In one context, I read the beneath sentence:

Some authors-to-be and new authors have trouble figuring out precisely how to leverage that book into speaking.

in which, the expression of "authors-to-be" was mind-boggling. I conjecture that its meaning is "authors have lived and worked so far". If so, my inquiry is it is possible that one appends "-to-be" at the end of a word to mint a neologism?

For example, can (runner-to-be, athlete-to-be, singer-to-be, engineer-to-be, doctor-to-be, etc.) be minted?

1 Answer 1


You can create a compound word like that, but the meaning is different.

An "author-to-be" is a person who will be an author in the future. So you might say:

My daughter is an author-to-be. Although she is only 10, she is already writing stories for her friends, and she says she wants to be the next J.K Rowling.

  • I was an answerer-to-be until I saw yours. Jul 2, 2023 at 2:56

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