Monday, November 2, 2009

A suffix primer, just to set me straight

After seeing drinky in a back page Times Book Review piece by Colson Whitehead (I still think of parts of The Illusionist, Colson Whitehead), and then thinking about diminutives, I decided it was time to get some of the what's what down.

Some of what's what is this, Latin suffixes-wise, via my Winston:

-acy n. quality, state, or office (accuracy)
-ary n. forming names of persons, places or things (library)
adj. relating to, pertaining to or characterized by (literary)
-cracy n. a government or method of ruling (logocracy)
-cy n. forming abstract nouns (captaincy)
-ery n. designating: 1. place of business, storage, breeding (hatchery) 2. qualities, conduct, practices, principles, etc. (trickery) 3. a class of goods (millinery) 4. art or employment (archery) 5. state or condition(drudgery). Also, the shortened form -ry (revelry).

-fy n. to cause to be or to form into (liquefy). Often, with connecting vowel, -ify (personify)
-ory n. place where, place for: added to Latin roots (factory) adj. pertaining to, characterized by: added to Latin roots (obligatory)

-ty 1. [Lat.+ Fr.] n. forming abstract nouns denoting quality, state, condition, or character(loyalty) 2. [Eng.] times ten: a termination of numerals (sixty)

More :

-y [Eng.] n. suffix, forming diminutives and also written -ie.

-y [Eng.] adj. suffix 1. Of, pertaining to, having, full of: added to nouns and spelled -ey when added to words ending in y (stony, clayey) 2. inclined toward, almost shading into: added to adjectives of color (taupey brown) 3. with intensive force but no change of meaning: added to adjectives: chiefly poetical (stilly)

-y [Lat. + Fr.] n. suffix, in words from Latin and French, originally participial adjectives (deputy, army . . . originally meaning deputed, armed)

-y [Lat. + Fr., or often Gk.+Lat.(+Fr.)], n. suffix forming abstract nouns (glory, antipathy, victory, theology, therapy)

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