Questions tagged [derivation]

The relation of a word to its base. e.g. happiness and unhappy from happy (in contrast to the process of inflection). Ascertaining or stating the derivation of a word. The source, origin, descent or origination. Similar to Etymology.

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What is the correct term for all the forms and derivatives of a root word?

I want to make a comprehensive word list, and I want to refer to that list using the accurate terminology. In my list I want all the forms, extensions, derivatives, etc of each word. I am using the ...
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What is the meaning and derivation of 'cowp'?

I just received an email from Scotland with the word 'cowp' in it. I had a vague recollection from my own Scottish background of such a word but could not remember what it meant. The OED has only this ...
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Reason for pronunciation differences between different meanings of offense

At least in American English, the word offense has two different pronunciations used for two different meanings: I took offense at his joke The team's offense is quite good How did this ...
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Outwardly beauty or outward beauty?

Which one is more grammatically correct? In my opinion, "outwardly beauty" sounds better but I wanted to be sure it's grammatically correct. If neither is correct, what is alternative? I ...
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Does 'skittish' derive from the noun 'skite'?

A skittish pony is one that is characterised by unpredictable, unstable behaviour, usually because of nervousness. A skittish investor is one that is over-cautious or who quickly pulls out of a trade ...
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Morphology, conversion type confusion! [closed]

I am currently doing an assignment. I am having difficulty understanding this phenomenon. If the verb "taking" is in a passage would it be considered a conversion process, as "taking" can also be a ...
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Single word for object that is addictive

I am looking for a single word that can be said in replacement of the activity, substance, etc. that an addict is addicted to. eg: In the case that someone is addicted to smoking cigarettes, what ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Derivation of "inside address" recipient of a letter

Does anybody know the derivation of the word "inside address" as a part of a business letter also called recipient-address ?
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How is "caballito blanco" expressed in English?

Imagine the situation in which a small child participates in a game with teens or adults. Perhaps the child doesn't know or can't follow all the rules strictly. Or in sports, this child has physical ...
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What is the adjective formed from 'physics'?

As you know, the noun 'biology' forms the adjective 'biological', and 'chemistry' forms 'chemical'. What is the adjective formed from the noun 'physics'? (It can't be physical, as this has other ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Technical term for the Noun version of an Adjective and vice versa?

Given (as an example) an adjective form "liable" and the noun form "liability" what is the technical term (if any) that describes the relationships mapping one to the other? Here are some other ...
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One espresso, or two espressi? A double espresso or two espressos? What's the plural of espresso? [closed]

What is the plural of "Espresso"? Some places, especially in Europe spell it "Espressi", some ask for two espresso's. It seems that in Italy, the masculine plural of a noun generally does end with -...
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Does English allow "assemblable" to be created from "assemble"?

I need to convey the idea "able to be assembled," but I'm limited on space so I neeed something shorter than this phrase. Would "assemblable" be correct? Do the grammar rules of English permit me to ...
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What do you call someone being baptised/christened?

The ritual of baptism or christening is common throughout Christian societies, and similar rituals are common in other societies.1 A typical baptistening (I just made that up—easier to write than ...
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6 votes
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What is the etymology of "dwanky?"

Dwanky or Dwankie - someone or something that is lame, stupid, uncool, or generally undesirable. Generally used as an insult or in a derogatory way. Zef slang. Can be used as both a noun: "Look at ...
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How to pronounce "undoes"?

How should "undoes" be pronounced in the following sentence? The git revert command undoes a committed snapshot. Should it be pronounced as "un + does" (/ʌn'dʌz/) or as "undo + es" (ʌn'duːz)? I ...
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Courage vs. Courageousness [closed]

Courage is "the ability to do something that frightens one" (New Oxford American Dictionary). Courageousness is also a word in the dictionary. Do they mean the same thing, and if so, how did "...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Name for person who uses epanorthosis

How would you from the noun epanorthosis derive a name describing a person who frequently uses this rhetorical tactic? An epanorthocian? Eparnorcian? Epanorthologist? Epanorthic? Something else? The ...
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15 votes
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Adjective for 'shite'

The adjective for 'shit' is 'shitty'. And is there no different adjective for the British word 'shite'?
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What is the derivation of the term 'potato ricer'

On the face of it a potato ricer ("masher") has nothing at all to do with rice!
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4 answers
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What is the adjectival form of "place"? [closed]

Space is to spatial as place is to what adjective?
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Is there a verb that means “to make poor”? [closed]

Is there a verb that means to make poor, such as a derivative form of the adjective poor? If not, what would be its best alternative?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Derivatives of "ea" in the sense of "river"?

