165

billion comes from bi- + million, as it originally meant the product of two millions - in other words, a million million. This usage persists in Europe (see long scale), but in America a billion means a thousand million. (In the long scale this would be called a milliard.) See https://www.etymonline.com/word/billion


129

One is biscuit / biscotti, which literally means "twice cooked". Although the prefix here is "bis", it does start with "bi", so... from Oxford Living Dictionary: Origin Middle English: from Old French bescuit, based on Latin bis ‘twice’ + coctus, past participle of coquere ‘to cook’ (so named because originally biscuits were cooked in a twofold ...


80

The example given by the OP isn't too far off the mark. Rather than bicycle consider the shortened version "bike" where it may be used as part of another word e.g. quad-bike. In this case it is being used to describe a 4 wheeled cycle.


53

Might be a bit of a stretch, but... Bivouac a temporary encampment with few facilities, as used by soldiers, mountaineers, etc verb -acs, -acking or -acked (intr) to make such an encampment Word Origin and History for bivouac n. 1702, from French bivouac (17c.), ultimately from Swiss/Alsatian biwacht "night guard," from bei- "double, additional"...


46

While bigamy technically means the act of taking a second spouse while still legally married to a first (in cultures that enforce marital monogamy), in practice it also refers to people who have a whole series of such fraudulent marriages, a classic example being the sailor with a wife in every port. (The closely related word bigamist is the person who ...


42

The root doesn't matter if it's been reified, contracted, or inflected. That makes it a different word, with different affordances. The opposite of incomplete is complete; i.e, all parts are present. Incomplete means (and meant) that not all parts are present. Complete comes from Latin; it's the past participle of a verb meaning 'fill up, fulfil'. The Latin ...


34

It's not really a question of opinion. Stupider is, as the dictionaries and usage you quote show, entirely grammatical. It is also in rather common use, though less common than more stupid. The main issue here is that words of more than one syllable tend to resist the -er suffix. Wiktionary's entry on the -er suffix says this (emphasis mine): The ...


33

My pet peeve: bimonthly, which means every 2 months, but also every 1/2 a month. The latter meeting your criteria. Edit: I'm relieved that other people find this as odd as me. Yes bimonthly means twice a month and also every 2 months. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/bimonthly/ I suspect this happened because there aren't many things that occur ...


30

If you can forgive the transformation of bi- to ba- over time, a barouche is a luxurious, four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses. The word ultimately comes from Latin birotus (bi- "two" + rotus "wheel"). See articles on the Online Etymology Dictionary and Wikipedia.


28

Is there a -times word for rarely? Geoffery Chaucer certainly thought so when in The Clerk’s Tale he whilom wrote: To that I nevere erst thoughte, streyne me. I me rejoysed of my liberte, That seelde tyme is founde in mariage. Ther I was free, I moot been in servage. As you see, old Chaucer wasn’t much of a speller. 😼 We would ...


24

Not is a negative adverb; no is a negative quantifier; non- is a negative prefix. Since negation is so important, thousands of idioms use each of these, among other negatives. Consequently there are lots of exceptions to the general rules below. Non- is not a word, but a part of another word, usually a descriptive adjective: non-lethal, non-professional, ...


24

Perhaps bifurcation is an example? At least the mathematical sense given in Wiktionary, The change in the qualitative or topological structure of a given family as decribed by bifurcation theory. seems to allow for more general cases than a splitting in two. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about dynamical systems to be sure whether this is a possibility, ...


23

Native speakers often know nothing about the derivation of words they use. Who knew that raccoon was an Algonquin word? Daily or otherwise frequent encounters with the object referred to by the noun probably has a lot to do with the clipping. A person who has nothing to do with robots (who doesn't make them, who doesn't read sci-fi books about them, who ...


21

Take, for example, the word beer. Here we would use the transcription /bɪə/ in Southern Standard British English (SSBE). Notice that this word has two phonemes, the consonant /b/ and the vowel /ɪə/. That vowel—often referred to as the NEAR vowel—is a single vowel. We use two symbols to represent it because this vowel changes quality as we say it....


20

A non-negotiable phonological rule of all standard Englishes inserts a vowel (either /ə/ or /ɪ/, depending on the variety of English) between base-final sibilant consonants and the plural morpheme /z/. The /z/ morpheme remains voiced in this position after a vowel. The sibilant consonants in English are /s, z, ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/ Therefore for the following ...


