The suffix -gate is a word ending that has its roots in an American scandal that occurred in the 1970s. We will examine the meaning of the suffix -gate, where it came from and some examples of its use. The suffix -gate is added to words in order to designate a scandal or a controversy. Some recent examples of the use of the suffix -gate include hamburgergate, a lighthearted controversy involving the placement of cheese on hamburger emojis, pizzagate involving a fake news story about … [Read more...]

Diffidence vs difference

Diffidence and difference are two words that are sometimes confused. We sill examine the definitions of diffidence and difference, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Diffidence is shyness or excessive modesty stemming from a lack of self-confidence. Diffidence is a noun, the adjective form is diffident. The word diffidence is derived from the Latin word¬†diffidentia, which means a lack of confidence, mistrust, failure to trust. Difference describes the … [Read more...]

-aholic, -oholic and -holic

The origin of the suffixes -aholic, -oholic and -holic is unusual as they are not directly derived from a Latin or Greek root. We will look at the meaning of the suffixes -aholic, -ohlic and -holic, where they came from, some examples of their use in words and some examples the use of these words in sentences. The suffixes -aholic, -ohlic and -holic indicate an addiction to the item depicted in the stem word, an abnormal dependency on it or an abnormal desire for it. These suffixes were … [Read more...]

-phobe vs -phile

The suffix -phobe means a thing or person who fears or doesn't like a certain thing. A suffix is a word stem that is attached to the end of a word. The suffix -phobe is found in many words one would find in a dictionary such as germophobe and xenophobe. However, -phobe is also often used to coin words, especially for comic effect. The suffix -phobe comes from the Greek word phobos which means fear, panic, flight. The suffix -phile means a thing or person who likes, enjoys or has an affinity … [Read more...]


-wise is a suffix that is attached to a noun with a hyphen to form an adjective or adverb that means with respect to or concerning, in the manner of or in the direction of. Some words with the suffix -wise have dropped the hyphen and been accepted into English usage. Examples are clockwise, which means the direction in which the hands of a clock travel and lengthwise, meaning parallel with an item's length. Coined words such as security-wise and price-wise are effective in conveying their … [Read more...]

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