"Ea" is a largely archaic word still used in some dialects to mean a river or watercourse. The Online Etymology Dictionary mentions "ealand" as a term formerly used to mean a watery place or meadow ...
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What is the origin of the phrase "grease the skids"?

What is the origin or derivation of the phrase "greasing the skids?" The phrase connotes preparation, in such a way as to make the subsequent activities easier. Definitions are available various ...
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Why are surnames often misspellings of English words? [duplicate]

Why do English surnames so often seem to be derived from slight misspellings of common English words? Weekes Thorne Browne Lilley Keene Paige Lowe Hooke Hawthorne Sargent Whyte Chappell Horne ad ...
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Looking for a collection of alternate words - not a thesaurus

I'm looking for a database of alternate words, not like a thesarus, but as they're listed in a dictionary. E.G. not "terrible" => "bad, awful" etc but "terrible" => "terribly". Is there a specific ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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What is the nominal form of the verb "to give"?

Normally one can add -tion or -ation to a verb to make it nominal, but that nominalization doesn't work for "give". Is there a nominalized form of "to give"? If not, is there a word that could serve ...
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Should the game of 'rugby' be given a capital letter? [closed]

Whenever I write 'rugby', I always want to capitalise the R, since the name originates from Rugby School in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire. Does anyone else still adhere to a policy of capitalising ...
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Does "-able" have an imperative meaning?

In a question on SO I ran into a question about the meaning of word "closeable". As far as I know (and my teachers taught me so) it has two meanings: possible to close should be closed The ...
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What is the source of the phrase "phony baloney"?

The term baloney means Foolish or deceptive talk; nonsense: typical salesman’s baloney [corruption of bologna] [Oxford Dictionaries Online] Etymonline provides the following derivation ...
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Highlit vs Highlighted, Lit vs Lighted

Most dictionaries seem to indicate that highlighted is the past tense for highlight, rather than highlit. However, we use lit as the past tense for light without reservation, with lighted appearing ...
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"Exigent" derivation

I'm working through a book in which I'm to define words using their prefixes, suffixes, and roots, and I ran across "exigent." adjective \ˈek-sə-jənt\ : requiring immediate attention : needing ...
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Suppose that one were to concatenate *-ology* and *science* to derive a new word, what rules would determine its spelling?

I've asked this specific question as a means to learning about the rules that determine, or patterns that describe, the spellings of derived words. Suppose that someone were to concatenate -ology ...
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early on, later on - How to explain "on"?

I have been thinking about these adverbials for a long time to understand this connection of "early/later" with "on". These adverbials are used for introducing a sentence or they are placed at the end....
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5 votes
6 answers
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Single-word verb for "to keep private/confidential"

What would be a single-word verb for 'to keep private/confidential'? My first thought was the verb "to privatise" but it doesn't connote this.
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14 votes
3 answers
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Term for words like Snowmageddon, Nipplegate and even cheeseburger?

Is there a term for words like Snowmageddon, Nipplegate and even cheeseburger? I know they're portmanteaus (or portmanteaux), but they seem to belong to a special class of portmanteau. In the title ...
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Are "adult" and "adulterate" cognates?

The word adult appear to have derived from the Latin term adultus, meaning grown up, mature, adult, ripe. Adulterate (and its cognate adultery) is reported to derive from the Latin adulterare - to ...
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3 votes
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Can "-ness" be added to any adjective?

My friend and I have recently engaged in a little argument. It came about when he used the word "suaveness" and I argued that it wasn't a word. While I will concede he was right in this example, he ...
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What's the adjective of "conspectus"?

This is a well-written conspectus for a project. Since it's very well written, it makes the project ?conspectible. Apparently, conspectible is not recognized by the dictionaries I've checked. ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Why don't "-use" verb-noun pairs obey initial stress derivation?

It's well known (and several past questions on this SE have covered) that to convert a two-syllable Latin-derived English verb into a noun, you shift the stress to the first syllable. This is ...
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Is "recyclist" a word?

If you are a person who avidly recycles, are you a recyclist?
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Can I conjugate "acyclic" as "acycle"

I was thinking about the word "acyclic" meaning not having or containing a cycle. Then I thought of the word "bicycle" and wondered if it made sense to call something that an "acycle". As an example I ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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"-ee" and "-er" word endings

There are a few examples of pairs of words ending with -ee/-er like employee and employer or advisee and adviser. What I was curious about is if there was any rule that would describe the relationship ...
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Diaconate vs. Deacon

A plurality of deacons is called a diaconate. What is the reason for this vowel change ("e" to "i") for these words? Are there any other words that illustrate this?
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