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An analysis of derivative words in the English language, or A key to their ... online

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. - ^^








A' r




" '^iv* i^CfirUA^ 3 SUFFIXES:



• 1854.


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/<>3^(»^<f '



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 18S3,


In tho Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and fbr the Norm

em District of New Yorlt.


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Thk first edition of this work was the first ieffort of the author, and
it is believed to be the/r»^ attempt to present the campofient parts ol
EnglUh derivative words, in tlieir distinctive character, and exliibit
tlieir combination in any thing like system. The practicability of the
work ''had been under consideration, and the materials principally
collected, m^ny years before the plan was fully carried out Tlie first
edition waa at length presented, and has fairly settled the question a«
to the importance of the plan proposed, and the course to be pursued
in acquiring a knowledge of derivative words.

This revised edition is now submitted to the public, with wliat are
believed to be valuable improvements. The work has now been in use
in it« printed form seventeen years; and, during that. period, experience
has suggested the improvements carried out in this revision. Tlie
most important of these, consists in a simplification, better adapted to
tlie capacities of children.* To accomplish this objefil, it became
necessary to re- write and re-arrange the whole. The same words^ ,
however, are retained in the body of the work which are found in the
former editions.

The examples accompanying the prefixes and suffixes, are so multi-
plied, as to give a more enlarged comprehension of the manner of
defining; and. the characters showing derivative combination^ ar«
mostly changed, and it is tliought, much for the better.

The prefixes and suffices, with their significant characters^ are so
arranged as to preclude the possibility of mistakes in derivative forma-
tions, unless by inexcusable carelessness on the part of pupils, or inat-
tention to the rules and directions given.

NoUiing can give such force to the significant import of words as
their analysis ; and nothing can relieve the memory fi'ora so great a r
tusk in acquiring a knowledge of language, as familiarity with those
component parts which are common to so many thousand words^ and,

* The autbor acknowledges some valuable raggestions from Speneer Smith, Ei^,
«f St I«o«if, Mo., sad ProC Kenyon, of wpHboxn New York.


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flt the Bame time» characterize their analytic signification. It is a d»* '
relopment of this principle, with its systematic application, which hai
given such celebrity to this little work.

The fact is y^U known to classical scholars, that the primitive worda
in our language are comparatively few, and of the simplest, order, such
as almost every child of ten years old knows. It is when these simple
words grow up into their derivative, compound, and complex forms^
that the child loses sight of their import, and simply, because he is
ignorant of their component parts.

The principles on which this work is executed, %re interwoven with,
and fundamental to, a critical knowledge of every language. Hence^
it is the undivided opinion of the most competent judges, that an
English scholar, thoroughly versed in this system, will, so far as lan-
gqage is concerned, secure to himself many important advantagei^
which the classical scholar alone has heretofore enjoyed.

Tliis work is now sent out with an arrangement so simplified, as to
render it doubly beneficial, especially to younger classes of pupils, and
at the same time, not l^ss interesting and valuable to those of all ages;
who desire a more critical knowledge of the analysis of words of which .
our language is composed.

Mat 16th, 1862. *


The author of the Analysis has in so many instances been asked by
literary gentlemen, what Jirst led him to examine English words by
prefixes and suffixes, and make a general application of the abstcact
signification of those component parts for defining that he considers a
brief statemebt of the facts not inappropriate.

As Principal of Granville Academy, he had taught the classics in the
usual mode from ISO? till 1822 ; and, having^witnessed the difficultica
with whi«h scholars meet in the commencement of those studies^ in
tt*acing Latin and Greek derivatives to the radical word, he wai
induced to believe some method could be devised for their benefit.

A careful iinalysis, therefM*e, of every compound and derivative
word, occurring in the Latin and Greek lessons, was commenced and
continued in the recitations of those classes, by means of which th«
students soon became able to distinguish the component parts of auoh.
wordS) and thereby find the root This method was attended with %
gM^ d^g;f«e of vtKccitiei, and found greatly to facilitate scholars in^^


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acqtiiffltioii of those languages. Soon, however, it occtured to the
author, that the same course might, perhaps, be pursued in gaining a
more accurate knowledge of English derivatives.

