aff. cvb a noun-forming suffix, added to nouns to form words designating persons from the object of their occupation or labor (hatter; moonshiner; roofer), or from their place of origin or abode (Icelander; southerner), or designating persons or things from some special characteristic or circumstance (double-decker; fourth-grader; tanker; teenager). When added to verbs, -er1 forms nouns denoting a person, animal or thing that performs or is used in performing the action of the verbbaker; eye-opener; fertilizer; pointer; teacher[/ex]Compare -ier I -yer Etymology: ME -er(e), repr. OE -ere agentive suffix (c. OHG -āri, Go -areis < Gmc *-arjaz < L -ārius -ary) and OE -ware, forming ethnonyms (as Rōmware Romans), c. OHG -āri < Gmc *-warioz people II-ercvb aff. a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from French in the Middle English period, most often names of occupations (butcher; carpenter; grocer; mariner; officer), but also other nouns (corner; danger; primer)•Etymology: ME < AF -er, OF -ier < L -ārius, -ārium. Cf. -ary, -eer, -ier III-eraff. a termination of nouns denoting action or process, occurring orig. and predominantly in loanwords from French or Anglo-French:dinner; rejoinder; remainder[/ex]•Etymology: < AF or OF, orig. inf. suffix -er, -re IV-eraff. a suffix regularly used in forming the comparative degree of adjectives:harder; smaller[/ex]•Etymology: ME -er(e), -re, OE -ra, -re; c. G -er V-eraff. a suffix regularly used in forming the comparative degree of adverbs:faster[/ex]•Etymology: ME -er(e), -re, OE -or; c. OHG -or VI-eraff. a formative appearing in verbs having frequentative meaning:flicker; flutter; shiver; shudder[/ex]•Etymology: ME; OE -r-; c. G -(e) r- VII-ercvb aff. Chiefly Brit. a suffix that creates informal or jocular mutations of more neutral words, which are typically clipped to a single syllable before application of the suffix, and sometimes subjected to other phonetic alterations: bed-sitter; fresher; rugger; soccerCompare -ers•Etymology: prob. modeled on nonagentive uses of -er I; said to have first become current in University College, Oxford, 1875–80
From formal English to slang. 2014.