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Questions tagged [suffixes]

A suffix is an element of a language that is added to the end of a word. E.g. -ly is a suffix often found at the end of adverbs: really, quickly, happily, strangely, etc., -d/-ed is a suffix often found at the end of a verb to denote the simple past: used, bruised, grazed, heated, etc.

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What do you call somebody who belongs to a sector?

Sectors could be any of the following: alpha, beta, gamma sector fourth, fifth sector on a CD track Do I say: sectorian (Christian) sectrant (celebrant, immigrant) sectorese (Japanese) sectoran (...
Aj Godinez's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Origin of suffix name

I always have difficulty to remember the meaning of suffix (end part of a word), in the context of a word. So, I looked for the origin of the word suffix, but to be honest I don't understand it: What ...
joan's user avatar
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18 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why do people say 'topless' but not 'topful'?

Say you want to wear a shirt: it would be odd to say, "I'm going topful". Is the reason due to topless being more out of the norm, and thus requiring a term? Maybe in places where not ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
242 views

What's the difference between the "-teer" and "-ter" suffix?

RackeTEER, but not rackeTER PuppeTEER, but not puppeTER PrivaTEER, but not privaTER Related: in my industry, we see both "marketer" and "marketeer." Why? Is it just stylistic? Is ...
Deane's user avatar
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27 votes
3 answers
7k views

How did "oxen" (plural of "ox") survive as the only plural form with the Old English plural ending -en?

Oxen is a rare exception in English where it is the only common English word that retains the original Old English plural ending -en. (Note: Children and brethren are formed a bit differently, please ...
ermanen's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
202 views

What's up with -ly-based: -based as a suffix on non-nouns

I have always thought that the English "-based" suffix (plant-based diet, English-based creole languages, etc.) worked only on nouns. Adjectives, e.g. "large-based" or "sweet-...
tomsmeding's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

Are the last two digits in an inventory suffix number? [closed]

I am an artist and I use inventory numbers to track my work. An example of an inventory number would be 2012.035.17.24.07. The last 2 numbers indicate the the type of work it is. 07 indicates paper, ...
Sam Still's user avatar
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258 views

In English, is there a suffix to indicate abundance, big size, or intensity?

In Spanish there is a suffix, -udo, that's used for "in adjectives derived from nouns, it indicates abundance, big size, or intensity of the meaning of the root." Is there something like ...
Pablo's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
137 views

Is there a -graphy term for an actor's television work?

Bands and solo singers have discographies, (film) actors have filmographies, and so forth. Is there a similar term for television? I've come across "televisiography", but the article's ...
Barry's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
648 views

Word-part meaning/origin of "-cock", as in "shuttlecock", "ballcock", and "sillcock"

Okay, apart from the American slang term, or the reference to a male chicken, what is the meaning of the syllable "cock"? For example, shuttlecock ... in badminton. Or, as I'm doing ...
eidylon's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why do we have both “marinate” and “marinade”?

I know marinade is the substance and marinate is the action, but why do we have both? I can’t think of any other verb-noun pairings that change that consonant. Merriam-Webster says the verb marinade ...
DoctorOptimist's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is -ist a gender-neutral ending?

A person who does mathematics is a mathematician. I assume that this is a gender-neutral term. Are words ending with "-ist" gender-neutral? (typist, type theorist, and so on) Or should I ...
Nico's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
762 views

Is suffix -red still active in word formation?

Etymonline defines the suffix -red as a: word-forming element meaning "condition or state of," Middle English, from Old English -rede, from ræden "condition, rule, reckoning," a ...
user 66974's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is there some useful rule of thumb to distinguish words with the suffix -ence from those with -ense?

There are about ten times as many words ending in -ence than in -ense, so there's one simple rule of thumb to distinguish them: When in doubt, go with -ence. But is there any sort of rule besides ...
Scott Sauyet's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
215 views

Why does the suffix “able” sometimes have the meaning of obligation in words such as payable or answerable?

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the meanings of responsible, answerable, and payable are responsible: liable to be called on to answer answerable: liable to be called to account ...
Aki's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
441 views

Why do some fetishes use the suffix -philia, but others have -lagnia?

