Middle English Dictionary Entry

-ish suf.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

A derivational suffix in nouns designating nations, races, or languages, and in adjectives describing them; from OE: Brittish, English, Denish (var. of Danish), Frensh, Grekish, Romanish, Welsh, etc.; of ME formation: Alemainisc, Britonish, Danish, Frankish, Indish, Irish, Scottish, Spainish, etc. A few ME adjectives are derived from place names in imitation of the above; e.g., Flaundrish, Lundenisc. The same suffix appears in adjectives derived from common nouns, and having the sense 'of the nature of, similar to'; from OE: cherlish, hevenish, mennish, thedish, etc.; of early ME formation: elvish, lifish, shepish, etc.; of later ME formation: coltish, doggish, feverish, folish, foxish, knavish, etc. ME boudish has the suffix attached to the stem of an OF verb. In late ME, this suffix is attached to adjectives and has the sense 'somewhat': blakish, bleuish, derkish, dullish, fattish, grenish, redish, saltish, wannish, etc.