17

"Bicarbonate" and "bisulfate", maybe; these are (in chemistry) older, discouraged (but still in somewhat common use, especially "bicarbonate") names for the hydrogencarbonate and hydrogensulfate anions, respectively. The "bi" originally came from the observation that a hydrogencarbonate or hydrogensulfate salt has twice as much carbonate or sulfate per ...


17

It ends in ‑er because it mostly started out that way, and that aspect of it did not change. The OED says that this word was initially a direct borrowing from French, and that its etymon was the Norman French word praere. They attest an incredible number of variant spellings for this word in Middle English. Just take a gander at how many different ...


16

"Stupider," like "ain't," is often thought to be not a word. It has all the things you would expect of a word. It has a meaning we can all agree on. It appears in dictionaries (so you can find out what it means if you don't know). But it isn't given the recognition of a word, even by many people who use it. This is a cultural phenomenon, and it's best in ...


15

Binary seems like a good fit for OP's conditions. Computers. binary code. Computers. an executable file stored in binary format. The use of "binary" in computer science originally meant a stream of instructions entered as base-2 integers, 1 or 0, on or off. Think punch cards: hole or no hole. However, these days one would struggle to find any ...


13

verb + -ing is called a gerund: As applied to English, it refers to the -ing form of a verb when it is used, as a verb, to form a noun phrase (for example, the verb learning in the sentence "Learning English is an easy process for some") These are not verbs; they are nouns. You can't say "I Googling the definition" or "You should Googling it." It is a ...


13

Courtesy of @DanBron, here's what it says in Word Formation in English, with interpolated translations: -ify This suffix attaches to three kinds of base word: 1. monosyllabic words 2. words stressed on the final syllable 3. words stressed on the next-to-last syllable that end in unstressed /i/ Neologisms usually do not show stress shift, ...


12

The best rule I've found? If you can change the word to have "ion" at the end, it is OR. If you can't, it's ER. TeachER (can not be teachion) ConductOR (conduction) ProfessOR (profession) I can't really think of any ER's sorry!


12

The 's' wasn't added; for some uses of the word anyways, it has always had an 's' on it. The OED calls it an adverbial genitive. The adverbial genitive was a grammatical form in Middle English; to summarize, 's' was sometimes added to the end of a word to show that it was an adverb. We don't do that anymore, but some adverbs have 's' on their ends as a ...


12

I've several times heard the word bilingual used to mean "Spanish- and English-speaking," without regard to how many other languages a person may know. For example, a person who knows Spanish, English and French would still count as "bilingual" in this usage. We need a bilingual secretary. Are you bilingual? In both cases, English-speaking is assumed, ...


10

According to Liddell & Scott, An Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon (1889), the root word κρατος (kratos) in ancient Greek meant "strength, might"—and more generally, "power" or "rule, sway, sovereignty." The same lexicon reports that αρχη (arche) meant "a beginning, origin, first cause," but also "the first ...


10

In both Southern Standard British English and General American, there is indeed a phonological generalisation that can be made such that adjectives ending in /ŋ/ have comparative forms ending in /gə/ (or /gər/ in Gen Am). The phoneme /ŋ/ in English is phonologically interesting in its own right. For a start in English there are no words that begin with ...


10

Another potential contender can be bipolar bipolar [adjective] (of psychiatric illness) characterized by both manic and depressive episodes, or manic ones only. (of a person) suffering from bipolar disorder. source: ODO From Royal College of Psychiatrists: Bipolar I If you have had at least one high or manic episode, which has lasted for longer than ...


10

Another possible word could be bicarbonate. Bicarbonate does not mean two carbonates, but rather hydrogenated carbonate. The carbonate ion is CO32-, while the bicarbonate ion is HCO3- Wikipedia mentions this naming is rather outdated, and not really used in current chemistry: The prefix "bi" in "bicarbonate" comes from an outdated naming system and is ...


10

One of the questions you ask is: Was it many many years ago pronounced without a final vowel sound? As such, the phonetic representation of oranges has now changed? Actually, it was the other way around. In Old English, many nouns were pluralized by adding /as/, for example, stan (stone) became stanas. In Middle English, this rule started being ...


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