-ster

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See also: ster, stêr, and Stèr

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English -estere, -ester, from Old English -estre (-ster, feminine agent suffix), from Proto-West Germanic *-astrijā, of disputed origin. Cognate with Middle Low German -ester, Dutch -ster.

Suffix[edit]

-ster

  1. Someone who is, or who is associated with, or who does something specified.
  2. (humorous, sometimes offensive) A diminutive appended to a person's name.
    • 1992, Russell Baker, "Observer; Pretty Good Read" (review of What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer), New York Times, 25 Jul.,
      Cramer's exploration of the hearts, minds and souls of America's ambition-crazed Presidential candidates moves ahead at a pace that feels childishly frantic . . . . This is not just because it keeps referring to Senator Robert Dole as "the Bobster."

Usage notes[edit]

  • Relatively uncommon for agent nouns, compared to more usual -er and -or; primarily used for single-syllable words. Also informal, particularly in contemporary productive use – compare hipster, scenester, bankster; older terms such as barrister do not have this casual connotation, however.
  • Sometimes used in proper names, e.g. Napster (file-sharing software), Blockster (Brandon Block, disc jockey)
  • In older words, used as a suffix for jobs that were held by women, e.g., webster (a female webber, or weaver), baxter (a female baker), spinster (a female spinner), brewster (a female brewer).

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch -ster, from Old Dutch *-istra, from Proto-West Germanic *-astrijā; cognate with Middle Low German -ester, Old English -estre. Perhaps also merging with Vulgar Latin -istria, borrowed from Ancient Greek -ιστρια (-istria).[1]

Suffix[edit]

-ster f

  1. female equivalent of -er

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A. van Loey, "Schönfeld's Historische Grammatica van het Nederlands", Zutphen, 8. druk, 1970, →ISBN; § 177

Middle English[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-ster

  1. Alternative form of -estere