Fourth-ish?

Gomorrite

New Member
Spanish
Hi, i'm new in this forum. I usually google for answers, but i'm unable to find one for this.

In some TV series a girl said "It seems we have been slipping in the campus sorority rankings, a little... We are fourth" and after a small pause she added "ish".

So, what's the meaning of "ish"?

Thanks. :^)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The "ish" in the remark refers to a suffix that English speakers sometimes add to numbers to signify approximation or uncertainty: "I'll see you at two-ish". This is another way of saying "I'll see you around two".

    Welcome to the forum, Gomorrite!
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    If she'd said 'fourth-ish' with no pause it would have meant "about fourth" (i.e. probably third, fourth, or fifth). But with the pause it becomes a joke: we're fourth . . . okay, we're not actually fourth, we're fourth-ish . . . tenth (or twentieth, or last), to be precise. The '-ish' is like saying 'almost' - literally the difference is small, but by the way she says it you know the difference is actually big.
     
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