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"hood" denoting a condition or quality when we use it as a suffix. For example, falsehood, neighborhood. But we don't say "truehood", "brotherhood". I'm wondering in what condition we can use "hood" as a suffix.

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    But we do say brotherhood though. Dec 5, 2018 at 11:10
  • Oh really? Then it is my mistake. I never hear people say that lol. Dec 5, 2018 at 11:11
  • Have you heard of the movie Brotherhood of the Wolf: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_of_the_Wolf Dec 5, 2018 at 11:12
  • Nah, I don't know much about western movies :( Dec 5, 2018 at 11:14
  • But brotherhood has a non-obvious meaning. It is hardly ever used for the state or condition of being somebody's (literal) brother. It can refer to the state of being a metaphorical brother, connected with others by some common interest or circumstance; and it is most often used of an association of people (usually men) for some purpose.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 29, 2021 at 23:42

3 Answers 3

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The question centres on how productive a suffix is. More productive suffixes can be attached to any words to create new ones. At one extreme the suffix -ing, (forming present participles) is very productive. If someone invents a new verb (such as "to yeat" meaning to throw) you can always at -ing and form a present participle (yeating)

However -hood is moderately productive, with only a few common examples of words with the -hood suffix. Most of the common examples are either very old (adulthood was originally a compound noun in Old English, when hood (or had) was still an independent word) Or formed by simple analogy with these examples (boyhood, for example is from the 1700, but is analogous to adulthood)

As it is not fully productive, you should learn the words that contain the suffix and while you can use the meaning of the -hood to help learn the word, you should learn the common words that end in -hood as separate words.

Note "Brotherhood"/"sisterhood" and "neighbourhood" are related but different from the usual meaning of -hood.

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It is rare in English that two words with the same root word will have identical meanings; if they come into being they tend to gain different nuances. I think a 'truehood' would mean exactly the same as 'truth', so it's never been needed.

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According to this, suffixes are added onto a word to create a 'new' word. "Truehood" wouldn't really be a new word, since we already have the word "truth".

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