In Russian and we have a lot of different softening suffixes. Are there any in English? Like how would you rephrase as one word the following: a lovely chair, a most favorite small chair, a small lovely chair, a chair that is most comfortable.

I was thinking of using some suffixes like in the word "starlet" - one of the meanings of which is a small star but the words seem very odd and unnatural then.

  • a lovely chair - a chairly
  • a small lovely chair - a chairlette with -ette as a diminutive (makes something smaller)
  • a most favorite small chair - a chairestetteous
  • a chair that is most comfortable - a chairfyious

I think many English suffixes can't be used with nouns and change the words to an adjective, verb, adverb or e.t.c.

I looked here https://www.learnthat.org/pages/view/suffix.html#up for the proper suffixes.


2 Answers 2


This just doesn't work in English: the use of such suffixes is very restricted. For instance, your example starlet can't mean small star: it only means minor celebrity. I can't think of any such suffix that could be used after chair. Certainly no such word is in the official Scrabble dictionary.

But I am curious -- what are all these derivatives of стул in Russian?

  • In Russian it is: стульчик, стульченька, стульчичек, стульчичёнок, стульчишка, стульчёночек, стульчичёночичек, стульчишечка, стулчичёноченька, стульчичёнушек, стульленёночичек, стульчишка and e.t.c They all have degree of emotional significance and size value. Some are more endearing while others are more diminutive. Some are more valuable while others are more beloved. Nov 28, 2016 at 12:35
  • @SovereignSun: Thank you! Are all these real? Google finds about half of them. Would anybody ever say стульчичёночичек in real life?
    – TonyK
    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:51
  • Very very very rarely, I'd say 0.00001% possibility. But it is still possible. Anyway most of these words can be met in real life but not even a half of them are dictionary words. Nov 28, 2016 at 12:57
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_talk section 4.2 covers diminutives
    – John Feltz
    Nov 29, 2016 at 13:07
  • 1
    @JohnFeltz This link you gave is wonderful! I need a list of words that babies use and speak. Dec 1, 2016 at 12:57

The closest thing I can think of is the diminutive suffix -ie or -y. You may know from affectionate nicknames such as Billy, Mikey, Barbie, Paulie, etc., but it is sometimes used with common nouns as well: deafie, Aussie, boatie (remember Boaty McBoatface? Schoolie McSchoolface?). Note that this suffix isn't necessarily endearing, and is often used to belittle the suffixee: greenie, queenie, Rhodie, etc..

A more reliable option is using nice little __: A nice little chair.

  • Yeh, I know perfectly well about using "a nice little", "a beautiful small", "a marvelous tiny" and e.t.c but is there some way we can one-word it? Nov 28, 2016 at 12:05
  • Look at the words "beddie", "kitty", "puppy" they are both diminutive and endearing I guess. But we can still say it's my lovely little beddie. Nov 28, 2016 at 12:11
  • @SovereignSun: beddie doesn't work for me, I'm afraid. There is the children's word beddie-byes, but no stand-alone word beddie. Can you post a link to an example of its use?
    – TonyK
    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:26
  • @TonyK books.google.ru/… and books.google.ru/… Nov 28, 2016 at 12:29
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    @SovereignSun: The first link is a letter by Lotte Lenya, an Austrian. The second is the plea of a drunkard ("Take me to my beddie"). So I would not count either of these as proper English. Interestingly, it seems that beddie does exist, but not as a diminutive of bed: it is (Australian?) slang for bedmate.
    – TonyK
    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:41

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