betterworld2016.org has actually a the majority of words in i beg your pardon the suffix ‑ess makes a indigenous feminine, such together actress, hostess, huntress.

That looks choose a suffix the is also used frequently in Italian, therefore I’d assumption: v it has Latin origins. Room those all the exact same suffix?

Heroine supplies what seems to it is in a germanic suffix. Space there any other instances of utilizing a germanic ‑ine suffix to make a feminine variation of something in betterworld2016.org, or is heroine unique in this?

Are both these ‑ess and also ‑ine suffix still abundant in betterworld2016.org, or can we just use premade develops that someone else currently coined?


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Executive Summary/TL;DR: There are at the very least three different -ess suffixes connected here: one is because that feminines that people and also critters; one is to change adjectives into nouns that quality, the means betterworld2016.org -ness does; and also one that is provided to produce names of fabled or mythical lands.

Plus heroine because that a woman hero pertains to us via Latin, not German, and the Latin is making use of the Greek ‑ine suffix. However, the homophonic word because that the medicine heroin did come to us via German.

You are watching: What does the suffix ess mean

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First -ess suffix ‑ess, suffix1, developing sbs. Denoting female persons or animals, is a. Fr. ‑esse:‑Com. Romanic ‑essa:‑late L. ‑issa, a. Gr. ‑ισσα (:‑‑ikyā: cf. The OE. Fem. Agent‑suffix ‑icge: ‑igjôn) developing in class. Gr. Just in βασίλισσα queen (f. βασιλ‑εύς king), however after the analogy that this employed in number of late formations, together βαλάνισσα bathing‑woman, πανδόκισσα female innkeeper. A couple of of this (notably διακόνισσα, L. diaconissa deaconess) were embraced into late L. Together with their correlative masculines, and also many brand-new derivatives of the very same pattern were created in Latin, whence castle descended into the Romanic langs.; e.g. Native abbātem abbot, was developed abbātissa, whence Fr.abbesse abbess. On the analogy of these the suffix ended up being in Romanic the usual way of developing feminine derivatives expressing sex. In ME. Numerous words in ‑esse were embraced from Fr., as countess, duchess, hostess, lioness, mistress, princess, and several i m sorry were created on sbs. In ‑ëor, ‑ier (see ‑er2), as †devoureresse, enchantress,†espyouresse, sorceress. In imitation of these the suffix was in 14th c. Appended come Eng. Agent‑nouns in ‑er, together in Wyclif’s dwelleresse, sleeress (f. sleer = slayer), and also to other indigenous words, as in goddess. In 15th c.derivatives in ‑er + ‑ess gradually superseded the older Eng. Fem. Agent‑nouns in ‑ster (OE. ‑estre), which no longer had actually an exclusively feminine sense; subsequently the sbs. In ‑ster (exc. spinster) came to be regarded as appropriately masc., and brand-new feminines in ‑ess were developed on them, as seamstress, songstress. By authors of 16th and also succeeding centuries derivatives in ‑ess were formed really freely; numerous of this are currently obsolete or small used, the propensity of mod. Consumption being to treat the agent‑nouns in ‑er, and also the sbs. Indicating job or occupation, as of typical gender, uneven there be some special factor to the contrary. Of the native of Eng. Formation still in present use, instances are authoress, giantess, Jewess, patroness, poetess, priestess, quakeress, tailoress. In Eng. The suffix is not offered to form feminines of name of animals: lioness, tigress gift adoptions from Fr. Once ‑ess is added to a sb. In ‑ter, ‑tor, the vowel before the r is typically elided, as in actress, doctress, protectress, waitress; the derivatives with finishing ‑tress, f. L. Agent‑nouns in ‑tor, have in most cases been suggested by, and may be concerned as online adaptations of, the corresponding Fr. Words in ‑trice: ‑L. ‑trīcem. The substitution of governess (already in Caxton) because that the earlier governeresse f. governor was perh. Because of false analogy through pairs that words prefer adulter‑er, ‑ess, cater‑er, ‑ess, sorcer‑er, ‑ess; in conqueress, murderess, adventuress the similar phenomenon is sufficiently described by phonetic reasons. The presence of together words, in i beg your pardon ‑ess has the figure of being added directly to vbs., provided rise in the 17th. C. Come formations favor confectioness, entertainess, instructess; but none the these acquired general currency.

As girlfriend see, the worry is complicated. Some of these ‑ess words came via French and also often Latin prior to that, but others were formed independently. Also betterworld2016.org actress to be probably formed separately from French actrice (cf. Spanish actriz, both native Latin actrix, -ic-), although occasionally actrice is uncovered in betterworld2016.org instead of actress.

I would certainly say the this ‑ess suffix is reasonably fertile in betterworld2016.org, at the very least insofar together that people would recognize you if friend coined something like jaguaress through analogy v lioness and also leopardess. I wouldn’t try cheetess

‑ess, suffix2, ME. ‑esse, in sbs. A. Fr., represents OF. ‑esse, ‑ece, = Pr. ‑ezza, ‑eza, Sp. ‑eza, It. ‑ezza :‑L. ‑itia, appended come adjs. To kind nouns that quality; examples are duress, †humblesse, largess, prowess, †richesse (now riches). These words have been imitated in the pseudo-archaic idlesse, however otherwise the suffix scarcely occurs together an Eng. Formative.

