Pejorative suffix

A pejorative suffix is a suffix that attaches a negative meaning to the word or word-stem preceding it. There is frequent overlap between this and the diminutive form.

The pejorative suffix may add the sense of "a despicable example of the preceding," as in Spanish "-ejo" (see below). It can also convey the sense of "a despicable human having the preceding characteristic"; for instance, as in English "-el" (see below) or the development of the word "cuckold" from Old French "cocu" "cuckoo" + "-ald", taken into Anglo-Saxon as "cokewald" and thus to the modern English word.

Examples of the pejorative suffix:


-txo [ [ The Basque History of the World: Books: Mark Kurlansky ] ]


-ar, e.g. "beggar"

-ard, e.g. "bastard" (from Old French "bast" "pack-saddle", i.e. "child born in a pack-saddle")

-aster, e.g. "poetaster", "philosophaster" (via Latin)

-el, e.g. "wastrel" (from "waste", i.e. "a wasteful person (pej.)")

-ista e.g. "fashionista" (sometimes used as a more '"playfully" pejorative than others, taken from Sandinista)

-nik, e.g. "peacenik", "neatnik" (via Yiddish or Russian, where it is not necessarily pejorative)


-aĉ-, e.g. "veteraĉo" "foul weather" (from "vetero" "weather")


-ald/-ard/-aud, e.g. "salaud" "dirty person" (from "sale" "dirt")


-ā (-wā), e.g. "lonoā" "gossip" (from "lono" "news")

-ea, e.g. "poluea" "seasickness" (from "polu" "wet)


-accio(a) (or -uccio/a), e.g. "boccaccia" "ugly mug" (from "bocca" "mouth")


-me, e.g. "furiiza-me" "That damn Freeza!" or "kawaii yatsu-me" "That darn cutie!"


-aster, denoting fraudulent resemblance, e.g. "patraster" "one who plays the father" (from "pater" "father")

Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin)

-ish, e.g. "animosh" "dog" [ [ Anishinaabemowin ] ]


-asso, e.g. "vidasso" "wretched life" (from "vido" "life")


-iška (ишка) [ [ Tore Nesset "Ideology in inflection" ] ]

-uxa (уха), e.g. "černuxa", dramatic term for an unrelentingly bleak cinematic style (from "čern-" "black")


-aco(a), e.g. "pajarraco" "large ugly bird" (from "pajaro" "bird)

-ote(a), e.g. "discursote" "long dull speech" (from "discurso" "speech")


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