What is the name of the term for when someone transforms a noun into an adjective by appending -esque or -ish to the end of the noun? I see this in cases where an appropriate adjective doesn't readily come to mind or the word itself is somewhat esoteric.

For example, when a colleague was trying to differentiate between the tastes of a food, he said the food tasted "capsaicin-ish" to describe the "piquantness" as opposed to the flavor (spice) or physical temperature (heat) of the dish.

Another example was when a friend had a sore throat, and a deep voice as a result. We noted he sounded very "Batman-esque".

Is there an official term this transform?


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    Are you hoping for a word that specifically means creating the adjectival form by adding either -esque or -ish (and not by adding the more common -y)? – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '16 at 18:08

You are probably looking for macaronic:

  • Of or containing a mixture of vernacular words with Latin words or with vernacular words given Latinate endings: macaronic verse.
  • Of or involving a mixture of two or more languages.

The Free Dictionary

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  • So -esque comes from French, but what language does -ish come from? – w00t May 13 '16 at 9:24
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    @w00t - from German: etymonline.com/index.php?term=-ish – user66974 May 13 '16 at 9:26
  • Aha super interesting! Although I was really hoping for there to be some term like "diminutive form" for it, like "comparative form". A making-vaguer-word. Ish. – w00t May 13 '16 at 9:31

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