Words like finesse, noblesse, politesse, tristesse are straight borrowings from French, whereby the suffix was no to make feminine nouns, yet rather the exact same thing we usage -ness because that in betterworld2016.org, therefore those correspond to fineness, nobleness (nobility), politeness, “*tristness” (sadness) utilizing the regular betterworld2016.org -ness suffix. The OED claims of finesse in particular:

Etymology: a. Fr. finesse = Pr. And Sp. fineza, Cat. finesa, Ital.finezza :‑Com. Rom. *finitia, f. fino fine a. (Many the the beforehand examples might belong come fineness; cf. The order playnes, prophaness because that plainness, profaneness.)

Words like tristesse are uncovered in other Romance languages, favor tristeza (sadness) in Spanish. I wouldn’t call it fertile in betterworld2016.org based upon the OED saying that it scarcely occurs together a formative. I expect you might get away through using lock productively in betterworld2016.org, detailed you want to convey a snooty feeling to it.

Third -ess suffix Wikipedia writes:

Lyonesse is one betterworld2016.org alteration of French Léoneis or Léonois (earlier Loönois), a advance of Lodonesia, the Latin name for Lothian in Scotland. Continental authors of Arthurian romances were often confused by the internal geography of an excellent Britain; hence it is the the writer French Prose Tristan shows up to place Léonois contiguous, by land, to Cornwall. In betterworld2016.org adaptations of the French tales, Léonois, now "Lyonesse", becomes a kingdom wholly unique from Lothian, and closely linked with the Cornish region, though its exact geographical place remained unspecified.

Presumably the formerly rare Westernesse was built by analogy top top the same model as Lyonesse, but using western as a base. The name appears in King Horn, and was once rare. However, J.R.R. Tolkien embraced it as a common Tongue translation of his Atlantis calque, Númenor. In his letter come Milton Waldman, released as #131 the his Letters, Tolkien writes:

A name that Lewis derives native me and cannot be restrained from using, and also mis-spelling as Numinor. Númenóre means in ‘Elvish’ just Westernesse or floor in the West, and also is not regarded numen numinous, or νούμενον!

And in Letter #275 come W.H. Auden, he spells this out an ext explicitly:

I have often used Westernesse as a translation. This is obtained from rare center betterworld2016.org Westernesse (known to me only in MS. C the King Horn) where the definition is vague, however may be taken to typical ‘Western lands’ as distinct from the east inhabited by the Paynim and also Saracens. Lewis take it no component in ‘research right into Númenor’.

Subsequent to publishing of The lord of the Rings, the word Westernesse has appeared in print much an ext often 보다 it walk in the 19th century, whereby it was only in referral to discussion of King Horn. And also Jack Vance took up Lyonesse and also made the his own.

Probably because of Tolkien and Vance, an ext recent authors of fantasy (and of fantasy rôle-playing games) have actually used the ‑esse suffix for comparable constructions to create their very own mythical lands, so in this regard alone could it be stated to be productive.

Epic Heroes and Heroines: -ine is Greek

Your supposition that heroine offers a germanic suffix to kind a feminine native hero turns out to be wrong. Yes, German has such a suffix (e.g. Königin queen

Etymology: ad. L. hērōīna, ‑īnē, a. Gr. ἡρωῑ́νη, fem. Of ἥρως hero: view ‑ine. Cf. Fr. héroïne (16th c.). The Lat. Type was also in Eng. Usage in 17th c.

So ‑ine to be a Greek suffix, and also we gained the Greek word via Latin.

Indeed, here are OED citations showing exactly how heroina initially competed with heroine:

A. 1659 Cleveland Mt. Ida ᴠ, ― following Pallas the brave Heroina came. 1662 Evelyn Chalcogr. 61 ― A Sardonix which the cut, representing the head the that renowned Heroine . 1697 tr. C’tess D’Aunoy’s Trav. (1706) 85 ― To distinguish herself from among the Heroina’s of the most famous Ages. 1725 Pope Odyss. xɪ. Argt., ― he sees the shades of the old heroines. 1835 Thirlwall Greece I. V. 149 ― Medea seems··to have descended··from the location of a goddess into that the a heroine.

The OED entry on this kind of -ine is:

-ine, suffix3, forming sbs., repr. F. ‑ine, L. ‑īna, Gr. ‑ῑνη, creating feminine titles, as in Gr. ἡρωίνη, L. hērōīna, F. héroine heroine. V this the Ger. landgräfin, markgräfin, Du. landgravin, markgravin (the suffix of which is orig. The same as ‑en2 1), have actually fallen with each other in French and also in Eng., as landgravine, margravine.

The just relationship between ‑ine as a feminine and also anything germanic is the isolated native vixen, whereby the ‑en was added to do the female fox. The OED says of this form:

-en, suffix2 :-WGer. ‑innja, repr. OTeut. ‑inî, wake up in numerous OE. Fem. Sbs., a few of which have actually survived into mod. Eng.

the is offered to type feminines native sbs. Denoting male persons or animals, as in OE. gyden goddess (f. God), mynecen nun (f. munuc monk), wylfen she-wolf (f. wulf wolf). The just surviving instance of this use is vixen mrs fox. It is added in a couple of instances to the stem of a vb. Or to the of a verbal-abstract sb., together in burden sb., burian, OE. rǽden condition.

I can uncover no direct connection between Germanic ‑en for feminines and Greek ‑ine because that the sames, yet perhaps it exists further back toward PIE. The PIE gender instance is unclear; the feminine gender shows up to have actually come into play a little later. There seem to have been only masculine/animate vs neuter/inanimate originally.

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In any event, I would not use ‑ine as a fertile suffix for developing feminines in betterworld2016.org if i were you; you will do it get an ext traction the end of making use of ‑ess for that.