Five Suffixes That'll Make you Look Like a Moron


He’s talking to you, Blogpreneurs

Suffixes are superb inventions. They can take a boring, humdrum word and turn it into something wonderful. Using the right suffix will help you create unforgettable portmanteaus that hook the reader and don’t let go.

But if you use the wrong suffix, you can come across a a pretentious, preening pillock with no grasp of the English language and a penchant for pointless buzz-words.

In short, steer clear of these five. Or you’ll look like a moron.

Five Suffixes That’ll Make you Look Like a Moron

1) -gate

From: The Watergate Scandal
Common Uses: Captaingate, Giggsgate, Anytabloidstorygate

Here’s a fun fact for you all, controversy fans. The Watergate Scandal took place at The Watergate Hotel. Not The Water Hotel. And -gate isn’t an old English suffix meaning controversy. No, this is a lazy piece of shorthand which reached its nadir after two footballers were involved in a fight in a Leeds nightclub.

Don’t look mental either. That won’t help your case.

Yes, if you’re about to embrace -gate, then the only saving grace is that you’ll never stoop quite so low as Bowyer & Woodgategate. And that’s nothing to be proud of.

2) -ista

From: The Italian suffix denoting fascist
Common Uses: Fashionista, Twittista

Darling, what sort of pillockista appends -ista to perfectly good words? Unless you’re a scriptwriter for Absolutely Fabulous (you’re not), then you should leave this one well alone. Not least because it’s going to make you sound like the sort of person who spent all of the 1990s hunched over a toilet cistern with a rolled-up note.

And the same goes for -rati too. Twitterati is not a good word in any language. Capicé?



3) -nik

From: Russian/Yiddish
Common Uses: Peacenik, Refusenik, Ipodnik

Oy vey, the Cold War phoned, and it looks like they want to have their slang terminology back already. Let’s face it, unless you’re the mad USAAF general in Doctor Strangelove or a Jackie Mason tribute act, dropping a -nik at the end of a word is going to make you look outdated, clueless, and possibly like a bad racial stereotype.

And if you’re the person who coined the phrase Ipodnik, then know this. I will find you. And you will regret it.

4) -preneur

From: The word ‘entrepreneur’
Common Uses: Blogpreneur, Mompreneur, Solopreneur

For some reason, people who view Blogger as a decent business tool tend to have a chip on their shoulder and a feeling of insecurity. So what do they do? Exactly. They make up a new job title by adding the suffix -preneur to part of their old job title. Blogger? You’re now a Blogpreneur! Sole trader? Solopreneur!

People RTd this. Because they agree. You are a preening dick-end.

This horrendous affectation does something I never thought possible. It makes me pine for the days when these fools were just ninja rock star gurus.

5) -self

From: The correct usage of English
Common Uses: “If yourself is happy with the draft, please return it to myself immediately”

This is a pet peeve of mine. For some reason, people have decided that myself and yourself are the formal words to use in place of me and you. Which leads to ridiculously stilted statements like “Our consultancy wishes to provide yourself with a comprehensive service offering, which is inclusive of…” This is unconditionally and unreservedly a bad thing.

And if you find yourself in disagreement with myself, that might just make you a little bit of a fool too.

What suffixes and portmanteaus do you think that the English language can live without? Share your pet hates in the comments section below, or tell me on Twitter.

6 Comments comments for "Five Suffixes That’ll Make you Look Like a Moron"

  1. Michael Corry says:

    My pet peeve is ‘oholic’. Workoholic, sexoholic, chocoholic.
    Alcoholic means containing alcohol or addicted to alcohol.
    A work addict should be a workic otherwise an alcoholic is someone addicted to al.

    • Andrew says:

      That’s a great one Michael. I can’t believe I missed it – especially as I missed the chance to pour withering scorn upon “sexohol”. Still, you live and learn.

  2. Janna says:

    I can’t stand seeing -nazi appended to everything, as in femi-nazi or eco-nazi.

  3. Kat says:

    Ipodnik? IPODNIK? What is this madness?!

  4. Eoin says:

    Who could forget Watergategate? Not myself.

  5. Przemek says:

    As much as don’t appreciate these neologisms myself I think the important factor to remember is that language is a living thing and just cultural and social changes, its transformations are sometimes much more powerful than the ideals of some language purists. There’s always been mainstream, and underground, purists being a part of the latter unfortunately… PEACE!

    PS: Quite happy that I’ve found this blog, will be visiting in the future! 🙂

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