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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4k views

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

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

Is/could “noctophyte” be a word?

Let me preface this by saying that I am trying to come up with an interesting-sounding name for gamedev purposes. I'm looking for a potentially imaginary word that can be given a logical definition. ...
25
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6answers
21k 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
45 views

Can an adjective be converted into a noun by '-s'?

I saw a passage "this doesn't mean to get riches and honors." 'rich' is an adjective but 'riches' is a plural noun according to the dictionary. Are there any other examples where an adjective becomes ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Why “ConvertIBLE” and not “ConvertABLE” [duplicate]

Why do almost all words that are "able" written like: Comparable Disposable Doable Writable Except for the word "Convertible"? Can someone explain this to me or are there no rules tied to this? ...
0
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3answers
145 views

Where does the suffix “-ker” come from?

A small number of words used in English have the derivational suffix "-ker" (maybe actually "-tiker"?), which appears to attach to words ending in "-sis". The only one I can remember off the ...
1
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0answers
55 views

Are there suffixes akin to -phobe and -phile that are less extreme in meaning?

The suffix -phobia means fear of, often irrational fear of. For example, according to Wikipedia: Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Nouns to adjectives: “-ous” vs. “-ful”

When turning nouns to adjectives, what is the rule for using the suffixes -ous or -ful? Why do pain/harm became painful/harmful and not painous or harmous? Why do glory/nerve become glorious/nervous ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Is the plural of 'prefix' really 'prefixes' rather than 'prefices'?

It looks like the plural of 'prefix' is 'prefixes' - while I would expect it to be 'prefix' => 'prefices' like 'matrix' => 'matrices' or 'index' => 'indices'. Is 'prefix' an exception to the rule? ...
4
votes
4answers
258 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - Metallium or Metalium. The owners of the business went with the latter, but my ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
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1answer
5k 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
1answer
67 views

What are the standard suffixes to turn a location name into a personal discription?

When America becomes American, and Earth becomes Earthling, a suffix has been used. Is this slang or are there standard rules for this type of suffix? Most often I see/hear -ite, -an, -van or -er. ...
19
votes
4answers
8k 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
votes
1answer
307 views

Diminutive forms in English.

In many languages, formation of diminutives by adding suffixes is a productive part of the language. Many languages apply a grammatical diminutive to nouns, a few—including Dutch, Italian and Russian ...
0
votes
1answer
215 views

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

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 ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Is “Englishnization” an acceptable term?

There's a company named Rakuten in Japan, which introduced "Englishnization" a couple of years ago. They adopted an internal policy where all the employees are expected to speak English as an official ...
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2answers
122 views

The pronunciation of “peripheral”

Some time ago, I heard the pronunciation of the word peripheral on a TV show (Brain Games, to be exact). Very surprised to hear /pəɹɪfəɹəl/, I asked two close relatives whether that was how the word ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Spermatozoan or spermatozoal?

Spermatozoon is a single mature sperm cell. The plural is spermatozoa. Which of the following is correct: "Spermatozoal motility" or "spermatozoan motility"? Or should it be something else? Googling ...
4
votes
2answers
35 views

semi-business-related?

I'm writing my statement of purpose for grad school application. I would like to express "I came from an academic background that is half business-related", as I majored in E-business. What is the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
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0answers
44 views

The proper usage of 'compeer'; and is it a root word?

Compeer has a definition: A person of equal rank, status or ability What I am asking is what context is this word typically used? And equally important - is it valid to use the words compeering and ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

When can/can't you add “-less” at the end of a word?

When can or can't you add -less at the end of a word? What are the limitations to its productivity? Can you say anything at all, like streakless or phoneless? I am really sorry for the stupid ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Is there a suffix to form a noun from an adverb?

I want to know if we have a suffix which can be added to an adverb to form a noun. I have searched about that and I could not find anything about it.
0
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0answers
30 views

Usage question: “Relation” vs. “Relationship” [duplicate]

What is the difference between relation and relationship? What's the purpose of the suffix?
0
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3answers
111 views

How did you know when to say “thing haveth or something”? [duplicate]

I have been watching Hocus Pocus and wondered how people in the 1800s knew when to add eth on the end of words.
46
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6answers
6k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
44k 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", ...
0
votes
3answers
385 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 ...
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0answers
96 views

Calibrate + able = Calibratible? Calibratable?

What is the consensus on the correct form of calibrate + able suffix? Wiktionary lists only one proper entry for "calibratable". Automotive industries prefer to use "calibratible" because it matches ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

A rule for identifying the stressed syllable in abstract nouns ending in -ity. Is it foolproof?

When I was a student I was taught that the stressed syllable in an abstract noun ending in -ity is always the antepenultimate. e.g. reliability spontaneity ability felicity eternity rarity ...
13
votes
5answers
21k views

“Postfix” or “suffix”?

Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary were not much help — is there a practical difference in the semantics of suffix and postfix, except that the latter is more rare? File name extensions are well ...
11
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5answers
7k views

Is there a good rule of thumb for plurals of words related to music world 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 ...
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vote
3answers
16k 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? ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

'-ible' suffix vs. '-able' suffix

This question comes about because I usually always spell the word incorrectly and the spell checker underlines in red the word: compatible. In my head, I always want to spell it compatable, and my ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

In word construction, is there a affix order?

Does english have classes of prefixes and suffixes like it does adjectives, and if so, how are they usually ordered? For example, adjectives usually go in this order (or something like it): ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between the suffixes -ize and -ify

The dictionary ascribes the same purpose to both these suffixes: to denote 'to make, or become'. However, for some neologisms, -ize seems much more appropriate than -ify does, and vice-versa. There ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

What's the rule for transforming a verb into a noun if it ends in “ee”?

Usually a noun can be made from a verb by adding an -er as a suffix (to paint -> painter, to eat -> eater). What is the rule for verbs that already end with the letter "e", such as "see", "flee", ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

History of '-itute' suffix?

What is the history of the suffix -itute, as in constitute, prostitute, institute, restitute, and substitute?
3
votes
1answer
495 views

Why isn’t “lutherie” spelled “luthery”?

It seems to me that most English words similar to lutherie (crafting stringed instruments) end in ‑y. That is, nouns for professions or activities that are used instead of gerunds with objects. ...
3
votes
5answers
10k views

Relation between “concept” and “conception”

concept: an abstract idea; a general notion conception: the way in which something is perceived or regarded These two words are troubling me because it seems that there is a way that concept ...
3
votes
2answers
33 views

What is the difference between “feudal” and “feudalistic”?

They are both adjectives related to feudalism. But what is the difference between the two in actual usage.
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Should I exclude the suffix when referring to someone using only their surname?

If I'm writing an article about John Smith III, I'll use his full name, including the suffix, when I first introduce him in the article. For example: "The owner of the dog, John Smith III, was ...
32
votes
9answers
34k views

“Trainer” is to “trainee” as “mentor” is to what?

What do you call someone who is being mentored? Is it mentoree or mentee? Does the term student or pupil imply a context outside the business environment?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or ...
2
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
248 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
31 views

pattern to predict -ent vs -ant? [duplicate]

Is there any pattern to predict whether to use -ant or -ent, in words such as those below? abundant / attendant / arrogant VS abhorrent / absorbent / dependent I find -ent seems to be more common... ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is there a rule for “‑ance” vs. “‑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 ...