I was interested to learn that hemophilia does not refer to the sexual fetish for blood, but a desiese. The fetish is called hemeotolagnia. This has me wondering, why do most words that refer to ...
Tessa Painter's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
700 views

What is the ‘‑ht vs ‑th’ grammar or spelling rule? [duplicate]

Some words end with ‑th while others end with ‑ht. For example: Height, weight, thought, drought, sleight, sight all end with ‑ht. Length, width, breadth, depth, wealth, girth, dearth all end with ‑...
Jeremaih Celestin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
69 views

How are attributive suffixes like "-ean" in "Shakespearean" created?

Words like: Orwellian, Socratic, Shakespearean, Marxist, elephantine are all adjectives that mean "relating to or characteristic of root noun", but the derivational suffixes applied to the ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do 'exogenous' and 'exogenetic' mean the same thing?

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva used a word I had never heard before when she stated, of the UK : The announced fiscal plan navigates well the difficult tradeoff between fighting inflation ...
Nigel J's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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Why is "i" before a -tion suffix pronounced like a short vowel even though it's an open syllable?

I'm an elementary teacher and my students are learning syllable division. We noticed that before the suffix -tion, the "i" is always a short sound, despite being an open syllable. All the ...
alpackie's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Why do some words have suffixes -ic and -ical and how are they different? [duplicate]

At the moment I am thinking of the word historic vs. historical. Fantastic and fantastical are another set. When is it appropriate to use each word, and why doesn't the suffix -ical exist with words ...
Jason P Sallinger's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Why does racism drop the 'e' but ageism retains it?

Other examples include elitism, ableism, and wokeism, although the latter neologism seems to have a lively minor variant: wokism. It is difficult for me to see any rational basis for including or ...
Just_Wondering's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
274 views

Why "coercion" and not "coertion" or "coersion"?

Usually, nouns coming from verbs end in the suffixes -tion or -sion. After -n and -r, the ending can be -tion or -sion. It's more likely to be -tion if the word's related to another one that ends in -...
fev's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
157 views

Does the spelling of suffixes change in some cases like prefixes?

I know that prefixes never change the spelling of the stem. However, their spelling changes in some cases. For example: well+come = welcome (not wellcome) all+ways = always (not allways) in+regular =...
Alim Karaçay's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
189 views

What could possibly cause the stress shift in adverbs ending in -arily compared to adjectives ending in -ary?

While adjectives ending in -ary (British English /əri/, American English /eri/) never have stress on the second last syllable (the /e/ in AmE, and obviously the /ə/ in BrE), their derivative adverbs ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
234 views

What is the "-sie" suffix meaning?

While playing Thief: The Dark Project, I noticed the use of the suffix "-sie" in some words, for example: woodsie, goodsie, treesie, etc. I struggled to find an explanation for this and ...
Rick Stanley's user avatar
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0 answers
80 views

If I'm ranting I'm the ranter. So is the subject of said rant the rantee? Or the person hearing it? What's the other called, then?

...and do they have a suffix of their own? Cambridge says "-er" is "added to [...] verbs to form nouns that refer to people or things that [do/are performing] that particular activity&...
NerdyDeeds's user avatar
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2 answers
36 views

Have I constructed & used "exoplanetship" correctly? If not, what word could be constructed to address the planetary status of an observed phenomenon? [closed]

In this Astronomy SE answer to Is one transit enough to be confident that we detected an exoplanet I wrote: See the excellent answers there to get a better idea of the great extent to which the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
169 views

Why is "taxa" the plural form of "taxon"?

According to Wikipedia, taxon is a back-formation from taxonomy, meaning that the n in the taxon comes from the suffix nomy, so why the heck is the plural of taxon -- taxa? Are scientists thinking ...
waterlemon's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
858 views

Suffix: must be X

Is there a suffix (or any other construct) that I can use with a base to express that this must (or is meant to) happen? For example, instead of: This car must be recalled use: This car is recall&...
George Menoutis's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
250 views

Simplification of 'ou' in suffixes of American words which differ from British version

As mentioned in other posts (like here), words which contain an 'ou' in their British spelling are typically spelled with an 'o' in the American equivalent. I'm interested in the reasoning and ...
maccaroo's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
382 views

Suffix in adverbs: The use of the term 'normally distributed' in place of 'normal distributed'

When a word is used as an adverb then it is normally combined with a suffix like "-ly" or "-ian". Like 'normal' becomes 'normally' and the previous sentence is an example of its ...
Sextus Empiricus's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
147 views

What do you call the construction noun + "-ed" which, like an adjective, can modify another noun? [closed]

There are some words that appear to be adjectives formed from nouns inflected with something that looks like the past participle ending "-ed". Some of these are preceded (hyphenated in my ...
Carl's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

-ed suffix in compounds [closed]

I read somewhere in a book on morphology that -ed suffix in compounds conveys the notion of having something, therefore "a one-armed man" means " a man having one arm", so i was ...
Antichrist's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
328 views

Suffixes that are words: why aren't they considered compounds?