This suggestion led to an investigation of liie subject, and finally
resulted in the effort of collecting and defining what are termed prefixu
and suffixes, as the modifiers of the significant import of radical words.

The work of collecting materials for a book, was pursued at intervala^
. between 1822-4. The prefixes, being in the main Greek, Latin, and
Saxon prepositions, were not difficult to classify and define; but many
of the suffixes required much labor, as well as patient examination, to
arrive at a common definition, which might render them common
definers. ' '

This was finally accomplished by collating words of the same termi-
nations, frequently amounting to some hundreds in each of the more
di^cult classes, and then searching for such defining expression or
phrase, as might be applied to all words having a similar termination^
which is a regular suffix.

Most of the original papers are still in existence, with the prefixes
and §uffixes arranged and defined, as they now stand in the first edi-
tion. Moreover, there are a large number of individuals now living;
who learned the prefixes and sufiixes, with the mode of defining, from
the word Press, copied from the original inanmcript, and pasted on the
walls in the recitation room of Granville Academy, as early as 1826,
with a view of testing this mode of defining. ^

In 1827, the principles aiW application of the entbe system wane
made a regular study in PoVelton Academy, Georgia, over which the
author then presided. In 1831, the whole plan, with specimens of its
parts, was communicated to the Rev. Dr. I)avis> former President of
Hamilton College, who caused the same to be read before a State Con-
vention of Teachers, then assembled in Utica; and in 1836, the first
edition, in its printed form, was presented to the public.

And now, in conclusion, the author would r emjirk, that previous to
his prepft**ation of this work, he had neither seen nor heard of any
publication whatever, involving the essential principles of his plan,
nor had the learned professors in our colleges, several of whom were
consulted, any knowledge of such a work in the language ; and, at the
present time, he has no knowledge of any work approximating it, of
an earlier date than "Butler's Etymological Spelling Book," published
in London in 1829, from which the "Scholar's Companion" was com-
piled, and published in Philadelphia, in 1835.

These facts are here stated merely to show when and how Hie work
was commenced, carried forward, tested, and finally brought to its
fs^sent state.


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Explanation of Primitive and Derivative Wordi^ pagb 7 •

Caution, and Important Explanations, 8

Explanation of tiie Prefixes, 9

Prefixes of Latin Origin Defined and Exem]>lified, 10

Prefixes of Greek Origin Defined and Exemplified, ! . . . . 24

Prefixes of Saxon Origin Defined and Exemplified, 80

Sjnoj^sis of the Latin Prefixes, S3

Synopsis of Uie Greek Prefixes, . ^ 84

Classification of Prefixes, 86

An Exercise in Applying the Definition of Prefixes, 88

Explanation of Snffixea, and the Suflixes Defined and Exemplified, 40

Syuo|»sis of the Sufiix«^•^ 52

Kules for Forming Derivative Words, 63

An Exercise in Forming Derivatives by Suffixes, .... 56

CIa.ssifieation of Suffixes, 58

Special Rules for Forming Derivatives by Prefixes, CO

» Manner of Defining by lYefixes and Sufiixes» 61

The Different Import of Certain Prefixes,' 68

An Exercise in Formipg Derivatives by Prefixes, 05

An Exercise in Defining by Prefixes, 66

Explanation of the Arrangement and Characters, 68

Kxercise in Forming Derivatives without Defining. 70

Explanation, and Exercises in Foi*ming and Defining Derivatives, 72

Tlie Word Press and Eighty-Three Derivatives^ 75

Primitive Words of One Syllable, 78

Primitive Words of Two Syllables, 82

Primitive Words of Three Syllables, 97

Primitive Words of Three and Four Syllables, 102

Defining by the Use of Two Prefixes,' Ill

Defining by the Use of Tliree Pi-efixes, 123

Special Directions for Combining Derivatives^ } 1 28

Inseparable Prefixes, 133.

