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The Greatest Suffix In The English Language

By Lord Castleton | Think Pieces | February 23, 2018 |

By Lord Castleton | Think Pieces | February 23, 2018 |


How to decide on your favorite suffix? Why not just ask what’s your favorite food or what’s your favorite song? There are lots of great suffixes in English, and the choices are vast. You have verb and adverb suffixes as well as noun and adjective ones. How to compare apples to oranges? Is it really possible to pick between -tion to -ive?

I know. It’s difficult.

But suffixes do have a feel to them. A vibe. Some project a kineticism, like -ing. Some feel burly or intractable, like -dom or -ward.

Some feel more playful, like -ish and -al.

Here are some of the more common ones:


If you wanted to make a case for -ive or -ible or -ize I’d completely understand.

Heck, -y and -ly are like continents unto themselves.

But for my money, the loveliest suffix is -ica.

Technically, it’s always listed as -ic or -ical. But their bastard cousin -ica is heady and mellifluous.

I mean, how many of us miss out on cylons if it’s Battlestar Galactic?


How powerful is it if Pacino yells “Attic! Attic!”?

Just look at the wonder that flows from -ica!

We have not only Harmonica but Armonica! Any idea what that is?

Another name for that instrument is the hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica. That’s a 28 letter word! You can’t even scrabble that much word.

Want more obscure -ica instruments? How about the xaenorphica? (Also known as the xanorphica or just orphica). A string instrument with a keyboard invented in 1801 and probably last played about then.

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Music is full of -icas. Obviously there’s Acoustica and Electronica. But you also have the hybrids of dubtronica and laptronica and emotronica and folktronica and indietronica .

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And don’t forget the tamburica!

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What would Hamilton be with only Eliza and Peggy?


-ica is benevolent! -ica gives us rolling beauty in words like basilica and arabica and bottanica and esoterica!

What would we do without this Picasso masterwork?

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Where would we be without the randy sugarmines of erotica?


Tack on a prefix and presto! You’ve got homoerotica or cybererotica! Substitute a different prefix and you crash down to the nonerotica world of Mike Pence.

You know who loves -ica? Croats! There are umpteen provinces and towns in Croatia with melodious names. Places like



Like nutmegs? The genus Myristica covers the world of fragrant nutmegs or ‘true nutmegs.’

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Look at these Hungarian Fleecy Pigs called Mangalica! Tell me those aren’t the best things you’ve seen today. I want nine of them.


There’s also hydromica and typographica and photographica and apocalyptica.

There’s the ancient plant Santonica.

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And natural freshwater will feature Polygastrica.

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And there’s arnica and indica and cubica and lorica.

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Who hasn’t experienced this?


Where would the world be without Erica and Frederica and Veronica? And of course, mighty Queen Boudica?

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Many of us grew up with the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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The Roman world was full of -icas. Places like Helvetica and Baetica and Cyrenaica and Gallia Belgica.


And of course, the -ica suffix still graces many places on modern Earth. Like Antarctica and Utica and Thessalonica and Africa.

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So you see, -ica cloaks us in loveliness from the poles to the equator. At times it’s whimsical and other times it’s stolid. And sure, a case could be made for any of these other suffixes. But how many suffix-based articles do you read on the internet per year?

That’s it! Let me know what -ica words I missed in the comments and have a great day from America!

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Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.