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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
3answers
43 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
42 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
votes
2answers
22 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 reguiter, but not quite the same. I would like to append the suffix '-like' as to do so. However, I am unsure how to ...
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
votes
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?
20
votes
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
vote
0answers
41 views
2
votes
2answers
102 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
67 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
236 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
223 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
572 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
58 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
votes
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
51 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
216 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
12k 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Best way to practice Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes [closed]

I am preparing for SAT. As part of my preparation I recently started word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The link I'm learning from just gives a list. I'm not confident even after memorizing that. Is ...
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
votes
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
172 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
votes
0answers
74 views
21
votes
5answers
15k 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
votes
2answers
471 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
129 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
96 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
97 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
775 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
641 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
91 views

The origins of surname suffixes [closed]

When did mankind begin using surname suffixes such as Jr. Sr. I II III?
1
vote
1answer
149 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
134 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
241 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
16k 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
133 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
39k 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
4answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Why are some “-ist” suffixed words used as the adjective form over the more common “-istic”?

Generally speaking, for any kind of "-ism", the suffix "-ist" produces the noun form and "-istic" produces the adjective form. But there are some "-ist" suffixes that are acceptable or even more ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

Dynamicality from Dynamic?

I am using the word 'dynamic' as the following definition from the Merriam Webster's Dictionary. 3. of random-access memory : requiring periodic refreshment of charge in order to retain data The ...
9
votes
3answers
354 views
17
votes
4answers
7k views

Is there a rule for which suffix to use when creating adjectives from nouns?

There are many suffixes that are used to create adjectives from nouns (-al, -ic, -ive, -y). Are there any rules used to create adjectives from nouns? In example, why is the adjective excessive, and ...