192 votes

Is there a suffix like "phile" or "phobe" for don't care?

I am not aware of a suffix per se with that meaning, but I sometimes see the idea expressed by forming a pairing with the word agnostic. Although the first meaning of this word is specifically about ...
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  • 3,024
157 votes
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Is there a suffix like "phile" or "phobe" for don't care?

As far as I know, no. We could make one up, here. "-phile" and "-phobe" are derived from the greek words "philia" (love) and "phobos" (fear), so we'd want to look for an greek word meaning "...
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  • 22.8k
89 votes

Is there a suffix like "phile" or "phobe" for don't care?

I propose '-meh' Arachnophobe Arachnophile Arachnomeh In the right tone of voice, I think that could work. Meh, Wikipedia Meh is an interjection used as an expression of indifference or ...
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  • 985
76 votes
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Why is there an extra "t" in Lemmatization?

"Lemma" is from a Greek word that had t in some of its forms Etymologically, the t in lemmatize comes from the stem of the Greek word λῆμμα, which is the source of the English word lemma. ...
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66 votes
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Is the plural of 'prefix' really 'prefixes' rather than 'prefices'?

General principle: Latin plural forms go with Latin singular forms The plural of the Latin word matrix is matrices, and the plural of the Latin word index is indices. We took the singular forms of ...
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58 votes
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What do we call the “rd” in “3ʳᵈ” and the “th” in “9ᵗʰ”?

It's an ordinal indicator: In written languages, an ordinal indicator is a letter, or group of letters, following a numeral denoting that it is an ordinal number, rather than a cardinal number. ...
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  • 6,190
46 votes
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What word means a “male temptress”?

-ess is, in fact, a feminine suffix. The male or neuter form (English tends to conflate the two) would be tempter. As a note, the title The Tempter, with capital letters, is given to the Devil. A ...
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40 votes
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The "old switcheroo": Where did the "-eroo" suffix come from?

Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: Word Beginnings and endings (2002) has this entry for the suffix -eroo: -eroo Also -aroo, -aroonie, and -eroonie. An informal and often humorous intensifier of ...
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  • 150k
37 votes
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Is there a word "dramaticness"?

The root word drama fits: "This is due to the drama of the day." Drama 3 a : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces b : dramatic state, ...
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37 votes
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Retriable or retryable?

In Google Books search results for 1900–2008, retryable (blue line) and retriable (red line) are very similar in total number of matches: Although retriable seems to have gained the upper hand since ...
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  • 150k
36 votes

Is there a suffix like "phile" or "phobe" for don't care?

It seems you are looking for a concise, easily understandable term for someone who is neither a -phile nor a -phobe. I would suggest the suffix -neutral. It may be more of an adjective than a noun, ...
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35 votes

How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?

The key element of a phobia as a mental disorder is its irrationality. No one will claim that you're suffering from pyrophobia if you run out of a burning building. Calling a particular prejudice a ...
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33 votes
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Is "skills-wise" correct English?

It is a perfectly idiomatic (natural) and productive pattern used in informal English but not common in formal writing. The parachute deployed at the last moment, a successful trial drama-wise. '...
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  • 68.6k
32 votes
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Why “daily” and not “dayly”?

From the quoted definitions at etymonline, I would suspect that you may be asking the wrong question :) If I look at the related words in other languages (dag, Tag) for day, it seems the final g has ...
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  • 35.8k
29 votes

Why drop the “i” in “explanation”?

The question should be: where did that i come from. If we look at etymonline we find the following: (emphasis mine) explain (v.) early 15c., from Latin explanare "to make level, smooth out;" ...
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29 votes
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Opposite of the suffix -less

There is no universal affix in English equivalent to the German suffix behaftet. Instead, there are two different ways to form this kind of adjective in English. The suffix -ful suggests that the ...
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  • 4,151
28 votes
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Is it "togglable" or "toggleable"?

It's not a word, so it has no formal spelling as of now. The English language's main strength is its adaptability, so one day it will most likely be officially accepted as a word, but for now, it has ...
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  • 420
28 votes
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Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia, such as dyslexia, anorexia and pyrexia does this imply anything about the word itself? It doesn't necessarily imply something about the word. Josh61's answer (which you ...
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  • 73.3k
27 votes

What word means a “male temptress”?

A mythological creature called succubus is described as the ultimate temptress, using sexual seduction to lure its prey. The male counterpart, incubus, similarly uses sexual seduction to lure in prey. ...
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  • 5,236
26 votes

The "old switcheroo": Where did the "-eroo" suffix come from?

The suffix -eroo appears to be an analoguous post-formation derived, in the view of many, from the Spanish vaquero - a cowboy. Julian Mason (in American Speech, Feb. 1960, pp. 51-55 - available ...
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  • 5,446
24 votes

Why is there an extra "t" in Lemmatization?

Etymonline states: 1560s, in mathematics, from Greek lemma (plural lemmata) "something received or taken; an argument; something taken for granted," (emphasis mine) This is where the 'T' comes ...
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23 votes
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What's the deal with "fiery"?

The Online Etymology Dictionary explains the unusual spelling: late 13c., from Middle English fier “fire” (see fire (n.)) + -y (2). The spelling is a relic of one of the attempts to render Old ...
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  • 14.8k
22 votes

How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?

Well, the word "homophobia" is a political word invented for political purposes. [Per discussion below, perhaps a more accurate statement would be: "A word primarily used today for political purposes."...
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  • 35.1k
22 votes

Why did English borrow verbs ending in -ish?

There are a number of verbs ending -ir in modern French, where the corresponding English forms end with -ish. Some of them are établir, finir, nourrir, polir, punir. These are all conjugated the same ...
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22 votes
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Why do some ---ify verbs have a different noun ending?

Crucify originally had a distinct etymology from the others Crucify comes from Latin crucifīgō with the present infinitive crucifīgere and the supine crucifixum. It means "to fix to a cross" not "to ...
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  • 73.3k
20 votes

Irregular verbs: the history of the suffix “-en” in the past participle

Did more past participles use to end with -n? Yes. In Old English, strong verbs took the "-en" suffix in order to form the past participle: The past participle was formed using a dental suffix for ...
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