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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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 ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Why do some words with Latin etymology use -ae suffix while others use the -s? [duplicate]

Why do some words in English with Latin etymology use the suffix -ae while others use the more common -s?
13
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6answers
15k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
8
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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, ...
15
votes
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
votes
3answers
750 views

Has the suffix “-trix” acquired a pejorative meaning in recent years?

A couple days ago I needed the correct word for a female aviator, which I figured was aviatress. A dictionary.com search provided aviatress, aviatrice and aviatrix as acceptable choices. ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

What's a suffix that means to find something cute or adorable?

"Xenophobia" is being fearful of outsiders, and "xenophilia" would be to love outsiders. To fit in with these words, I'm looking for a suffix to attach to the "xeno~" prefix to in order to create a ...
0
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0answers
88 views

difference between suffixes '-ish' and '-y'

Recently Prince Charles used the word 'Hitlery,' in the sense of "possessing some properties of Hitler." Is there any difference between the suffixes -ish and -y ?
1
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0answers
39 views

Mashing parts together to form Philanthropomath [closed]

I've always been unskilled with prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc. I was wondering if I combined philanthrope(ic) and philomath to form Philanthropomath Does this turn into nonsense? Or through the ...
3
votes
4answers
165 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?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “k” added to “panic” when suffixes added (as in “panicky”)?

When adding any suffix to the word "panic," a "k" is added after the "c". Examples: panicked, panicking, panicky. Why is this the case? Are there any other English words that do the same? I'm also ...
0
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2answers
89 views

Geometric or Geometrical?

I have read the excellent answers to Why is it "geometric" but "theoretical" - my question is specifically about usage. Is there a best practice for deciding between the variants "geometric" and ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

Opposite of the suffix -less

I'm looking for a suffix that has the opposite meaning of the suffix -less as in stainless. That is, a suffix that means “not free of ...”. In German, for example, there is the adverb “behaftet” and ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

Meaning of the “rupt” suffix/prefix

I was wondering the other day about the word corrupt, found that the suffix "rupt" appears in many words and as a prefix for another set and decided to ask this question: What does "rupt" mean? ...
-2
votes
1answer
89 views

Signature for Doctor of Information Technology prefix and suffix [closed]

How can I sign my name with the degree of "Doctor of Information Technology" Is this all correct Dr.Full Name Full Name D.I.T Dr Full Name (Doctor of Information Technology) Dr.Last Name Can I ...
10
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Origin of the noun-forming suffix “-hood”

How did -hood evolve into the noun-forming suffix commonly used in words such as childhood, priesthood, or neighborhood— and including certain pseudonyms such as robinhood which could easily be ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Paramount, tantamount and …?

Paramount: more important than anything else; supreme. Tantamount: equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as. ??mount: less important than anything else What is the word ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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: ...
14
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the difference between “electric” and “electrical” and their usage?

What is the difference between electric and electrical and their usage? For example, what is the difference between "electrical machine" and "electric machine"?
8
votes
3answers
121 views

Are there any rules/patterns for selecting “ish” vs “like” as a suffix?

This question arose on a comment thread over on ELL. Are there any rules or patterns for when we should/do select "ish" as a suffix, rather than "like"? Some examples discussed were that birdlike ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

Usage of the noun suffix “-ment”

What is a good rule for the usage of the noun suffix -ment? Is desirement as acceptable as achievement?
0
votes
3answers
219 views

Is there a difference between “anatomic” and “anatomical”?

I want to say "anatomical context". Google tells me that anatomical in that context is preferred. An online dictionary claimed that American English does not have anatomic but only knows anatomical.
6
votes
3answers
120 views

Do other suffixes exist for locative and directional 'adverbs'? eg here hither hence

Years ago from JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion, I learned the delightful suffixes -ence and -ither in the word meanings: hence: from this nearby place hither: toward this nearby place thence: from ...
3
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
13
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5answers
23k views

What does the suffix “-saurus” mean?

Is it the same meaning in tyrannosaurus as in thesaurus? I really can’t imagine what those two words could possibly have in common!
2
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5answers
1k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
2
votes
2answers
98 views

The suffix -hood

I am using the suffix -hood as both base and suffix to derive poetical meaning in an interplay of the words "...child and adult hood." Though this may offend the ear of the modern day reader, I ...
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votes
1answer
92 views

When do we add the suffix -tter to a word? [closed]

Normally we use this suffix for different words Twitter Flutter Emitter Chatter Fitter Is there anything that this suffix "-tter" is used to refer?
0
votes
3answers
94 views

“Massager” vs “masseuse”

A friend of mine recently used the word masseuse to describe a person that gives massages. I have never heard of this terminology before so I'm wondering what the difference is between massager and ...
2
votes
4answers
5k 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?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the deal with “fiery”?

How did English end up with the adjective fiery (instead of *firy) from fire, but miry from mire and wiry from wire? Are there any other words where the noun is -ire and the adjective is -iery?
6
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
8k 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?
4
votes
4answers
828 views

-ness suffix etymology

What is the etymology of the suffix '-ness'? I have come across it in OE texts but always assumed it was a later borrowing.
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votes
1answer
64 views

confusion about the suffix 'ence' and “ance” [closed]

I am confused about using the suffixes "ance" and "ence". Where would I use "ance" and where "ence"? Is there some important rule about this?
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?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

“Consistence” and “consistency”

What is the relation and difference between the nouns consistence and consistency? For example, which one should be used in the following sentence? Although he has passed the exam, he is ...
6
votes
2answers
176 views

Guidelines for selecting suffix when making an adjective out of a proper name (-esque, -ean, -ian,

Examples: For (Michael) Jordan, we often see Jordanesque. Why? Perhaps because he is His Airness (and the -esque suffix is associated with fanciness)? Maybe also to avoid confusion with Jordanians? ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

Is there any dictionary that decomposes an English word into prefix, root, and suffix?

Is there any dictionary that shows the decomposition of each word into these three parts, if application at all? For instance, "incapable" is divided into prefix "in", root "cap", and suffix "able". ...
6
votes
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
vote
2answers
231 views

Is -wala a recognized suffix in Indian English?

Why do we use terms like taxiwala, tongawala and policewala in Indian English? Is -wala a recognized suffix in Indian English?
33
votes
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?
2
votes
3answers
184 views

Informal Suffix Usage: -ity/ety

Sometimes in very informal or comic book language one will see phrases such as "bonkity bonk", "flippity-flop", and "knockity knock". Other examples include "crunchity", "swirlity", etc, etc. I have ...
4
votes
2answers
525 views

'-gate' as a suffix to coin words related to scandals and corruption cases

I noticed that for corrruption/scandals the usage of '-gate' suffix is pretty common, as we have recently seen with 'datagate' and before with 'watergate' Can anyone explain what the relation between ...
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?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a maximum number of suffixes that can be added to an English word?

You can add various derivational and inflectional suffixes on to most English words to create new longer words (or forms of words). But is there a definite or theoretical maximum that can be added in ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

When does a locational distinction change its suffix and capitialization in a proper name?

I am trying to capitalize Western Canada or western Canada properly and am wanting a definition for when the "ern" is added as a suffix to a locational distinction of a proper noun. I believe the ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

Proper placement of suffix while using the first name only

Ordering a gravestone and want to make sure the suffix is used correctly. While the last name is on the bottom to be shared by spouse, I need to put Edward H. II up top. The proper name is Edward ...