Cognate with Dutch -s; German -isch (whence Dutch -isch); Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish -isk or -sk; Lithuanian -iškas; Russian -ский (-skij); and the Ancient Greek diminutive suffix -ίσκος (-ískos). Doublet of -esque and -ski.
- (of adjectives from common nouns) Typical of, similar to, being like.
- Her face had a girlish charm.
- (of adjectives from adjectives, with a diminutive force) Somewhat, rather.
- Her face had a bluish tinge.
- 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 5, in Death on the Centre Court:
- By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. […] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.
- (of adjectives from numbers, especially of times and ages) About, approximately.
- We arrived at tennish; We arrived tennish.(Sometime around ten.)
- I couldn't tell his precise age, but he looked fiftyish.
- (of adjectives from roots of proper nouns denoting names of nations or regions) Of, belonging, or relating to (a nationality, place, language or similar association with something).
- This is a productive termination used as a regular formative of adjectives (which are sometimes also used as nouns).
- (of adjectives from common nouns) Many of the words may have a more or less depreciative or contemptuous force.
- (of adjectives from roots of proper nouns) This is the regular formative of patrial adjectives, with the suffix in some adjectives being contracted to -sh or (especially when t precedes) to -ch, as in Welsh (formerly also Welch), Scotch, Dutch, and French. Some used colloquially or made up on occasion may have a diminutive or derogatory implication.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
From Middle English -ishen, -ischen, -issen, from Old French -iss-, -is- (a termination of the stem of some forms [present participle, etc.] of certain verbs), from Latin -ēscere, -īscere (an inchoative suffix), the formative -esc-, -isc- (-sc-, Greek -σκ- (-sk-)) being ultimately cognate with English -ish (Etymology 1). See -esce, -escent, etc.
- (non-productive) An ending found on some verbs; see usage notes.
- This is a termination of some English verbs of French origin, which normally end in -ir in French, or formed on the type of such verbs, having no assignable force, but being merely a terminal relic, e.g. astonish, banish, establish, diminish, finish, punish, etc.
- In some verbs it appears in the form -ise, as in advertise and franchise.
- William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin E[li] Smith, editors (1914), “-ish”, in The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, volume III, revised edition, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., OCLC 1078064371, page 3193.
- “ish” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- Booker, John Manning (1912) The French “Inchoative” Suffix -iss and the French -ir Conjugation in Middle English
- -ish (language)
- Added to names of places or peoples to denote the language spoken in that place or by that people.
- -self (emphatic)
- Added to prepositional pronouns to add emphasis (not to create a reflexive pronoun).
- Alternative form of
- A suffix denoting the pejorative form of a noun that ends in a consonant.
Jerry Randolph Valentine (2001) Nishnaabemwin Reference Grammar, University of Toronto, page 191