I understand there is the plural "suicides," as in "there were 43 suicides", but that doesn't feel quite right for my use-case.

Specifically, I'm having problems with the sentence "Many suicides had healthy long-term relationships before they committed the final self-destructive act." This just doesn't sound right.

But neither does suicidists: "Many suicidists had healthy long-term relationships before they committed the final self-destructive act??!" Blech.

Is "suicides" the correct plural noun for the use-case I am contemplating? What about Nihilists? Self-murderers? While self-murderers could work, it has a negative stigma associated with it, something I want to avoid.

The suffix "-ist" seems like it should/could work:

    • one that performs a (specified) action (cyclist): one that makes or produces a (specified) thing (novelist)
    • one that plays a (specified) musical instrument (harpist)
    • one that operates a (specified) mechanical instrument or contrivance (automobilist)
    • one that specializes in a (specified) art or science or skill (geologist, ventriloquist)
    • one that adheres to or advocates a (specified) doctrine or system or code of behavior (socialist, royalist, hedonist) or that of a (specified) individual (Calvinist, Darwinist)

(source http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-ist)

But "suicidist" doesn't sound or feel right. Suicideers? Suiciders? Suicidelum? Suicidators?

"Suiciders" has potential although it sounds like a slang word.

  • 2
    Many suicide victims had healthy long-term....
    – user66974
    Mar 31 '15 at 22:39
  • 4
    Many of those committing suicide ... Beware the error of assuming that words may be coined at will by following common morphological patterns. The explanation of the meanings -ist nouns exhibit is descriptivist. Mar 31 '15 at 22:49
  • I’ve tried to format your dictionary citation in a way that makes it more readable (the options are somewhat limited with markdown). Please note, though, that you must edit your question to include where you’re quoting from—unreferenced quotes are considered plagiarism on SE sites and will result in the question being deleted. Mar 31 '15 at 23:04
  • suicide victims and victims of suicide and people who commit suicide certainly make the point but I'm hopeful a single word exists. Citation source added.
    – WireNaught
    Mar 31 '15 at 23:59
  • 2
    "Suicide" is the noun for this. It isn't used very often nowadays to refer to people, so it does sound a little odd, but any neologism you invent will sound much worse.
    – herisson
    Apr 1 '15 at 0:26

If you have to use one word, "suicides" is it, but i understand your discomfort with it. It's objectifying.


See 3 here but I would suggest it it more human or caring to call them "people who commit suicide"

  • 1
    I'm not sure about it being more human or caring, but I do think a phrase like this is used more often than just the word "suicide".
    – herisson
    Apr 1 '15 at 0:24

Would "victims of suicide" be suitable?

  • I don't think so, as the "victim" is also the perpetrator. Apr 1 '15 at 9:37
  • 1
    I think in most cases, the victim is too emotionally distraught to qualify as a perpetrator.
    – Malvolio
    Apr 1 '15 at 15:17

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