Primitive Words having an Inseparable Prefix, 134

Chemical Import of certain Suffixes and Prefixes, 152

General and Special Kules fo^ Pronouncing the English Language, 158
Origiii of MDia of tho Prefixes and Suffixes^ 158


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1. Primitive words are such as can be reduced to no
fewer letters than what are then expressed, and still remain
significant English words ; as, Man, Fame, House, Sense.

2. Derivative words are such as are formed from ilio
primitives by the addition of other letters or syllables ; as,
from the preceding primitive words, we thus form ihe dt-riv-
alives, Manly, Defamation, Houseless, and Insensihiliiy.

3. A compound wprd is composed of two or more disiinct
words ; as, Sugar-maple, Over-load, Common-place-bo(»k.

4. The root of a word is that part which belongs ejrln*
sively to the primitive form, and is not combined with any
other word, syllable, or letter ; as^ press.

In this work, all such words of Latin origin, as Ahdicato,
Convene, Adhere, &c.^ so far as our language is conceniod,
will be taken as primitives ; yet the classical scholar will
^ percejve that they are not such in the language whence iln-y
are derived. Some other words also will be inserted which
are not primitives.

Those parts which are added to a primitive word, wo
shall call prefixes anJ suffixes ; and, as the primitive has at
least one appropriate meaning, all the varieties of significa-
tion which arise from additions in any way made to such
primitive, must depend exclusively on those parts added.
Hence, when all th^ prefixes and suffixes in the language
are known, nothing remains but to acquire the meaning of
the primitives to understand thev whole language, so far as
, those component parts are concerned in modifying the iin«
port of words.


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In applpng the following rules in this book, it must^be
remembered, their application is confined exclusively to de-
rivative words. When any of those combinations of letters
called prefixes and suffixes, constitute an essential part of a
primitive word, they are then neither prefixes nor sufilxes,
and do not come under the rules of Analysis nor Definition;
as, *ess,' in Bless, *ate,' in Climate, * ish,' in Lavish, *ment,'
in Torment, * em,' in Embers, * bi,* in Bias, * un,' in Under.

The following explanations ought to be thoroughly mider-
stood, by both teachers and pupils :

1. When the analysis of the word requires it, the entire
prefix, whether consisting of one letter, or one or more
syllables, is separated from the root by a conmia; thus,.
Dis,please, Il,legal, A,vert, Circum,vent.

2. In many instances, by dividing the word into its proper
syllables, the first letter of the root must be joined to the
prefix, in order to complete a syllable, and lead to a correct
accentuation of the word. In such cases, Ihe common char-
acter of accentuation marks the letter ; thus, in Bene,voIent,
Geo,graphy, Dia,meter, hene^ geoy and dif, are prefixes; volenti
graphy^ and meter, are roots. To spell these words by sylla-
bles, the first letter of each Toot is joined to its prefix, and
accented; thus, Be-nev'-o-lent, Ge-og^-ra-phy, Di-am'-e-ter;
usually completing the syllable with the. very letter on which
the accent falls. ,

3. In all similar cases, when one or mogre letters of the
root must combine with the prefix to form « syllable and
show the accent, the mark of the accent is ov^r such letter;
thus, Bene,r'olent, Geo,g^raphy, Dia^m'eter.


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nr^AlfH &AireuAos



1. A Prefix is a letter, syllable, or word, added to the
beginning of some other word, to vary or modify its primitive
signification; thus,

Theistf implies a person who believes in the existence of^
a God ; but prefix a, and it becomes Atheist, implying one
who does not believe in the existence of a God.

Again, possible means that which can be done ; but prefix
im, and it becomes impossible, implying what can not be done.

2. A separable prefix is that part of a word which may be
taken from the primitive root, and still leave a significant
English word ; as, from impress, im may be thus taken.

3. An inseparable prefix is such a combination of a Vord,
syllable, or letter, with the root, that as an English word, a
separation of the parts would destroy the English significa-
tion of both ; as, depute, which, in Latin, is composed of de^
and pMto ; but in English they may not be .separated.

Some entire words are occasionally used as prefixes.

