Where does the suffix -tine come from? For e.g., Ovaltine, Creatine, etc. all have a -tine suffix. What is the meaning connoted to the noun attached?

  • Check this out english.stackexchange.com/questions/80428/… Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:34
  • @AndersonSilva that's a different -ine from Latin -ina rather than Latin -inus.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:37
  • 2
    I don't consider this question a dupe. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:45
  • Is this a topical question because Valentine's Day is coming soon?
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:58
  • Easily answered by Googling etymology creatine.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 1:28

2 Answers 2


It's not -tine, but rather -ine, from the Latin -inus, in turn from the Greek -inos, meaning "of", "pertaining to", "made from" or "similar to".

Ovaltine < Ovomaltine < Ovo (Latin: egg) + malt + -ine.

Creatine < kreat- (Greek: stem of kreas) + -ine.


While Ovaltine is a brand (with an interesting history) of health drink, the supplement Creatine, technically isn't in itself a brand. It's the name of an amino acid which can help build muscle-mass. Furthermore, proteins are made up of combinations of amino acids. All these -tines and -ines lend an air of scientific reliability to brand names which like to tack them on at the end. That said, a number of these products do tend to be health-oriented and often actually are full of protein.

Etymonline provides the following explanation for the -ine suffix often seen in Chemistry:

chemical suffix, sometimes -in, though modern use distinguishes them; early 19c., from French -ine, from Latin -ina, fem. form of suffix used to form adjectives from nouns. In French commonly used to form words for derived substances, hence its extended use in chemistry.

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