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Sep 19, 2022
This week’s theme
Words made with combining forms

This week’s words
bridezilla
autolatry
allotriophagy
zoanthropy
orography

bridezilla
Illustration: Karen Folsom #kgfolsart

Previous week’s theme
Misc words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Godzilla, the fictional monster from the eponymous film not only entertained us, but also gave a picturesque word to the English language. Even more, he has given us a handy combining form -zilla. Need to turn anything into a monster? Just add -zilla.

Bridezilla may be the best-known derivation from -zilla, but all kinds of inventive terms have been found in the wild: bosszilla, momzilla, and even groomzilla.

This week we’ll see five terms that are made by similar combining forms.

What are combining forms? Think of them as Lego bricks of language. As the term indicates, a combining form is a linguistic atom that occurs only in combination with some other form which could be a word, another combining form, a prefix, or a suffix. Unlike a combining form, an affix can’t attach to another affix.

Here are the rest of the combining forms we are going to be using this week, though not necessarily in this order:
oro- (mountain), auto- (self), zoo- (animal), allotrio- (foreign)
-phagy (eating), -anthropy (human), -graphy (writing, study), -latry (worship)

bridezilla

PRONUNCIATION:
(bryd-ZIL-uh)

MEANING:
noun: A woman who is overbearing and obnoxious in planning her wedding.

ETYMOLOGY:
A blend of bride + Godzilla, a fictional monster. Earliest documented use: 1995.

USAGE:
“She was a bit of a bridezilla herself. At her wedding, Katie changed the bridesmaid dresses at the last minute and put us in ones that we all hated.”
Georgina Lawton; You Be the Judge; The Guardian (London, UK); Jul 22, 2022.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams. -Jeremy Irons, actor (b. 19 Sep 1948)

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