There are some common suffixes, -less, -able, -full, and -wise, that are also full words on their own. Why isn't adding these words on considered compound words instead of suffixes? Or to say it ...
Ferhad's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
43 views

How does the noun cause the suffix of compound adjectives to change?

I'm comparing the names of bird species with similar compound adjectives. In some cases, the first word of the compound adjective changes with different nouns. Some examples: Silver-throated Tanager ...
willbattel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
183 views

Where did the word red-tapism come from?

What is the origin of the word red-tapism? And what does it actually mean? Lexico says it first appeared in the mid-19th century in the Cobbett's Weekly Political Register, a London paper. Searching ...
Firdous Mala's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
615 views

Looking for a suffix to denote paraphernalia associated with a person

Can someone help me identify the below-described suffix. I feel I've seen it before, but I can't bring it to mind or locate it through my usual methods (i.e., search queries). The suffix is added to ...
cruthers's user avatar
  • 837
-2 votes
1 answer
122 views

Is it correct to call the modifier's value modifiee?

The reason for my question was part of doing documentation for my program. I commented on my For statement since it is an array that has two associated elements. Thus, the comment went on as follows: /...
Albert Banoy's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a semantic difference between ‘without’ and ‘‑less’?

I am trying to decide whether the sentences [X] argues [Y]’s death to be without sin and [X] argues [Y]’s death to be sinless actually carry the same meaning. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘...
Canned Man's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
208 views

Noun form of adjectives ending -ant: -ancy or -ance? [closed]

Adjectives ending -ant seem to have a 50/50 chance of ending -ancy or -ance in noun form. Same goes for -ent adjectives into -ency or -ence nouns. Is there a rule that determines which? Random ...
Sean Eberhard's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
696 views

How common are hypocorisms ending with "s" in female names? (Babs, Bess, Becks...)

My question can be split in two parts: Is this a pattern, how common is it, and how natural does it sound? Is it more specific to feminine names? Here are examples: Barbara - Babs [1] Elizabeth - ...
paperskilltrees's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

What is the opposite of the suffix -cide? [duplicate]

All the words ending with the suffix -cide explain what was killed. Is there a suffix for what did the killing? Killed by hammer, killed by fall, etc.? Thanks.
Dorian's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
1 answer
684 views

Is modern 'five countries' English the only type of English with stress patterns that change across the entire word depending on the suffix?

The capital letters represent where the main stress in each word lies TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic, photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. What about in the past, including ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Rule for suffix to describe where someone is from [duplicate]

Is there a rule or pattern to describe where someone comes from? Some examples of places, with the word to describe people from that place: New York / New Yorker London / Londoner Toronto / ...
FrustratedWithFormsDesigner's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
163 views

Does the suffix -ify have any inherent characteristics of making letters pronounced which would otherwise be silent?

It is quite clear that the word "signify" is derived from sign and the suffix -ify: sign + -ify = signify The letter "g" in the word sign is silent but when the suffix is added, ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
317 views

What suffix rule applies to making rival into rivalrous (i.e., is this legitimate)

I was annoyed to find my neuroscience textbook transforming the noun "rival" into an adjective in ...IT changes systematically when people and animals report switches in rivalrous percepts. ...
Dalton Bentley's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

Is -in' really correct? [duplicate]

I wanted to know if -in' is really correct. Because I couldn't found a single article about the -in' ending. Examples: -ing Running Jumping -in' Runnin' Jumpin'
codiee's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
0 answers
108 views

What is the agent noun for verbs ending in -y? [closed]

What is the correct way of spelling it, and what would the rule be for -y verbs like retry. Is it retryer or retrier? That is, on -y verbs, is the y kept or substituted by i?
Deviluls's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
168 views

Why does “lineage” retain the "e" when the suffix "-age" is added?

"Lineage" (/ˈlɪn·i·ɪdʒ/) is equivalent to "line" + "-age". Other such nouns lose the "e" when this suffix is added: Stem + Suffix = Noun Anecdote + Age = ...
Alexis Nicole Robinson's user avatar

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