32

The word "honeykins" uses two suffixes to make it more endearing: "-kin" and "-s". -kin is an English suffix that was used in the olden days to form diminutive forms of nouns. There are still several dozen words in the language that were formed using this suffix. The more known are pumpkin, catkin, napkin, the less known are ladykin, pannikin. It has a ...


19

It's true that there's a suffix spelled -y which forms adjectives. This suffix looks the same, but it's actually different. This is a hypocoristic or diminutive suffix -y which can be used on nouns (including proper nouns). It does not change word class to adjective. In this case, fishy is a noun, and so is dishy. So what's this suffix do, then? ...


18

Adding an '-ish' at the end of a word is generally done in informal contexts, mostly to make the reference sound deliberately vague and approximate. (Source) Here, the speaker has added the suffix because he isn't completely sure of the similarity with the posterior value. You can add the suffix to words, to bring about a hint of uncertainty. For example, ...


16

As with most things in English, no, there isn't a general rule. Some words in -er have feminine counterparts in -ress.1 And most words that end with -man can be feminized by changing it to -woman. But for any given word, the only way to tell whether such a feminized version exists is to look it up in the dictionary. In other words, you can't really go about ...


13

This is fundamentally a historical question, and if asked on ELU would deserve a very long and interesting answer. Here I will offer only so much history as might help a learner avoid confusion. The -ly ending on adjectives descends from an Old English suffix -lic which was very often employed to turn a noun into an adjective. Consequently there are many ...


13

The phrasal verb "back up" has been combined to make a noun "backup" or "backups". But the verb form still has its suffixes after "back", not after "up". The servers should be "backed up", not "backupped" (and certainly not "backuped"). You might want to change your sentence to something like: Started searching for servers that should be backed up In ...


11

The past participle formed from a part of the body(eye, arm, leg, foot, etc) means "having said body part", as you say; a number in front indicates how many there are: a three-legged stool a one-eyed pirate a four-armed deity a seven-headed dragon a three-headed dog With units of measure we do not do this; rather we use the unit of ...


9

There is no -cal suffix. There are some words with an -ic suffix and others with -ical. Usually they mean the same thing. From the OED: -ic, suffix. Forms: (formerly -ick, ik(e, -ique), primarily forming adjs., many of which are used as ns. The latter have also the form -ics. Etymologically, the OED comments: In adjs., immediately representing ...


7

I would say a good rule of thumb is to look at the base form of the word. If the base form of the word ends in a "y," then a noun form ending in "-ian" will generally be pronounced as two syllables. Intuitively, these words have a hard time losing that "ee" sound. For example: comedy => comedian custody => custodian history => historian library => ...


7

Words with distinctly feminine forms are usually old. Words that signify an occupation that formerly was exclusively male, or didn't exist in earlier times, seldom have feminine forms, and indeed, the use of feminine forms (even if they do exist) is dying out. However, if a word does end in -ess, it almost certainly refers to a female occupation. Some ...


7

In a word, No. Definitions vary from dictionary to dictionary; some dictionaries don't even give diabolic; some distinguish the two words quite differently. Collins English Dictionary (online) for instance: Diabolic: 1. of, relating to, or proceeding from the devil; satanic 2. befitting a devil; extremely cruel or wicked; fiendish 3. very difficult or ...


7

I can't speak for other English speaking nations, but in 21st century America just making an effort to draw a distinction between genders is all too often considered offensive. That having been said, I find a certain charm to gender specific terms. Guess I'm just 'old fashioned'. Unfortunately English, especially Americanized English, has a tendency to ...


6

As you've observed, some combinations of -ridden and -infested are more common than others. Shark-ridden is far less common than shark-infested, while both mosquito-ridden and mosquito-infested can be found in literature. Ridden and infested both indicate an unpleasant excess of something, and could stand alone— The marsh is ridden with mosquitoes. ...


6

These words are 'borrowed' from Latin, which routinely performed elision and assimilation on prefixes with a final consonant when the consonant was sufficiently similar to the initial consonant of the root to which it was attached. The resulting word was spelled with a doubling of the remaining consonant. pre- + fix- ... no final consonant, so prefix ...


5

As an adjective, empiric means empirical. It can additionally be used as a noun, while empirical cannot. So as long as you're using it as an adjective, then yes, empiric and empirical are interchangeable. (I think the -ical version usually sounds better, but that's just personal preference.) Note that empiric was originally a noun only. The suffix -al ...


