Why do people use the word “escapee” instead of “escaper”? In every other use of the personal suffix “-ee”, it is used to indicate the passive party in some kind of action:


Escaping does not strike me as a passive activity.

Reminds me of the Cold War saying: In Russian, “to be silent” is an active verb.

The Merriam-Webster Collegiate gives three uses for the -ee suffix:

  1. recipient or beneficiary of (a specified action) (appointee) (grantee).

  2. a person furnished with (a specified thing) (patentee)

  3. a person that performs (a specified action) (escapee)

Number 3 seems to be uncommon, but perfectly within the rules.

Oh, I’m aware of definition 3 in Merriam-Webster. I’m not wondering whether this exception exists; I am wondering why this exception exists.