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Does the English language have any way to apply the reverse of endearment or diminution to a word - that is, make it sound big, dangerous, ugly, intense? "Pig" turns into "piggy" or "piglet"; "dog" has "doggie" or (recently) "doggo"... Is there (or was there ever) a reverse mechanism?

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  • I guess a dysphemism isn't quite what you're looking for?
    – Stuart F
    Jul 6, 2021 at 16:47
  • There's "[four letter word of choice]load" or "[flwoc]tonne", but I'm struggling to think of any clean examples! Jul 6, 2021 at 17:02
  • @StuartF: Nope, these are separate words, "name-calling", if you please. I'm looking for what Chemomechanics described above. Fantasy themes have "direwolves"; Pokemon have "Something" turning into "Somethingro" into "Somethingore". I'm looking for both a name and/or a proper language mechanism governing those, if there is one. Jul 6, 2021 at 17:31
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    There are languages that have such a suffix. Italian, for example, has a pejorative suffix -accio, which attaches to a noun to make it bad. For example, cagna (female dog) + -accio = cagnaccio (an ugly and/or fierce dog). English doesn't have a straightforward equivalent to this. Jul 6, 2021 at 18:05
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    In casual speech, people will sometimes attach the word "hell" to the front of a noun to say that it's very bad (literally "from hell"). A "hell-child" would be a very badly-behaved child, and "hell week" is used in both American universities for the week before final exams and in the US armed forces for the final week of basic training. "Helldog" does not sound idiomatic, but "hellhound" is regularly used for supernaturally evil dogs in folklore. Jul 7, 2021 at 14:07

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As opposed to -y or -ie, -o is arguably antagonistic or alienating when added as a suffix. Bucko is defined as "a person who is domineering and bullying." Friendo was memorably used by the fearsome hitman Anton Chigurh in the film No Country for Old Men. Hunter Thompson reportedly named the paradigm-breaking "gonzo journalism" after "some Boston word for weird, bizarre." The Wictionary entry contains many negative examples ("uggo, weirdo, wino, cheapo, wacko, psycho, sicko"). When applied to a person, the connotation seems to usually be negative.

On a separate note, -zilla (from Godzilla, connoting aggression and ferocity), -gernaut (from Juggernaut, connoting invincibility and unopposability), -gate (from Watergate, connoting a distasteful scandal), are some more specific suffixes that come to mind (-tacular, etc.), but these are all from existing words, distinct from typical diminutive forms.

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    This is similar to the Spanish usage of final on, which indicates a "big" whatever, such as bocón, comelon, etc. Jul 6, 2021 at 18:15

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