A google search made me realize that the the agent noun of mirror doesn't exist. What would such a word be if it did?

My best guess would be mirroror following the word mirroring and using the agent noun suffix for laten verbs.

edit: The word I'm looking for would be used to refer to a person who mirrors others in speech and action.

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    Like mirrorer? – Laurel Feb 21 '20 at 12:21
  • @Laurel Not quite. The word I'm looking for would be used to refer to a person who mirrors others in speech and action. If that definition of mirrorer is used enough, then perhaps an agent noun of mirror cannot exist. In any case, thanks for sharing it here! – Tenders McChiken Feb 21 '20 at 13:47
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    @TendersMcChiken Can you update/edit your question to reflect what's in your comment? (The OP should be self-contained) – Mitch Feb 21 '20 at 14:49
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    Note that *mirrorer is out from a surfeit of R's. But -ist is an acceptable alternate. There is no word that I know for someone with that interesting talent, but if one needed one, in context, mirrorist might do. – John Lawler Feb 21 '20 at 15:42
  • "mirror" is commonly used for something that mirrors, not just in the sense of a looking-glass but very commonly in IT (a server/file/databse which acts as a copy of another). Using it in other senses of the verb mirror would be justified. – Stuart F Feb 5 at 15:55

Mirrorer does exist, it is just very rare, and possibly not found in any dictionaries. But here are three examples from Google Books of it being used (bolding added by me):

  • Remember the mirroring experiment in Chapter 11? When you mirror someone else's physiology, you're able to experience not only the same state, but also the same sorts of internal experiences and even the same thoughts. Now, what if you could do that in everyday life? What if you became such a skillful mirrorer you could know what someone else was thinking?

    (Unlimited Power: a Black Choice, by Anthony Robbins and Joseph McClendon III (1997), p. 264)

  • Should you, on the other hand, unearth a bad comedian who manifests a mad, passionate desire to mirror your movement, there is at least one terrible revenge. Encourage the mirrorer (you're, presumably, the mirroree) to duplicate one simple movement.

    (Street Mime, by James W. Gousseff (1993), page 21)

  • The method involves the endless search for perfect mirroring or for the perfect mirrorer--in other words, the idealized, perfect object.

    ("Introduction to the Disorders of the Self", by Ralph Klein, p. 42; in Psychotherapy of the Disorders of the Self, pp. 30-46; edited by James F. Masterson and Ralph Klein (1989))

The pronunciation is obviously awkward, but that didn't prevent these authors from using it when they needed a word meaning "someone who mirrors/is mirroring".

The spelling "mirroror" is not a Latinate form, and I don't think it's as likely as the spelling "mirrorer"

I think that the form "mirrorer" is both more likely and more preferable than the form "mirroror". As I explain in my answer to the question that you linked to, "-or" is not just a suffix used on verbs of any form that in some way come from Latin. In Latin, the agent noun suffix was really "-tor" or "-sor", so agent nouns in "-or" that come from Latin generally only exist for verbs that end in "t" (actor), "s" (suppressor) or "se" (supervisor). There are also some -tor and -sor agent nouns that are not actually attested in Latin, but that look like possible Latin agent noun forms.

Mirroror does not look like a Latin agent noun form. The verb "mirror" does not end in "t" or "s". It is an English "verbing" of a French noun. The French noun actually already ended in the French agent suffix "(e)or" (a suffix that was derived from Latin "tor" with weakening of the consonant "t"). Since the word mirror is neither Latin nor a verb in form, it can't really take a Latin agent noun suffix.

There is an English agent noun suffix -or, derived from the French suffix (e)or mentioned above. This -or suffix is found in words like sailor and settlor, but it is less usual and less productive as a means of forming new agent nouns than the suffix -er.

"mirrorizer" would be the agent noun of the verb "mirrorize", not of the verb "mirror"

The form "mirrorizer" doesn't look impossible to me, but it would not be an agent noun corresponding to the verb "mirror". It corresponds to the alternative verb "mirrorize."

  • Non-standard usages are not recommended by / on ELU. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 21 '20 at 20:01
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    @EdwinAshworth: What do you mean by that? I can't figure out how it would be possible to reach an objective determination of whether "rare" = "non-standard" for a word like this. Dictionaries are not capable of giving an exhaustive list of "standard" English; modern lexicographers do not even attempt such a task. I think it's better to report objective data like citations or information about the frequency of a form (very low, in this case) than to give opinion-based judgments about whether a word not found in dictionaries is "standard" or "non-standard". – herisson Feb 21 '20 at 20:04
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    @EdwinAshworth Is that possibly why you down-voted my answer when it originally had 2 votes? Where did this imaginary rule come from: english.stackexchange.com/questions/449476/…. This question is a non-standard usage that is on ELU. – Jay Feb 21 '20 at 20:08
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    @EdwinAshworth: It's an odd definition of "wordness" that doesn't acknowledge the evidence of an author using a word-form multiple times as proof that the form exists as a word for that author. There is a difference between well-established words and new words formed by productive morphological processes; that doesn't mean that the second kind are merely "candidate words" until they become widespread or until lexicographers make note of them. (Consider that processes of word formation are something linguists study and are clearly within the scope of this site.) – herisson Feb 21 '20 at 20:09
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    [...] Another example of a non-standard question on EL&U: english.stackexchange.com/questions/247865/… – Jay Feb 21 '20 at 20:15

What is an agent noun?

Agents generally have the endings “-er” or “-or.” These suffixes, when added to a root word, mean someone who does something.


Not quite. The word I'm looking for would be used to refer to a person who mirrors others in speech and action. If that definition of mirrorer is used enough, then perhaps an agent noun of mirror cannot exist. In any case, thanks for sharing it here!


I think you mean “mirrorizer” but it’s not an actual word as far as I’m aware that’s in a dictionary. It’s from the verb mirrorize (obsolete; rare according to OED) + the ending -er (where the extra e is dropped).

enter image description here

It’s the same with other agent nouns that end with e for example:

hypnotize + er = hypnotizer


mesmerize + er = mesmerizer


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    Can you update/edit your answer to emphasize that your official answer is 'mirrorizer'? It was very hard to find that with all the rest of the stuff you gave. – Mitch Feb 21 '20 at 14:50
  • Thanks @Mitch. I have tried to write it in a simple manner and in a consecutive order. Is that more clearer now? – Jay Feb 21 '20 at 14:55
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    Jay, yes that's clear now. It doesn't sound like a dictionary word, but there are lots of possible words that have never been uttered that follow the rules of word formation, and that should be OK. – Mitch Feb 21 '20 at 16:09
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    @Jay Seeing that both words are equally nonexistent, would you please expand further on why "mirrorizer" should be preferred over "mirrorer"? – Tenders McChiken Feb 22 '20 at 6:49
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    @TendersMcChiken because the verb mirorize was the verb you were looking for according to your comment, and its definition in the OED is to represent accurately (“mirrors speech and action”). And so mirrorizer would be the correct inflection for the appropriate verb chosen. – Jay Feb 22 '20 at 15:07

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