Among tons of "adj.+noun" compound adjectives, some of them end with "-ed", e.g. open-minded, double-sided, big-headed, some without, e.g. present-day, rear-view, deep-sea. I've also seen the usage of both cross-eye and cross-eyed. Is there any rule for forming these kind of adjectives? If not, does that mean when we want to create a new one, we can go either way?


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    The final /d/, like any final stop consonant, tends to get lost in speech whenever it comes before another consonant; and that's been true for millennia because we're still using the same vocal muscles. So what happens is that any fixed phrase like soft-shelled crab, which is officially sposta be pronounced /'sɔftʃɛld'kræb/, is actually pronounced /'sɔfʃɛl'kræb/ (because the /ftʃ/ cluster is simplified to /fʃ/ and /ldkr/ to /lkr/), and is often spelled soft-shell crab in consequence. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:22
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    The ones with -ed are not "adj.+noun". They're "adj.+adj".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


You seem to be of the opinion that one can create new words (or at least new compounds) at will. While nonce words can be amusing and even useful, even I would advise caution here.

The compound adjectives ending in -ed forms (A-Bed) are usually semantically of the form 'having an A type of B' or 'Bed in an A way' or 'having B in an A way', where A itself is an adjective.

'A present sort of day' or 'Dayed in a present way' etc obviously do not fit into this form.

I'd say 'having eyes in a cross-configuration' is just about borderline.

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