back formations

You can also back-form affixes. A real-life example is the new suffix “-gate,” which turns any noun into the name of a scandal (scandalizes any noun). Let’s declare that “-n” is for turning anything into the name of an unrelated bird. It turns “hero” into “heron,” “bitter” into “bittern,” and with an extra vowel for pronounceability, “rob” into “robin.” OK, now what does “SWAPAn” mean? The same as “flamingo”?

updated 28 June 2000