The analytic definition of the root, with its prefix, is com-
monly given in such examples, as would seem to Jbe of ma-
terial benefit to English scholars. In all such cases, the root
and its prefiix are italicized.

Teachers are specially requested to confine their pupils
to the prefixes and suffixes, till these coinpoiftnt parts are
learned in the most thorough manner. When this point is
gained, 4he whole work is virtually mastered.

The following are the principal prefixes in our language,
mflujencing the meaoing of words. They are printed in
■mall CAPS, and their definiiioiis in kdlic^.


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A,* AB,*ABS — denote from; away from; separation.


AjTcrt, to turn from. Derived from vcrto, to turn ; and
a, from;

Ab,sol ve, to loose, or free from. Solvo, to lod^c ; ab, from.

Ab,duce, to lead from, Duco^ to lead ; ah, (rom.
* AbjScind, to rend off, or from. Scindo, to rend; ah, from.

AbSjtract, to drawyrowi. Tra/io, to draw ; a^^, from.

AbSjtain, to hold from. Teneo, to hold; ah's, from.

AbSjCond, to conceal yJom. Condo, to conceal ; ahs from.f
adJ — denot6s to ; toward; closeness, or union. •
AC, AF, AG, AL, AN, AP, AR, AS, AT, donotc the Same as AD.

Adjoin, to join to. From jungo, to join ; and ad, to.

Ad,vert, to turn the mind to. Verio, to turn ; ad, to.

Ac,ccde, to yield to. Cedo, to yield ; ac, to.

Af,fix, to fix to. Figo, to iix ; af, to.

Ag,grieve, to give pain, or sorrow to.

Al,hid3,^ to refer to. Ludo, to play ; al, to. •

An,nex, to tie, or link to. Nccto, to link ; an, to.

* A, serves as a prefix to many English word?, having a eignificalion
nearly equivalent to in, on, al; aa». afoot, oti foot; abed, in betl; afar,
at a ilislance, «tc.

f The dc'finilfjg phraseology need not be restricted to the wor^l ftont,
but may vary in any manner wliich implies separation, or taking
aieaij; as, ahhreviale, to shorten, or abridge; abrasion, the act of
wearing or-rubbing off, <fec

t D, is changed for c^ f, g, 1, n, p, r, 8> or <^ before a corrcsponcling
letter, for the sake of euphony and ease of uttenmce. Inaiead of aa/w
ing ad ct d^t adfix^ vo aay ttce^dt^ oMx^ dtt

Digitized by




Ap,pendy t6 hang to ■ Fendeo, to hang ; op, ta

Ar,rogate, to lay claim to. Rogo to ask ; ar, to. [as^ to,

AsjSume, to take tOy or upon one's self. Sumo^ to take ;

At,tain, to come /o, or arrive at. Tango, to reach ; at^ to.

Aljtend, to give the mind to. Tendo, to stretch ; at^ to.*
Y AMBi — denotes both. From amho:

A mbi, dexter, using both hands equally well.
AMD, AMPHi— denote aroundy or two.

Amb,ient, surrounding. Derived from am and tens*

Ambjig^uous, having two meanings ; doubtful.

Amphi, theater, a circular building. ^

Amphi,b^ious, able to live in two elements.
ANTE — denotes before, in time, place, or rank.

Ante,date, to date before the true time.

Ante,cedent, gllng before, in reference to time.
^ Ante,diluvian, one who lived before the flood.
. Anle,roqm, the /ron* or first room.

Ante-nuptial, before marriage.

Ante,past, a/orctaste.
4KT, ANTi— denote opposite, opposed, or against.

Anti,Christ, the great opposer of Christ.

Anii,pode, one on the opposite sido of tlio globo.

Anti, dotal, good against the effects of poison.

Antijp'alhy, opposition in feelings ; dislike.

Aiitijih^csis, contrast ; opposition of words.

