Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 11 to 15 of 15

Thread: -ish

  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: -ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Thanks, Bob.

    A good pun. The same could be said with British and the like, I think.
    Not really, as there's no noun 'Brit' (although, now I come to think of it, there is in informal speech: "the Brits abroad"); so you're right

    On the subject of nouns, there are a few -ish words that are nothing like tallish shortish and so on. They are adjectives formed from a noun + -ish: childish, devilish, freakish, boyish.

    b

  2. #12
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    863
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: -ish

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Dr Jonathan Miller, when he was a student, used to crack a joke about himself:
    I'm not a practising Jew - just Jewish. The joke relied on the fact that Jew is one of those "definitely-not-ishable" words, although there is a quite different adjective "Jewish" (which has nothing to do with degree).

    b
    I don't understand the joke. Could you explain it once more, a little properlier, please?


    Quote Originally Posted by fantazjusz View Post
    Hi Lenka.
    I speak Polish and our languages are very similar, so perhaps I'll be able to picture it in terms of your mother tongue. Slavic languages also have a suffix to convey this specific meaning. For instance in Polish, it's "-awy", "-awa" or "-awe" (depending on the grammatical gender of a given adjective: male, female and neuter respectively).
    So by adding this to the adjective "stary" [old] (although not EVERY adjective can undergo this suffixation), you get "starawy" (kind of old; male), "zielony" [green] --> "zielonawy" (kind of green, greenish) etc.
    Hi!
    Thank you for your try to help me! Now, I think I can understand the meaning. However, I don't think that all the adjectives in Czech can be formed by only one suffix to make such meanings; in addition, there are probably some which can't be changed to change the meaning. You would have to say "a little, quite..." (tak trochu, celkem, poměrně, etc.).
    Anyway, greenish would be probably translated as "zelenkavý" or "nazelenalý".
    "starawy"... I don't know... I'd say "starší" which means "older" or "elderly" (in this meaning, it's rather elderly; it's the comparative of the adjective "starý")... Does it mean the same as "starawy"?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,335
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: -ish

    Hi, Lenka,
    In the joke Jewish sounds just like tallish. Tallish=not quite tall, Jewish=not quite a Jew. Jewish is not a qualitative adjective, that's what makes it funny.
    Do you get it now?
    Bob, perhaps in case of Brits one would have to spell it like Brittish.
    Regards

  4. #14
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    863
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: -ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi, Lenka,
    In the joke Jewish sounds just like tallish. Tallish=not quite tall, Jewish=not quite a Jew. Jewish is not a qualitative adjective, that's what makes it funny.
    Do you get it now?
    Bob, perhaps in case of Brits one would have to spell it like Brittish.
    Regards
    Ah! Thank you! Now I understand .
    However, "Jew" is a noun, "Jewish" is an adjective (that's right isn't it?). Is it possible to say "he is Jewish" (I mean, would one normally say this or is it more commen (or commoner???) to use "He is a Jew"?)?

  5. #15
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: -ish

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Ah! Thank you! Now I understand .

    Good. I thought Humble's explanation was perfect, so I thought I'd say no more

    However, "Jew" is a noun, "Jewish" is an adjective (that's right isn't it?). Is it possible to say "he is Jewish" (I mean, would one normally say this or is it more commen (or commoner???) to use "He is a Jew"?)?
    Yes, you're right. My original post was misleading; Jew+-ish follows the pattern of my more recent post (about nouns that can take an -ish suffix.
    b

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •