back-formation

EnglishEdit

 back-formation on Wikipedia

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Coined by Scottish lexicographer and philologist James Murray in 1889; from back +‎ formation.

NounEdit

back-formation (plural back-formations)

  1. (uncountable, linguistics) The process by which a new word is formed from an older word by interpreting the former as a derivative of the latter, often by removing a morpheme (real or perceived) from the older word, such as the verb burgle, formed by removing -ar (perceived as an agent-noun suffix) from burglar.
  2. (countable) A word created in this way.
    Back-formations, such as "tambour" (for "play the tambourine"), are a staple of comedic wordplay.

SynonymsEdit

  • (a word created by back-formation): back-form

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit