What is the name for that type of word that modifies a noun or verb with an ending to denote someone who is associated with the word stem?

I'm thinking of words like:

  • engineer, farmer (ending = "eer", "er")
  • Ohioan (ending = "an")
  • Michigander, New Yorker (ending = "der", "er")
  • Seattleite (ending = "ite", "lite")

Particularly, I'm interested in what you call it when you coin a new such word by adding an ending. For example, Disney's "imagineer". And I'd love to see a compendium of such words that have this property.

  • 2
    I don't know the answer to your question but thought it might be worth pointing out that "imagineer" isn't really so much a combination of an existing word with a suffix as it is a portmanteau word combining the beginning of "imagine" with the end of "engineer." Perhaps some of the other neologisms you have in mind are also portmanteau words? – Nanigashi May 14 '19 at 19:56

Words such as "farmer" are agent nouns.

Words such as "Bostonian" are demonyms.


Looks like "derivation" to me, a kind of word formation process. This paper has a good list of the different kinds of affixes that can be added to words in English (as well as Albanian, which might be less relevant to you)

The Enrichment of the Vocabulary through Word Formation Processes in both English and Albanian Languages

Particularly page 277 and 278 might be what you're looking for.

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