I have heard many people say:

He is a London-return doctor.

Is -return as a suffix valid, meaning to have returned from some important place?

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    I am seventy-five, a native speaker, and have worked seriously with the English language my entire adult life and have never heard that or a similar phrase. I might decipher it as meaning a "doctor who has returned to London," which is idiomatic. Or I might interpret it as a "doctor who has returned from London," which is also idiomatic. I would never interpret it as meaning "a doctor who has returned to London from somewhere important." Where did you hear this? Is it a Briticism? Mar 27 '20 at 2:36
  • @JeffMorrow Using a slightly different phrase as a Google search-string, "a London-returned", brings up a bunch of results, but they all seem to be from Indian sources. That's at least well-attested.
    – user3395
    Mar 27 '20 at 2:55
  • @userr2684291 I rapidly found two Google citations, both from Indian newspapers. In both cases, the meaning was "recently returned from London." It may be accepted in Indian English, but I'd avoid it in the U.S. Mar 27 '20 at 3:29

I agree with Jeff Morrow's comment. I am 61 years old and have been speaking, listening to, and reading English all my life, and I don't recall ever seeing this wording. I'm an American so perhaps it is local to some other English-speaking country. If I read a sentence like your example I might be able to figure out what it means from context, but otherwise I would be left to guess.

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