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Related to back-formations: Word formation


or back formation (băk′fôr-mā′shən)
1. A new word created by removing an affix from an already existing word, as vacuum clean from vacuum cleaner, or by removing what is mistakenly thought to be an affix, as bicep from the English plural biceps.
2. The process of forming words in this way.

back′-form′ (băk′fôrm′) v.
back′-formed′ (băk′fôrmd′) adj.


The formation of a word by assuming it must be the root of an existing word, for example the verb “babysit” derived from the noun “babysitter.”
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.back-formation - a word invented (usually unwittingly by subtracting an affix) on the assumption that a familiar word derives from it
word - a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all morning"
References in periodicals archive ?
The topics include a cognitive analysis of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its Polish translation: linguistic worldview in translation criticism, the metanomic mapping within the event schema in noun-to-verb back-formations, using cognitive tools in analyzing variant construals: the remakes of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, linguistic and cultural image in the notion of death in Polish and German, and conceptual-linguistic creativity in poetic texts as a potential source of translation problems.
Explaining various etymologies, word histories, word creations and word deaths, they cover such topics as baby talk, back-formations, neologisms, nonce words, euphemisms, prefixes and suffixes.
In other words, "[a]uthor's rights will thus appear as back-formations within the development of industrial copyright" (44).