In the context of neologisms and/or teenspeak: e.g. soon-ish, tumblr-y

  • '-ish' and '-y' are new and strange sounding because they take one part of speech to another different from usual. '-ish' usually goes from adejective to adjective but this is from adverb to adjective, and and '-y' from adjective to adverb but this is from noun or verb to adjective.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 10:57
  • They are sometimes used to add comedic value to a sentence. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 11:34
  • 1
    Related: What is the difference between the suffixes -ize and -ify; see in particular the reference to "Word Formation in English" (Cambridge Press), which is a good resource and reference for this kind of question. Page 94 partially answers this question.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


They may be considered approximator-characterizer suffixes and the morpheme from a-c-ization an "acization" (placeholder, temporarylogism). Though neither -ish nor, especially, -y is new (/place/-ish = of /place/'s character or origin: British ), newer uses (from hungry-ish right down to sortof-ish) appear weirder.

  • Waiting for word y. Ish is already a word.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 12:36

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