The Six-o'clock-in-the-Evening-Enthusiastic-Determined-and-Well-Intentioned-Studier-Until-Midnight is a person with whom you are probably already familiar.

I found this sentence in a book, and I am confused about the combination "six-o'clock-in-the-Evening-Enthusiastic-Determined-and-Well-Intentioned-Studier-Until-Midnight". Is it a compound noun or a compound adjective (like in "He gave me the do-it-yourself look")?

I feel that it tends to describe as an adjective would do, but I know that the only case when we have "the + adjective" alone (without a noun) is when we use it for a general category like "the rich", "the poor", "the old", "the modern"..., which, I guess, is not the case here. So what is it?

2 Answers 2


It's a noun. The root word is "studier", which is a person. All the rest are modifiers of this noun. It's basically turning the noun phrase

studier who is enthusiastic, determined, and well-intentioned from 6pm until midnight

into a compound word.


If it does a noun's job, it's a noun for the day. The examples like "the rich" and "the poor" are nominalized adjectives. The hyphenated construct in the initial example is unquestionably the subject of the sentence ("The ___ is a person"). Yes, it's highly descriptive and includes many adjectives, but one could argue that the noun at the core is "studier."

As long as we're getting up to such hyphenated hijinks, we could conceivably do so with any part of speech.

  • Noun: "Late-Again-Larry is... late. (Again.)"
  • Adjective: "It's a big ball of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff."
  • Verb: "The potato sack race contestants stumble-hopped their way to the finish line."
  • Adverb: "He ran zig-zag across the meadow."

(But... just to confuse matters, consider this:

  • "It's that good-for-nothing son-of-a-gun Gary." (hyphenated adjective followed by hyphenated noun)
  • "Yeah, he's a good-for-nothing." (Now the same phrase that was an adjective is a noun.)

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