Motivating?

What is the most fitting adjective to describe '(something) that motivates' among motive, motivative, and motivating? EDIT: Reading from the answers that 'motive' is not an adjective, actually I put ...
44
votes
5answers
5k views

How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?

I understand the word 'phobia' to mean an irrational fear of something, tracing its roots to the Greek word ῾φοβια᾽ associated with flight, dread, or terror. How then did this word ever come to ...
7
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1answer
4k views

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

I only know the suffix is currently informalish. What is its provenience? What was the original meaning?
21
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3answers
5k views

When to drop the 'e' when ending in -able?

I've seen a thread that generally asks about Creating words with “-able” suffix But I don't think it answers my point, though they are admittedly dangerously close topics. When do you drop the 'e' ...
1
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0answers
49 views
2
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2answers
114 views

How would you invent the word for 'fear of standing next to beds'?

It is known that there is a proper word for almost any phobia you can think of. What is the etymology of such? And how would one construct the word for the phobia of standing next to beds; because of ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

Is it correct to use the suffix -ian when referring to names?

Oftentimes when reading academic texts I will come across the suffix "-ian" as a way to denote ownership. While I find it fitting syntactically (it "feels" right), I don't remember ever learning it ...
0
votes
1answer
350 views

Why do the names of so many places end in -ia?

Many countries, continents, states, and cities have an English name ending in ‘-ia’: India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Asia, Alexandria, Philadelphia, California, … What ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Doctor Jekyll (Ph.D.), I presume

I am writing an analysis paper (not related to title), and need to introduce someone with a doctorate in English. Do I write "Doctor [name]" or do I use a suffix?
6
votes
5answers
617 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Suffix order: -lessness vs -nessless

What is the correct order for combinations of suffixes -less and -ness? Are they combined in any order, or is there any rule governing a proper usage? hopelessness helplessness But: ...
3
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there a suffix for loathing?

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Word to describe “-ie” suffix that is not intended as a diminutive

I know I can use "doggie" to refer to a dog and that's a diminutive form, but what about words like "selfie" or "foodie" that aren't necessarily meant to diminish by adding an "-ie?" Is there a term ...
11
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5answers
4k views

Usage of -ist and -ian, when to use which?

This is a question bugging me for a long long time, especially for a non-native speaker like myself. We have physicist standing for the people doing physics research, as is linguist, chemist, etc. ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

How does one write a suffix on double words?

I was wondering how I should write words like "control structureless". Should you keep the space between the words, concatenate them or use a hyphen? In my native language, Dutch, we would write ...
8
votes
2answers
229 views

Are some grammar rules different for Latin origin nouns with the ‑ion suffix?

Two questions on ELL.SE, one involving the word division and the other about the word implementation, made me realize that I treat these words differently without really understanding the grammatical ...
14
votes
2answers
13k views

Word formation with the nominal suffix -tion: when and why do we insert an “a”?

Recently, a colleague became flustered when she used orientate instead of orient. She says she frequently makes this sort of "back formation error" because of the nominal form, which is orientation. ...
20
votes
12answers
7k views

What word means a “male temptress”?

I was trying to describe a man who entices others into making bad decisions. I have several closely related questions: Is it okay in English to refer to a man as a temptress? Is there a uniquely ...
11
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5answers
1k views

What is the adjectival form of “nemesis”?

If I have a non-person object or idea that I consider to be my nemesis1, how could I refer to the object as a noun but use an embellishing adjective to emphasize that the object is my nemesis? For ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

How do you describe someone who is into incest?

pedophile - one who is into pre-pubescent children _____phile - one who is into incest? Is there a single word that fits into "He's a ______" to describe someone who is into incest? A hyphenated ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Is the suffix “-ette” used for referring to a female?

I recently came across the word scooterette in an Indian newspaper. I wondered if this is an Indian coinage; a quick search on Google showed me it's almost purely Indian. I could not find a reliable ...
2
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0answers
90 views
22
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5answers
16k views

“Extensible” vs. “extendible”

Where does the adjective form extensible come from and does it connote anything different than extendible? What's the difference, if any, between the two?
0
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2answers
502 views

When are Roman Numeral suffixes appropriate for number abbreviations?

This question was asked and closed last year as general reference. However, it did not attract the caliber of answer I expected it to. I suggested the following content as an edit, but it was rejected ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Whats the difference between “-ist” and “-er”

The suffixes -ist, and -er are added to a base word to name a person who does an action: pitch, pitcher. Some more examples: carpenter artist painter nationalist banker dentist ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

-gate, and gamergate

I have always understood the phrase ____-gate to refer to a controversy or conflict. For example, deflate-gate was the hubbub around whether the Patriots intentionally deflated balls during the AFC ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

What is the tense used in a phrase such as “He is trapped”?

I've read that the -ed suffix usually indicates a "past participle" (as in "I was trapped"), but: I'm not sure what part-of-speech "trapped" functions as in the phrase. Indicating present state ...
12
votes
2answers
827 views

Abolition vs. Abolishment

At times I have caught myself writing the noun form of abolish as "abolishment" and then pausing before realizing it should really be "abolition". Even as I type my spellchecker tells me that ...
13
votes
1answer
657 views

How is “erogenous” incorrectly formed?

When I check the etymology of erogenous in OED, it is mentioned that it is incorrectly formed (along with erogenic). Etymology of erogenous from OED: formed as erogenic adj. + -ous suffix. ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it “falsy” or “falsey”?

I have seen both versions of the word, falsy and falsey. It can mean "something that is equivalent to false" in computer science, such as "The only two falsy values in the Ruby Language are false and ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

The origins of surname suffixes [closed]

When did mankind begin using surname suffixes such as Jr. Sr. I II III?
1
vote
1answer
201 views

Difference between the suffixes “-titude” and “-titute”

I vaguely remember the suffix "-titude" is related to a state of a particular action, such as "certitude", which means a state of being sure. But I don't know what this kind of suffix actually is ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

What is the opposite of -genic?

English uses the suffix -genic to mean "generating / generated by / producing": anxiogenic (anxiety-producing) iatrogenic (caused by the healer / doctor) neurogenic (produced by the nervous system) ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

Is the following sentence odd? “I find them comic”

But this is the Old Bailey. He's a Lord — or she's a Lady. You may find the wigs and the ceremonial ways that people refer to each other strange or intimidating. I was advised. But I don't find ...
2
votes
5answers
17k views

“Old days” or “olden days”?

Sometimes I use the phrase "back in the old days". I was recently in a class where the trainer kept using the phrase "olden days." Which usage is acceptable?
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Can any noun ending in -ism be swapped for -ist?

Can any noun ending in -ism describing some system or belief be changed for -ist to describe a member of that system? My question might be confusing, so I will run through a few examples: Nihilism ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Are products of wordsmithing proper english?

Several languages in which English has its roots have easily definable rules. For example, sticking "A" in from of an adjective can mean the opposite of that adjective (Asymmetrical, symmetrical), ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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' ...
2
votes
4answers
9k views

Difference between the use of “resilience” and “resiliency”

I constantly hear people use the word "resiliency" (especially sports broadcasters and the like). I've always used "resilience" instead. Is there a preferred word to use in any given situation? As ...
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 ...