Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-le1 Also -el.

Forming nouns.

[Either from Old English, or from Middle English -el, -elle (partly from Old English and partly from Old French words based on Latin forms).]

One group, from Old English, contains the names of agents or instruments: handle, saddle, shuttle, sickle, thimble, whistle; less commonly it is used for animals and plants, or parts of them: apple, beetle, bramble, bristle, cockle.

A second set either have or originally had a diminutive sense: castle (a diminutive of Latin castrum, a fort), cobble (from cob, a rounded lump), girdle (probably from gird), nozzle (from nose), puddle (from Old English pudd, a ditch or furrow).

In some cases, the older form -el has been retained where the rules of English spelling and pronunciation do not permit the change to -le after certain letters: satchel, angel, kennel, kestrel, bushel, brothel, shovel. See also -rel.

The suffix is not used to make new words.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 23 September 2008.
Your comments and suggestions on the site are very welcome.