What is the origin and meaning of the acle ending in words like oracle, debacle, tabernacle, miracle, spectacle. Or are there more than one explanation/meaning here?

  • 3
    Even ODO gives brief etymologies. The Latin suffix -aculum indicates a diminutive.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


Most of them seem to get their -acle suffix from the Latin -culum suffix, which sounds reasonable.

This is not always true, however, if you look at coracle or barnacle for instance.

(You can check the other examples on the same site as well.)

  • Another small counterexample: treacle
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 11:32

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