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Y 
a late-developing letter in English. Called ipsilon in German, upsilon in Greek, the English name is of obscure origin. The sound at the beginning of yard, yes, yield, etc. is from Old English words with initial g- as in got and y- as in yet, which were considered the same sound and often transcribed as Ȝ, known as yogh. The system was altered by French scribes, who brought over the continental use of -g- and from the early 1200s used -y- and sometimes -gh- to replace Ȝ. As short for YMCA, etc., by 1915.
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-y (3)
suffix in pet proper names (such as Johnny, Kitty), first recorded in Scottish c. 1400; according to OED it became frequent in English 15c.-16c. Extension to surnames seems to date from c. 1940. Use with common nouns seems to have begun in Scottish with laddie (1546) and become popular in English due to Burns' poems, but the same formation appears to be represented much earlier in baby and puppy.
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y- 
perfective prefix, in yclept, etc.; a deliberate archaism, introduced by Spenser and his imitators, representing an authentic Middle English prefix y-, earlier i-, from Old English ge-, originally meaning "with, together" but later a completive or perfective element, from Proto-Germanic *ga- "together, with" (also a collective and intensive prefix), from PIE *kom "beside, near, by, with" (cognate with Sanskrit ja-, Latin com-, cum-; see com-). It is still living in German and Dutch ge-, and survives, disguised, in some English words (such as alike, aware, handiwork).

Among hundreds of Middle English words it formed are yfallen, yhacked ("completely hacked," probably now again useful), yknow, ymarried, ywrought.
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-y (1)
noun suffix, in army, city, country, etc., from Old French -e, Latin -atus, -atum, past participle suffix of certain verbs, which in French came to be used to indicate "employment, office, dignity" (as in duché, clergié).
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-y (2)
adjective suffix, "full of or characterized by," from Old English -ig, from Proto-Germanic *-iga- (source also of Dutch, Danish, German -ig, Gothic -egs), from PIE -(i)ko-, adjectival suffix, cognate with elements in Greek -ikos, Latin -icus (see -ic). Originally added to nouns in Old English; used from 13c. with verbs, and by 15c. even with other adjectives (for example crispy).
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-y (4)
suffix indicating state, condition, or quality; also activity or the result of it (as in victory, history, etc.), via Anglo-French and Old French é, from Latin -ia, Greek -ia, from PIE *-a-, suffix forming abstract or collective nouns. It is etymologically identical with -ia and the second element in -cy, -ery, -logy, etc.
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yacht (n.)
1550s, yeaghe "a light, fast-sailing ship," from Norwegian jaght or early Dutch jaght, both from Middle Low German jacht, shortened form of jachtschip "fast pirate ship," literally "ship for chasing," from jacht "chase," from jagen "to chase, hunt," from Old High German jagon, from Proto-Germanic *yago-, from PIE root *yek- (2) "to hunt" (source also of Hittite ekt- "hunting net"). Related: Yachting; yachtsman.
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yack (v.)
also yak, "to talk, to chatter," 1950, slang, probably short for yackety-yacking "talk" (1947), probably echoic (compare Australian slang yacker "talk, conversation," 1882). Related: Yacked; yacking.
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yadda-yadda 
"and so on," 1990s, of echoic origin (compare yatata "talk idly, chatter," 1940s; and yatter "to talk incessantly or idly," 1825).
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yah (interj.)
exclamation of defiance or dismissal, from 1812. Extended form yah-boo by 1910.
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