-ish

-ish

suff.
1. Of, relating to, or being: Swedish.
2.
a. Characteristic of: girlish.
b. Having the usually undesirable qualities of: childish.
3. Approximately; somewhat: greenish.
4. Tending toward; preoccupied with: selfish.

[Middle English, from Old English -isc.]

-ish

suffix forming adjectives
1. of or belonging to a nationality or group: Scottish.
2. often derogatory having the manner or qualities of; resembling: slavish; prudish; boyish.
3. somewhat; approximately: yellowish; sevenish.
4. concerned or preoccupied with: bookish.
[Old English -isc; related to German -isch, Greek -iskos]

-ish1

,
1. a suffix forming adjectives from nouns, with the meanings “pertaining to” (British; Spanish); “after the manner of,” “having the characteristics of,” “like” (babyish; girlish; mulish); “addicted to,” “inclined or tending to” (bookish; freakish); “near or about” (fiftyish; sevenish).
2. a suffix forming adjectives from other adjectives, with the meanings “somewhat,” “rather” (oldish; reddish; sweetish).
[Middle English; Old English -isc; c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old High German -isc, Gothic -isks, Greek -iskos; akin to -esque]

-ish2

,
a formative occurring in verbs borrowed from French ( nourish; perish), used rarely to form verbs in English from Latin bases ( extinguish).
[< French -iss-, extended s. of verbs with infinitives in -ir « Latin -isc-, in inceptive verbs]
Translations

-ish

adj suf (+adj) → -lich; (+n) → -haft; (= approximately)um … herum, circa; greenishgrünlich; coldishziemlich kalt; smallishziemlich klein; youngishziemlich jung; boyishjungenhaft; fortyishum vierzig herum, circa vierzig
References in periodicals archive ?
The aim of the present paper is to investigate the reasons for the significant decline in both the frequency and productivity of the suffix -ish in Middle English.
The analysis of the productivity of the suffix -ish in the period under discussion relies on the type value, as suggested by Dalton-Puffer and Cowie (2000).
The OE suffix -ish has been subject to only narrow interest as demonstrated in merely a few dictionary entries and short descriptions among other affixes found in some Old English grammars or histories of English.
The OED online gives a slightly more exhaustive description of the Old English -ish and defines it as
The ME suffix -ish has been briefly treated by Jespersen (1942), Fisiak (1965, 1968 [2004]), Marchand (1969), OED online, Dalton-Puffer (1996) and the MED online.
Jespersen (1942: 323), Fisiak (1965: 65, 69, 1968 [2004]: 110), Marchand (1969: 243-244) and the OED online note that in Middle English the suffix -ish started to derive adjectives also from other adjectives and illustrate it with a few examples.
the first three subperiods of the Middle English part of the Helsinki Corpus (1150-1420), found -ish derivatives only from nouns.
The MED online treats 27 -ish derivatives as originating in Early Middle English.
As regards denominal formations, the suffix -ish in them assumes the sense 'a quality characteristic of'.
About 30% of all LME -ish formations are derived from adjectives.
In the period 1350-1420, for which Dalton-Puffer quotes 2 -ish types, I have found 48 new coinages.
Analysis: Reasons for the decline in productivity of ME -ish