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52

The two -ing's are actually not the same etymologically. One developed from Proto-Germanic *-ungō, which has survived in contemporary German (packaging — Verpackung). The other -ing developed from Old English -ende, from Proto-Germanic *-andz — again, compare contemporary German (singing — singend) — and goes back to the Proto-Indo-European *-nt- (cf. Greek ...


46

Origin The suffix -ic comes from Greek -ikos, while -ical is a combination of -ic and the French suffix -al. Originally, -al was suffixed to scientific nouns ending in -ics, e.g. mathematics - mathematical. Eventually, the -ical portion of those words was reanalyzed as being a single unit. This is what Marchand (1969) had to say about -ic vs. -ical at ...


32

In some cases, an adjective has both -ic and -ical forms, with no difference in meaning. In some cases, there are two different words for two different meanings. In some cases, only one word exists. And of course, this is often historical and can change with time. In your case, there are actually differences in meaning (at least as I would use them): ...


30

It stands for "(advanced) skill". There are lots of similar constructions, such as "Script-Fu", "Google-Fu", and so on. Wiktionary has an article on the suffix -fu: Etymology From kung-fu Suffix 1. (slang) Expertise; mastery. My google-fu is weak! Aragorn uses Ranger-fu to figure out that Sam and Frodo have taken a boat.


27

There is already a word for converting something to English: Anglicization /Anglicisation (AmE/BrE) 1 : to make English in quality or characteristics 2 : to adapt (a foreign word, name, or phrase) to English usage: as a : to alter to a characteristic English form, sound, or spelling b : to convert (a name) to its English equivalent <anglicize Juan ...


25

All these formations are modeled after the Watergate scandal which you mentioned. That scandal, in turn, took its name from the very innocently named Watergate Complex, a group of buildings in Washington DC which happened to house the office which housed the documents that were stolen as part of the Watergate Burglaries, and thus ended up giving its name (or ...


24

-ship is added to a noun to establish status or condition. Indicating a state or a condition, e.g. to be in a friendship. Indicating the qualities belonging to a class of people, e.g. craftsmanship. Indicating office or profession, e.g. ambassadorship. Quote from http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19990225: The suffix -ship has been ...


23

The Online Etymology Dictionary explains the unusual spelling: late 13c., from Middle English fier “fire” (see fire (n.)) + -y (2). The spelling is a relic of one of the attempts to render Old English “y” in fyr in a changing system of vowel sounds. Words like miry (late 14c.) and wiry (1580s) have later origins and different etymology, so they don’t ...


23

There is no universal affix in English equivalent to the German suffix behaftet. Instead, there are two different ways to form this kind of adjective in English. The suffix -ful suggests that the noun modified has the quality in question in abundance. It is a limited suffix that can be used only with certain words: hopeful, but not hungerful. The past ...


20

As reported on Etymonline: Old English yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825). ...


18

Google Ngrams shows that updatable is currently much more prevalent:


18

The OED (1st edition—another answer supplies a more recent treatment) regards this as a (usually Scots) variant of older -a, both being common tags on the rhyming words in popular ballads (-o from 1727, -a from 1567). See this and this for examples. Note that the convention is only to record the extra syllable in the first stanza, no doubt to save the ...


17

The c is pronounced like k except when it comes before i or e: then it is pronounced like s. In service, c comes before e, so that it is pronounced s. If we add -able, we should normally remove the e, as you said; but then we'd get servicable. Because c before a is pronounced k, the sound of the word would change profoundly; that is undesirable, which is why ...


16

For the hardcore etymologists who don't feel like looking this up and to complement the top answer, here's the etymologies of (-)ship from Dictionary.com. ship: before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English scip; cognate with Dutch schip, German Schiff, Old Norse, Gothic skip; (v.) Middle English s ( c ) hip ( p ) en, derivative of the noun ...


