From Middle English -ish, -isch, from Old English -isc (“-ish”, suffix), from Proto-Germanic *-iskaz (“-ish”), from Proto-Indo-European *-iskos. Cognate with Dutch and German -isch, Norwegian and Danish -isk, Lithuanian -iškas, and Ancient Greek diminutive suffix -ισκος (-iskos).
- (appended to many kinds of words) Typical or similar to.
- Her face had a girlish charm.
- 1859, Harriet Parr (as Holme Lee), Against Wind and Tide, volume 1, p. 273:
- […] ; for she had recently developed a magpie[-]ish tendency to appropriate and conceal trifling matters; […]
- (appended to adjectives) Somewhat.
- Her face had a greenish tinge.
- (appended to numbers, especially times and ages) About, approximately.
- We arrived at tennish or We arrived tennish. (Sometime around ten.)
- I couldn't tell his precise age, but he was fiftyish.
- (appended to roots denoting names of nations or regions) Of a nationality, place, language or similar association with something.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- -ish (language)
- Added to names of places or peoples to denote the language spoken in that place or by that people.
- -self (emphatic)
- Added to prepositional pronouns to add emphasis (not to create a reflexive pronoun).