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May 05, 2015



"Some" is my favorite suffix too because the words thus formed sound both hoary and idiosyncratic, as if they stemmed from a much earlier era. I recently made a list of all the ones I could think of and came up with most before I had to give up and check online (and I too realized that twosome and the scientific words were different in that they were noun forms). Also if you add the prefix "un" to the beginning of the "some" words you can form many other examples, but the only one that seems to be readily accepted in English usage is unwholesome). 

I also compiled a list of adjectives that end in "id" (torpid, humid, rancid, etc.), of which there are many. They to me also have an other-era old-fashioned sound to them. Another I compiled was of words ending in "or" (glamor, humor, candor, etc), another ending that is odd to me and does not sound Anglo Saxon. The other curiosity is that the British versions of these words almost always end in "our" -- except oddly enough for manor.

Anecdote about winsome: The great Canadian mystery writer Peter Robinson has a series of mysteries set in Northern England featuring his series detective DCI Alan Banks (some PBS stations carry the current TV series, DCI Banks, based on Robinson's books). One of the recurring characters is DS Winsome Jackman, a young female detective sergeant of color who often has to prove herself, above and beyond the call of duty, to her white male colleagues. How she became accepted stemmed from her early apprehension of a criminal in the act of committing a robbery -- after she pursued him, running for blocks. Unfortunately he escaped shortly after she caught up with him. Her colleagues never let her forget this by ragging her with "Win some, lose some!"

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