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-y1 suffix of adjs. denoting ‘having the character of …’, ‘inclined to …’, ‘full or consisting of …’. OE. -iġ, earlier -eġ, -ǣġ, in early ME. -i, later -ie, -ye, finally -y. Some adjs. of OE. date have ceased to show their etym. relations, as empty, dizzy, merry. For the addition of -y to produce a more adjectival appearance see, e.g., chilly, murky, wary. In the foll. the orig. is different, but the suffix is assoc. with this: faulty, hardy, jolly, risky, sturdy, tardy. Recent derivs. (since c.1800) have been very numerous, and have tended to be joc., undignified, or trivial, as balmy, batty, bossy, cushy, doggy, dotty, hors(e)y, oniony, sexy, shirty. The suffix is added less frequently to vbs., as in drowsy, slippy, sticky.

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