Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

Maybe I am making a mountain out of molehill but analyzing the word structure to see which words have an "ain" suffix is driving this relatively new novice batty. 
 
Is the <-ain> suffix archaic at this point. I am having a hard time determining which <ain> morphemes are suffixes and which are part of the base word. I saw it listed ondictionary.com with one of my words but now I can't find it. 
 
I'm getting lost in the Latin and etyomonline doesn't have it listed as a suffix in the few <ain> words there are. 
 
I tried making word sums and looking for other words with the base. The only one of which I am sure is <certain> where we have words like certify, certificate, 
 
Here are some words: mountain, <mas> is the same root for mountain and mount; bargain (I can see its relation to barge but etymonline says it is a suggestion that it comes from barge but the meaning of bargain and barge seem to carry the same meaning like embargo), captain has many relatives..non of which include a possible word sturcture of <capt> so I think that's out.

Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Just came across this. You may have already had it answered.

You won't find <-ain> in Etymonline by searching for it. But here it is under <-an>.

-an
word-forming element meaning "pertaining to," from Latin -anus, in some cases via French -ain, -en.

So, it is the French form of <-an>.

Kris

Kristin Clark
There are no comments posted here yet