5

Hackney is a placename, once a parish northwest of London in the County of Middlesex; the name derives from OE Hacan ieg, Haca's isle, designating the meadows rising out of the marshes along the Thames. The superior grazing afforded by these meadows made the area famous for its horses, which became known as hackneys. The term designated a light horse: not ...


5

A rather reliable rule of thumb is as follows, although there are always exceptions. The letters -(i)an in these endings are pronounced as -/ən/, so as one syllable: -sian -cian -tian -gian So it depends on the letter that comes before -ian. Other -ian endings are pronounced as -/ɪən/ (two syllables) or -/jən/: the difference between these two ...


5

From Oxford English Dictionary: The distinction between -er and -or as the ending of agent-nouns is purely historical and orthographical: in the present spoken language they are both pronounced. In received spelling, the choice between the two forms is often capricious, or determined by other than historical reasons. "Modern English Usage" by Fowler: ...


5

The different parts of words that have different meanings are called MORPHEMES. A morpheme is the smallest part of a word that has its own meaning. So the morphemes in the word reviewed are: re (meaning again) view (meaning see) ed (usually indicating past) Sometimes there is a main part of the word, which we call the BASE or the ROOT. Bits that go before ...


5

We can freely make new adjectives from verbs using the suffix -able. It does not matter at all whether these words have ever been used before. It does not matter if these words are in the dictionary or not. Anybody can understand these words as long as they understand the verb involved. When we can use a suffix like this, we call it a productive suffix. We ...


5

NOTE: This is off the top of my head; there may be aspects of this I've overlooked, so I would welcome any correction anybody wants to supply. You're missing a simpler way of understanding this, because you're working off letters (which should properly be enclosed in ‹› rather than []) instead of sounds (specifically, phonemes, which should properly be ...


5

While these three words all end in -fare, they actually all differ in their construction. Warfare is the only one which uses -fare as a suffix. The -fare suffix comes from the Middle English fare, meaning passage or journey. Thus, the combination of war and -fare implies a meaning along the lines of "the passage of war", which roughly lines up with the ...


4

As reflected in comments, there's no real "rule" here (though there's a tendency for -or to occur more often in words with Latin roots). So basically, you just have to learn them. But things aren't as bad as they appear. Not only is the -er form more common in established words - it's far more "productive" for new terms. Also, as RegDwight points out in ...


4

The NOAD says that the -ical suffix is used to form adjectives: Corresponding to nouns or adjectives usually ending in -ic (such as comical corresponding to comic) Corresponding to nouns ending in -y (such as pathological corresponding to pathology) As for the words you list, the NOAD says: Geometric and geometrical are both adjectives, with the latter ...


4

It isn't that important, and some words can't be feminised, such as the ones mentioned in the question. People would normally attempt to use, if possible, a genderless word so as not to cause possible offence,


4

In both American and British English, there is an emphasis on the first O, but not too much. For example, "astronomy" is pronounced: "as" like "us" (or sometimes "ass" from "class") "tr" from "trim" "on" from "marathon" "om" like "um" "y" like "ee" from "tree", but shorter However, in Indian English, I have heard many people pronouncing it astrOHnomy, ...


4

Real is an adjective and really is an adverb. It is not grammatically correct to use these terms interchangeably. However the adverbial -ly is often dropped in speech, especially for words such as really and badly. For example: Tom was in a car crash yesterday, he was hurt real bad. Will often be heard in speech, or seen in informal writing. But to be ...


4

This source gives us a pretty small list of candidates that also have an -cal form: medicable vocable (I revised the query to have just -cable) One might add "amicable", as I think I've seen "amical" as a variant form, but there's no headword listing for "amical" in dictionary.com and the words mean the same thing anyway. So, we have words meaning: 1. "...


4

This -ish suffix itself isn't actually "informal" (foolish, childish, devilish, for example, are well-established). According to OED, the usage extended from nouns such as fool, child, devil centuries ago, to include adjectives - initially with colours (bluish, greenish, etc.), but "in later use also with other adjectives, and now, in colloquial use, ...


4

It is an alternative way of saying honey or darling. The addition of kins makes honey sound even more loving. For instance, cutie and cutie pie function the same way. In the Urdu language, we add the suffix "jaan" to convey a more lovable tone to a precious person.


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