Partial word suffixes

Yes, I guess “meister” is just like -man. Workman, oilman, chairman. Would these all be full compounds then? Especially since they retain their free-standing forms.

A clipping or splinter needs to be distinguished from a compounding (borrowed) word. -phobia is an English suffix becaus it was borrowed from the Greco-Roman word phobia mneanminmg fear or revilion. Coinages with it follow traditional English rules for borrowing Latin and/or Greekl nouns and c comppounmdinmg them to form appelationms for new concepts.
A true swplinter detaches sylklables which previously hd no indpendent existence to create a termn for a new concept in somne way related conceptually to the source word, such as anceathonm from Marathon, where *athon, which had no previous indepenmdent edxistence, takles on the3 mneanminmg of, mnore or les, feat of enmdurance.

Thanks for finding the term, and for that great explanation. Follow up question: the section you quoted used “affix” instead of “suffix”. I’d never heard of “affix” before. Looking it up, it appears to be interchangeable with “suffix” Are these two words merely synonymous, or is there some technical nuance I’m missing?

I believe that affix refers to the category which contains both prefixes and suffixes.

Yes, prefixes and suffixes and infixes, the latter of which there are few, are collectively referred to as affixes.
Lots of languages have infixes (e.g., the morphologically-mad German), productive and non-productive. English has a few:

a-whole-nother (non-productive)

unbe-fucking-lievable, in-fucking-credible, etc. (productive; can even be moved about in some constructions)
Hit someone with “affix” and then throw “infix” at them. Gets 'em every time. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow, the ignorance being fought here - productive and non-productive.

If I understand correctly, a productive affix is one that can be used with words not yet invented. e.g. If I invent a verb “spiggle” I inherit the word “spiggled” because “-ed” is a productive affix (i.e. suffix).

a-whole-nother, on the nother hand, doesn’t let me form, say, “a-whole-nerobic”

Are there other examples of non-productive affixes (not likely infix, but…) I too want to a-whole-maze my friends and be-fucking-dazzle my enemies.

Ha ha! (That first line!)

Pretty good, but it’s not necessary for the base to be a neologism for the “productive” explanation. A productive affix (non-derivational or derivational) is one that you can use to form a number words. The inflectional suffix -ed is highly, one could say limitlessly, productive. walked, dressed, jumped, flapped, etc. All the regular past-tense verbs. But they’ve already “been made.”

As for more non-productive affixes… ugh, I tried to get some info on them and I may never read again. I’m sure there are simpler (READ: intelligible) sources than what I ran into but you’ll have to find them. What I saw seemed to equate non-productivity with limited productivity, but a-whole-nother is an example of a non-productive infix so…

To me 'tis tmesis.

I have issues with that list. One is that several examples are really instances of one example with limited productivity. Some of the other examples are one-offs or too obscure.

Another, fairly recent, splinter is -zilla, as in bridezilla. Are there any other words with -zilla?

There the “Sir-Verbs-a-Lot” construction. Arguably, tacking “burger” onto the end of a meat sandwich name, like a chickenburger. (Although at this point, “burger” has clearly become a standalone word in its own right.)

That’s an interesting one. It’s in its nascence, seems to me. There’s probably one or two other examples, not yet widely heard; but I bet there will be more coming. I.e., it’s got good potential for productivity.

Let’s hope it doesn’t become too popular and start taking over the language like some affixzilla.

Musician Bootsy Collins had a record called “Bootzilla” that was a huge R&B hit back in 1978.

Strictly a localized phenomenon, but when the wife of a high-ranking official in a regional organization in my town created a “women’s auxillary” and started telling all the female spouses (and female employees) what to do, we nicknamed her “wifezilla.”

Mozilla, the web browser (Mosaic Godzilla).

The -gate suffix for political scandals, named after the Watergate scandal in the US. In the 90’s there was Bill Clinton’s “Zippergate” affair.

-tastic, from fantastic

-tacular, from spectacular. For example, the Simpsons’ “craptacular”.

If you’ll pardon my Godwinizing of this thread ;), *-nazi *seems to be a fairly productive affix (e.g., feminazi) – not a true “splitter,” though, as it can stand alone.

Found another: -nomics (Reaganomics, freakanomics)

Words like biology, zoology and the like are using -ology as a true suffix. Words like mixology, cakeology, thinkology, I think would qualify for this thread.

Wow, there are a bazillion of these! And we’re, like, the only people who know what to call them. :stuck_out_tongue:

(word)ista, for members of some sort of fellowship.