"nosy -> nosey", but "cosy -> cozy"


Senior Member
When we transform "nosy", we replace "y" with "ey".
When we transform "cosy", we replace "s" with "z".

Can anyone suppose why these haven't got the only rule of "another spelling" transformation?

Thanks in advance!
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    (2) 'Cosy' is BrE, 'cozy' is AmE.

    But the two OP examples are entirely different. Cosy/cozy is not formed from a noun, nosy/nosey is.

    Many nouns can be turned into adjectives by adding a “y” — buzzy, dirty, soapy, flowery, frosty, and lots more. In some cases the consonant at the end has to be doubled: muddy, nutty, spotty, gappy.

    Only when the noun ends in “e” is there a question of whether or not to drop that “e”. In a few cases (as with nosy and nosey), both alternatives are used, e.g. maty/matey, homy/homey, poky/pokey. But in most, the “e” is dropped: bony, shiny, spicy, icy, juicy.
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