In yesterday's post about bricks I said that my wife and I had moved a largish pile of them (today I counted and came up with 896 bricks, which I'd warrant is a largish pile!). What's up with this "-ish" suffix? As far as I can see, there are several meanings of "-ish" in English adjectives:
- Well I just used one, meaning "of a certain nation" -- as in English, Swedish, and Netherlandish.
- Another is "having the qualities of" -- as in childish, foolish, and sheepish.
- We also have "preoccupied with" -- as in bookish and selfish.
- The meaning in largish is "somewhat" or "to some degree" -- often used with color words such as greenish and reddish, but also with size words such as largish, smallish, and tallish.
- With adjectives of time, "-ish" means "approximately" -- as in fortyish and noonish.
English is fun.
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal