Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

ish

A discussion of word histories and origins.

ish

Postby Perry » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:28 am

-ish
adj. suffix, from O.E. -isc, common Gmc. (cf. O.N. -iskr, Ger. -isch, Goth. -isks), cognate with Gk. dim. suffix -iskos. Colloquially attached to hours to denote approximation, 1916.

Apologies if this has bee discussed before; but I was wondering about this over the weekend. Everyone knows what is meant by noonish or eight o'clockish, but how did this suffix come to be a substitute for about in this context?
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby gailr » Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:57 pm

Well, Maven said this:
Finally, the last main sense formed from nouns is 'near; approximately', used with numbers, as thirtyish 'about thirty (years old)', or your sevenish 'about seven (o'clock)'. This sense is the rather recent one, but is still not really a neologism, as it has been in use since the early twentieth century.
[embedded joke expunged for this posting]

I like -ish appointments; they're low-key.
We'll meet at the box office at 7-ish means after 7 but before 7:15.

-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Perry » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:40 pm

I loved the expunged joke. In the same vein (although it should go in the pun thread), here is one my kids love to tell.

Why is 6 afraid of 7. Because 7 8 9!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby tcward » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:46 pm

My kids love the PBS kids' show, Zoboomafoo.

Zoboo is always saying how he feels in relationship to how other animals behave, using the infamous -ish suffix. Then he launches into song.

It's so cute watching my little ones dance and sing with the muppet on the show... lol.

-Tim
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby gailr » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:30 pm

I wasn't familiar with zoboo, Tim. I wonder if his fans will remember him as fondly in their adult years as I remember Rowlf? :)
-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Perry » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:37 pm

"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby Bailey » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:18 pm

Gailr I noticed your avatar was missing for a while, now it's sporting a charming eyepatch, I do hope your affliction is in only one eye,

mark just-a-pirate-costume? Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby gailr » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:53 pm

Perry wrote:You kids are making me feel old!

Ahhh, but I remember Rowlf "the early years"...

Bailey wrote:Gailr I noticed your avatar was missing for a while, now it's sporting a charming eyepatch, I do hope your affliction is in only one eye,

I'm just investing me bilge rats with Pirattitude.

-gailarrrrrr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Stargzer » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:43 am

Perry! You forgot the most famous Ish of them all, Ish Kabibble! What is he, chopped liver? :)
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2545
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby Bailey » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:00 am

Is there another meaning for bilge rats than rodentia living below the cargo hold?

mark confused Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby Perry » Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:23 pm

Stargzer wrote:Perry! You forgot the most famous Ish of them all, Ish Kabibble! What is he, chopped liver? :)


Not chopped liver Gzer, but not a puppet either.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby gailr » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:42 am

Bailey wrote:Is there another meaning for bilge rats than rodentia living below the cargo hold?

mark confused Bailey

someone who works in the engineering spaces, also attested here (under snipe).
-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Ferrus » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:30 pm

I know people who use the word 'ish' in a slang sense. When they do so they generally mean 'somewhat'.
Ferrus
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:33 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK


Return to Etymology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests