-y

-y

1
a native English suffix of adjectives meaning “characterized by or inclined to” the substance or action of the word or stem to which the suffix is attached: juicy; grouchy; rumbly; dreamy. Sometimes used to mean “allowing, fostering, or bringing about” the specified action: sippy.
Also, -ey1.


Origin:
Old English -ig; cognate with German -ig; compare perhaps Latin -icus, Greek -ikos

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-y

2
a noun-forming suffix with a variety of functions in contemporary English, added to monosyllabic bases to create words that are almost always informal. Its earliest use, probably still productive, was to form endearing or familiar names or common nouns from personal names, other nouns, and adjectives (Billy; Susie; birdie; doggie; granny; sweetie; tummy ). The hypocoristic feature is absent in recent coinages, however, which are simply informal and sometimes pejorative (boonies; cabby; groupie; hippy; looie; Okie; preemie; preppy; rookie ). Another function of -y2, (-ie) is to form from adjectives nouns that denote exemplary or extreme instances of the quality named by the adjective (baddie; biggie; cheapie; toughie ), sometimes focusing on a restricted, usually unfavorable sense of the adjective (sharpie; sickie; whitey ). A few words in which the informal character of -y2, (-ie) has been lost are now standard in formal written English (goalie; movie ).
Also, -ie.
Compare -o, -sy.


Origin:
late Middle English (Scots), orig. in names; of uncertain origin; baby and puppy, now felt as having this suffix, may be of different derivation

-y

3
a suffix of various origins used in the formation of action nouns from verbs (inquiry ), also found in other abstract nouns: carpentry; infamy.

Origin:
representing Latin -ia, -ium; Greek -ia, -eia, -ion; French -ie; German -ie

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To -y
Collins
World English Dictionary
-y or -ey1
 
suffix forming adjectives
1.  (from nouns) characterized by; consisting of; filled with; relating to; resembling: sunny; sandy; smoky; classy
2.  (from verbs) tending to; acting or existing as specified: leaky; shiny
 
[from Old English -ig, -ǣg]
 
-ey or -ey1
 
suffix forming adjectives
 
[from Old English -ig, -ǣg]

-y, -ie or -ey2
 
suffix
1.  denoting smallness and expressing affection and familiarity: a doggy; a granny; Jamie
2.  a person or thing concerned with or characterized by being: a groupie; a fatty
 
[C14: from Scottish -ie, -y, familiar suffix occurring originally in names, as in Jamie (James)]
 
-ie, -ie or -ey2
 
suffix
 
[C14: from Scottish -ie, -y, familiar suffix occurring originally in names, as in Jamie (James)]
 
-ey, -ie or -ey2
 
suffix
 
[C14: from Scottish -ie, -y, familiar suffix occurring originally in names, as in Jamie (James)]

-y3
 
suffix forming nouns
1.  (from verbs) indicating the act of doing what is indicated by the verbal element: inquiry
2.  (esp with combining forms of Greek, Latin, or French origin) indicating state, condition, or quality: geography; jealousy
 
[from Old French -ie, from Latin -ia]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

-y
suffix in pet proper names (e.g. Johnny, Kitty), first recorded in Scottish, c.1400; became frequent in Eng. 15c.-16c. Extension to surnames seems to date from c.1940. Use with common nouns seems to have begun in Scot. with laddie (1546) and become
popular in Eng. due to Burns' poems, but the same formation appears to be represented much earlier in baby and puppy.

-y
noun suffix, in army, city, country, etc., from O.Fr. -e, L. -atus, -atum, pp. suffix of verbs of the first conjugation. In victory, history, etc. it represents L. -ia, Gk. -ia.

-y
adj. suffix, "full of or characterized by," from O.E. -ig, from P.Gmc. *-iga (cf. Ger. -ig), cognate with Gk. -ikos, L. -icus.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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