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TIP #125 - This tip was sent on the week: 18th - 24th Feb, 2007


Expressive Or Appreciative Suffixes In Spanish - Part VI


This tip applies to the following programs:

• ESI Professional



As noted in the different passages of this series, augmentative and diminutive suffixes very often contribute a negative nuance (that is, disparagement, disqualification, or derisive intent). Regardless of this, the Spanish language –basically in conversational Spanish – also considers a more specialized type of suffix, theoretically, regarding these unflattering notions.


In Spanish America, the quintessential pejorative suffix is–ucho, -ucha. For example: ‘cuartuchos’ (seedy rooms) ‘periodicucho’ (third-rate newspaper), ‘pueblucho’ (seedy town), ‘cantinucha’ (seedy bar), ‘flacucho’ o ‘delgaducho’ (wretchedly skinny), ‘paliducho’ (wretchedly pale),  ‘feúcho’ (wretchedly unattractive).


The suffix -ejo, -eja is also vigorous in this manner: ‘tipejo’ (nasty guy), ‘animalejo’ (nasty animal), ‘bichejo’ (nasty bug), ‘calleja’ (dinky street, this gave origin to ‘callejón’ {alley}),  ‘añejo’ (not fresh) ‘medianejo’ (less than medium) ‘papelejo’ (insignificant role). This is how ‘pellejo’ (skin/hide) was historically formed originating from ‘piel’.


These two suffixes are not by any means ‘alone’ in their category. Pejorative suffixing is where you find the greatest quantity of polymorphism (diversity in forms); especially in Spain, the pejorative suffixes that are more generally used vary from one region to the other, and they include the following: -aco, -acho, -ajo, -ales, -ango, -ato, -arro, -astre, -astro, -engo, -engue, -ingo, -ingue, -ongo, -oño, -orro, -uco, -ujo, -ungo, -urro, -uzo.



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