-ish suffix valid with all nouns?

atakeris

Senior Member
Latvian
Hello,

I'm wondering if you can transform every noun into an adjective with 'ish' suffix.

Halloween >> Halloweenish look

Black Friday >> Black Friday-ish sale


Thanks!
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Many of those nouns you see with -ish added are not* proper words. But it's common practice, so as long as it's understandable and fits the setting (it's an informal construction), I suppose it's fine.

    *Added.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You must also stop to think "What does it mean?"

    I can imagine something being "Halloweenish" - i.e. slightly like something we wear or do at Halloween, but could a sale really be "Black-Friday-ish" - and in what way?

    I can't imagine "Christmas-ish" either, because we have the existing word "Christmassy":).
     

    atakeris

    Senior Member
    Latvian
    You must also stop to think "What does it mean?"

    I can imagine something being "Halloweenish" - i.e. slightly like something we wear or do at Halloween, but could a sale really be "Black-Friday-ish" - and in what way?

    I can't imagine "Christmas-ish" either, because we have the existing word "Christmassy":).
    This is exactly what I want to know is if there's a suffix or a phrase to use with a noun that would let me transform any noun (that doesn't have an adjective form) into an adjective that characterizes another noun?

    For example,
    - meat >> meatish meal

    Thanks!
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Not always, I think, especially unlikely when you already have an adjective derived from the noun.
    You're unlikely to say goddish or as*ish. Instead, godlike, foolish, etc would be usual.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    There's a (Croatian-sourced, but all in English) page here (source: unizd.hr) on affixation which also includes info on noun/adjective suffixes, including -ish, atakeris.

    I want to know if there's a suffix or a phrase to use with a noun that would let me transform any noun (that doesn't have an adjective form) into an adjective that characterizes another noun?
    No, unfortunately not. *Noun*-like would probably work in many contexts, but it's not universally applicable because it tends to mean "resembling".
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    - meat >> meatish meal
    What do you want it to mean? Words already exist.

    A meaty meal - contains a large proportion of meat.
    A meat-like meal - could be mistaken for a meal containing meat.
    A low-meat meal - contains some but not a lot of meat.
    A meatish meal :confused:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The suffix -ish can be rather productive and is generally informal. I would say that it's often used with adjectives. So we say, 'I'll be late-ish' (meaning 'somewhat late'). I can imagine someone saying, 'We had a meaty-ish meal'. I can't imagine meatish.

    You'll also be aware that in speech, it is sometimes used on its own.

    A: So you'll be here at four?
    B: Ish.

    B means that she'll be there at four-ish.
     
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