Anl, arctic, a circle opposite to iho arctic circle.
BENE— -denotes good, or well,

l]cne,factor, a doer Osgood,

* The defining phrase need not include the word to, if couched In
neh language as implies addition, corresponding with the sense of th«
word to be defi|i«d; na^ applaud, to praise^ which li ikb mnub a% 4o


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Bene,T^deBl» hiding a disposition to do g9o4, Dirired

^m tplenSf wishing ; and bene, good.
Bene,fit, an act of kindness ; good done.
Bene,diction, a blessing ; speaking good words.
Bi, BIS— denote two.

Bi,sect, to cut into two parts. Seetus, cnL ' '

Bi,ennial, happening once in two years.

Bi,g^amy, having two husbands, or two wires at a time*

Bi^orm, having two forms. *

Bi,ped, a bird or animal havhig two feet.

BiSyCuit, cake hard baked. Derived from bis^ twice ; and

cuit, baked.
CIS — denotes on this side,

Cis,alpiney on this side the Alps , as from Rome.
Cis,padane, on this side the Po, a river In Italy.
CENTU, CENTi, CENT— douoto a hundred.
Centu,plicate, to make a hundred fold. From fiii^ to

fold ; and centu, a hundred.
Cent,en^nial, occurring once in ai hundred jewtB.
Centi,folious, having a hundred leaves.
Centi,ped, applied to insects havmg many feet.
CONTRA, coNTRO, COUNTER— ^onoto Opposition to, OF agamsi.
Contra,dict, to oppose by words. Dico, to speak ; amtra^

Contniyposition, a placing over against. Pono, to place ;

contra, against.
Contro,versy, opposition by words ; a dispute. YersuSf a

turning ; contro, against.
Counter-attraction, opposite attraction. Traho^ to jbr&w ;

counter, opposite to.
dottnter^t, to act in oppositum to ; to impede.
Coante>,balance, to weigh against with equal weight.


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cON*-^dettote8 with ; joined wiih, or together. ^

CO, coo, ooMf COL, COR, havo the same import as conv
Co,hesion, the act of sticking together, Hereo^ to -stick ;

CO, together.
Co,operate, to act, or operate jointly with another.
Cog,nate, allied by blood ; related. Natus, bom.
Coljlect, to bring together into one body, or place.
Col,Iate, to lay together, and compare.
Colfl^pse, to falj together, as the two sides of a vessd.
Com,bine, to unite, or join things together. |

CoH0fe,j^ess, to press together by external force. ' [gether.
Con,V€ne, to come together. Venio, to come ; con, to**
Con,fli»nt, flowing together. Fluo, to flow ^ con, together,
in a league, or by treaty.
3. Rugo, to gather ; cor, together.
CI] d; about.

Eiil around, as by water.
around ; bordering on.
Circmn,ambient, surrounding, as the air.
Circumjspect, looking Ground ; prudent.
Circum,fereilce, a line that goes round a eirele.
DE — denoleis from ; removing from ; depriving of, or down,
De,duce, to draw fr^m, or gather truth. Duco, to draw

<^, from.
De,grade, to reduce yr(?m a higher to a lower rank.
De,bark, to hiaAfrom a ship, or a boat.
Dejected, czjBi.down, as to the coimtenance. Jmcw^ to

cast ; de, down.
De,fraud, to deprive of a right ; to cozen or cheat* . ;
De,obstruct, to remove impediments ^om a passage.:
De,parture, the act of going away ;: removing from.
♦before a rowel ot h, n is dropped; as, in cohere, ewUesee.


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De,pose, to reduce from a throne, or deprive of office.

De,volve, to roll dovm on, or to pass to another.

De,tnolish, to throw, or pull down ; to destroy^

De,spoil, to take from by force ; to deprive of,

De,fend, to drive from, or thrust back ,• to protect.
Di, Dis, DIF — denote separating ; out of; from; off, or want of

Di,vide, to pari into two or more portions.

DijVest, to strip off, as clothes, arms, or equipage.

Di,vert, to turn off from any course ; to amuse, ft

Dis,burse, to pay 'out, as raoney from a treasury.

Di8,lodate, to put out of its proper place, as a joint.

Dis,arm, to deprive of arms, or means of defense.

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Online LibrarySalem TownAn analysis of derivative words in the English language, or A key to their ... → online text (page 1 of 11)