Topics: Grammatical number, Verb, Meaning of life Pages: 10 (1721 words) Published: April 18, 2013
A. Definition of Back-Formation
In etymology, back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme, usually by removing actual or supposed affixes. The resulting neologism is called a back-formation, a term coined by James Murray in 1889. Back-formation is different from clipping – back-formation may change the part of speech or the word's meaning, whereas clipping creates shortened words from longer words, but does not change the part of speech or the meaning of the word. For example, the noun resurrection was borrowed from Latin, and the verb resurrect was then backformed hundreds of years later from it by removing the ion suffix. This segmentation of resurrection into resurrect + ion was possible because English had examples of Latinate words in the form of verb and verb+-ion pairs, such as opine/opinion. These became the pattern for many more such pairs, where a verb derived from a Latin supine stem and a noun ending in ion entered the language together, such as insert/insertion, project/projection, etc.

B. Examples of Back-Formation Words
These are some examples of back-formation words based on the alphabet: A
* ablute from ablution
* accrete from accretion (root: accrescere)
* acculturate from acculturation
* admix from admixture
* adsorb from adsorption
* adolesce from adolescence
* adulate from adulation
* advect from advection
* aesthete from aesthetic
* air-condition from air conditioning
* alm from alms
* anticline from anticlinal
* arch ("to practice archery") from archery
* arm (weapon) from arms (from Latin arma)
* attrit from attrition
* auto-destruct from auto-destruction (cf. auto-destroy)
* automate from automation
* aviate from aviation
* babysit from babysitter
* back-form from back-formation
* bartend from bartender
* benefact from benefactor (and also the derived benefactee, cf. benefactor) * bibliograph from bibliography
* bicep from biceps (non-standard)
* biograph from biography
* blockbust from blockbuster
* book-keep from book-keeping
* bonafy from bonafied (which itself is a corruption of "bona fide") * brainwash from brainwashing
* bulldoze from bulldozer
* bum possibly from bummer
* burgle from burglar
* bus ("to clear dirty dishes from table") from busboy
* bushwhack from bushwhacker
* buttle from butler

* cadge from cadger
* caretake from caretaker
* chemist from alchemist
* cavitate from cavitation
* cherry from Old French cerise
* choate from inchoate
* choreograph from choreography
* claustrophobe from claustrophobia
* cohese from cohesion (cf. cohere)
* commentate from commentator
* committal from non-committal
* complicit from complicity
* computerize from computerized
* congratulation from congratulations
* contrapt from contraption
* convect from convection
* conversate from conversation or conversing
* cose from cosy
* couth from uncouthco-vary from covariation
* crank (noun) from cranky
* creep (as a noun for a person) from creepy
* cross multiply from cross multiplication
* cross-refer from cross-reference
* curate from curator
* custom-make from custom-made
* dapple from dappled
* darkle from darkling
* decadent from decadence
* deconstruct from deconstruction
* dedifferentiate from dedifferentiation
* demarcate from demarcation
* destruct from destruction
* diagnose from diagnosis
* diffract from diffraction
* dinge from dingy
* diplomat from diplomatic
* dishevel from disheveled
* donate from donation
* drear from dreary
* drowse from drowsy (possibly a backformation)
* dry-clean from dry cleaning

* eave from eaves
* eavesdrop from eavesdropper
* edit from editor (from Latin stem edere, to bring forth) * electrocute from electrocution
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