[Old English, of Germanic origin.]
This is a very old form, long since ceasing to make new words. It has the sense of a thing belonging to or having the quality of something. It appears in the name of coins and fractional parts: farthing (Old English fēorthing, from fēortha, fourth), riding (Old Norse thrithi, third, with the initial sound lost in English through being absorbed into the ending of west, north, and east), one of three former administrative divisions of Yorkshire. Other examples may be gelding, herring, whiting, and wilding (a wild plant, especially an apple tree descended from cultivated varieties), though the early history of several of these is unclear.