Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: Appendix:Variations of "on"
Perhaps from the ending of Latin or Medieval Latin words belonging to the Third Declension (-ō, -ōnis), used sometimes to change the sense or usage of original term. In this case, Spanish -on would be cognate to Italian -one and French -on.
- emphasizes that something is large, grand, intense, important
- indicates that someone or something has large attributes, or larger than usual
- for few cases, indicates that something is used wrong or frequently (forming adjectives and or nouns)
- emphasizes contempt for subject
- forms a noun from a different (usually larger) but related or similar one
- suffixed to verbs, doing something repeatedly or often
- for very few cases, indicates small size of or a lack of something (such as an ironic augmentative)
- pelo + -ón → pelón (“with little or no hair”)
- rabo + -ón → rabón (“with little or no tail”)
- rata (“rat”) + -ón → ratón (“mouse”)
- tapa + -ón → tapón (“cork, stopper, a little cover or lid”)
- monte + -ón → montón (“heap, pile, a "little mountain"”); although its origin may be a comparison with a little mountain of something, it also means "big amount"
- The suffix produces adjectives or nouns.
- Some Spanish words ending with this suffix have neither a Latin nor a Greek etymology, but an Arabic one:
- Many Spanish words end with -on (lacking a written accent, being always paroxytone), but most of those cases is an inflection for the third-person plural (ellos, ellas, also used with ustedes) preterite indicative form of a verb:
- (chemistry) ending of every chemical element belonging only to the noble gases group, except helium (in spanish helio)
- (nuclear physics) ending of most or every subatomic particle