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See also: ish, Ish, and -ísh




From Middle English -ish, -isch, from Old English -isc (-ish, suffix), from Proto-Germanic *-iskaz (-ish), from Proto-Indo-European *-iskos. Cognate with Dutch -s; German -isch, whence Dutch -isch; Norwegian, Danish and Swedish -isk or -sk; Lithuanian -iškas; and the Ancient Greek diminutive suffix -ίσκος (-ískos).




  1. (appended to many kinds of words) Typical or similar to.
    Her face had a girlish charm.
    • 1859, Harriet Parr (as Holme Lee), Against Wind and Tide, volume 1, p. 273:
      [] ; for she had recently developed a magpie[-]ish tendency to appropriate and conceal trifling matters; []
  2. (appended to adjectives) Somewhat.
    Her face had a greenish 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.
  3. (appended to numbers, especially times and ages) About, approximately.
    We arrived at tennish;  We arrived tennish.
    (Sometime around ten.)
    I couldn't tell his precise age, but he was fiftyish.
  4. (appended to roots denoting names of nations or regions) Of a nationality, place, language or similar association with something.


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.

Derived termsEdit





  1. -ish (language)

Usage notesEdit

  • Added to names of places or peoples to denote the language spoken in that place or by that people.



  1. -self (emphatic)

Usage notesEdit

Alternative formsEdit

Related termsEdit