15

Your Google-fu probably fails because the suffix is "-ior", not -"erior". For example, there are the words "excelsior", "senior", "junior". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology says: -ior formerly also -iour — F. -ieur, † -iour — L. iōrem, nom. -ior, suffix of compar. of adj., as in anterior, exterior, inferior, interior, junior, ...


15

From the article on Chris Gardner on ABC's site: The word "happiness" in the title is deliberately misspelled, just as it was on the wall of a day care center where Gardner once sought care for his young son, Chris Jr., during some of his worst days." Chris (Will Smith) even points out the misspelling to the Chinese care-giver that the mural decorating ...


15

There's nothing at all wrong with mentoree, as these 1270 written instances in Google Books show. The fact that most dictionaries don't explicitly list this particular inflection of mentor is of no consequence - it's used often enough already, and will always be understood even at first sight. Mentee also occurs quite often in written form - but I have to ...


15

The first bunch are indeed "a hidden regularity", just like a fossilized skeleton. The second bunch are a different phenomenon completely that I won't touch on here. The first bunch are all evidence of what Indo-Europeanists call the "Yodated Causative", a -y suffix that formed a causative/inchoative stem when added to a verb root, just like a later en ...


15

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away...uh, well, not really. English used to have a more complex grammar than it does presently. It is a Germanic tongue and so retains a touch of German in old, not so much used, forms. The -st you refer to are from the old second person singular. Wouldst: Wouldst = Wouldest thou - would you Wouldest thou that I could ...


14

This is similar to the relation between “while” and “whilst”, or between “amid” and “amidst”. As with "whilst", "amongst" is: chiefly British "while using whilst runs the risk of sounding pretentious, it can sometimes add a literary or ironically formal note to a piece of writing" [American Heritage Guide] "The general consensus among scholars of English ...


14

In general the suffix "-ee" is productive, and usually has the meaning of "person to which xxx is done" - I find "dragee" a little strange because it is not a person. But beware: there are a few words where the "-ee" denotes the person who does rather than the person who is done to. A prominent example is "attendee", but also "returnee". I think this use ...


14

The different spelling of 'supersede' is appropriate because it is not derived from the same source as the others. Supersede is derived from super (over) + sedere (to sit). Proceed is derived from pro (forward) + cedere (to go). Here is a comment from the Oxford dictionary on the spelling confusion of supersede: The standard spelling is supersede ...


14

Etymonline to the rescue: -rama noun suffix meaning "spectacular display or instance of," 1824, abstracted from panorama, ultimately from Greek horama [ὅραμα] "sight."


14

This is a great example of a back-formation: a word is treated as if it were composed of prefixes or suffixes, then taken apart (incorrectly) and remixed to form new words. Another famous example is cheeseburger. The ‑burger suffix is incorrectly taken from hamburger, which is a dish from Hamburg, not a burger made from ham. Watergate was a big enough ...


14

A masseuse is a female person who gives massages (the male is masseur). The origin of the term is French. Massage therapist usually implies that the person has undergone some special training in the use of massage to alleviate medical conditions. They are typically licensed or certified in some manner. A massager is a device that massages. If you google ...


13

-Intensive would be one of those. The pertinent definition, according to the Oxford Dictionaries is concentrating on or making much use of a specified thing Thus, labor-intensive, cost-intensive, etc. I'm not sure this would work for patience, though!


13

I suspect because the phrase was only needed for women and widower is a much later literary invention. Widow had a lot of legal implications for property, titles and so on — if the survivor was a woman these got complicated before women had as many rights. If the survivor was a man in the middle ages it didn't really make much difference — he ...


13

To be more precise, the English word Eleusinian can be traced to the ancient Greek Ἐλευσίς (Elefsis, eu is read as fin Greek) which becomes Ἐλευσῖνος (Elefsinos) in the genitive and provides the -in- in Eleusinian. Ἐλευσίς is a place name (Ελευσίνα, pronounced Elefsina, in modern Greek) and since the mysteries are the mysteries of Eleusis, in Greek the ...



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