ish

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Perry
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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."
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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

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Perry
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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!
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tcward
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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

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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

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Perry
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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."
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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

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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

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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

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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

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Perry
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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.
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gailr
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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

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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'.


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