The popularity of the word “coeval” has been declining for over 100 years now. Why?

According to Ngram, anyway. The vast majority of English speakers seem to have no idea what the word means. Now why is that? UPDATE: After reading some of the responses: As a noun. Answer In Search of Lost Etymons: Stalking Cranberry Morphemes The learnèd word coeval, sometimes written coëval and formerly spelled coaeval or coæval, … Read more

How many morphemes in ‘during’?

Is ‘during’ one morpheme or is it something like DURATION+ continuity? Answer I found an article here that seems to be particularly relevant: A variety of historical developments in meaning can obscure our perceptions of morphemic status. Often the only way to recognise the presence of some morphemes is through the study of the history … Read more

Is there a term for the part of a word that “pluralizes” it?

For example, what is the “s” in “apples” or the “ies” in “ponies” called? I found that “morpheme” is probably close, since that’s just the smallest grammatical unit in a language, but that’s not really identifying the pluralizing nature of the morpheme itself. I’ve suggested “pluralizer” to a friend, but that kinda seems made up … Read more

What is the origin of -oid in ‘factoid’?

I was thinking about the words ‘factoid’ (a statement based on assumption) and ‘fact’. Are these words unrelated or is -oid a bound morpheme in this case? If it is a morpheme, what exactly does -oid mean and what is its origin? I wonder if words like ‘humanoid’ and ‘cannabinoid’ are related. Answer Factoid is … Read more

What are lexemes and morphemes?

I am preparing for my TOEFL test and want to increase my vocabulary. Can anybody please tell me what lexemes and morphemes are, and why they are important? I have Googled the terms but I need the explanation to be given in a simpler way. Any help is appreciated. Thank You 🙂 Answer I would … Read more

What is the root morpheme of a word when ‘y’ turns into ‘ies’ or ‘ier’?

Suppose I have to write out the root morpheme and the bound morpheme. Consider the word ‘happier’. I’ve seen some examples, for example here on the second slide: where the root is ‘happy’ and the bound morpheme is ‘er’. However, on another website (I forgot the link but I will post it if I … Read more

Why Greek morphemes over Latin, or Latin over Greek? *A Call to Lexicographers*

Is there a rationale behind why certain English words take Greek morphemes (or affixes) over Latin morphemes, and vice versa? Why do certain Greek morphemes become standard English idiom over Latin ones, and Latin ones over Greek ones? Is it even possible to know why? It’s “monotheism”, not tantumtheismi (the former entirely Greek μονος+θεός, the … Read more

Is there a term for what ‘sheveled’ is to ‘disheveled’?

Is there a term to describe an unprefixed term like sheveled that is used less or not at all compared to its prefixed relative disheveled? My word Helen, you look very sheveled today! Edit: Below Malvolio brings up the example of kempt which is another example of what I’m talking about. A word that has … Read more

Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

Certain words you hear in English are only ever heard in a single context. For example, skirl is used to describe the sound a bagpipe makes. Etymonline generously says the word is “rarely” heard outside that context, but I can’t recall ever hearing it used for anything else. I imagine one could use it figuratively … Read more