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

-ster

A person or thing associated with an activity or quality.

[Old English -estre, -istre, etc.]

Some early examples referred to a woman engaged in an occupation, such as brewster, maltster, and spinster, originally ‘a woman who spins’ (the ending was the feminine equivalent of words in -ere, which later became -er; see -er1). It has long been extended to activities undertaken by men, such as chorister or teamster. Words in which it refers to a characteristic of the person include youngster and the US-derived oldster, as well as hipster (a person who is hip, who follows the latest trends and fashions). Less often, the ending refers to objects, roadster being a rare example.

It often has a derogatory sense: tipster, rhymester, prankster. Many of these are more common in the US than Britain: gamester, gangster, huckster, jokester, mobster, punster, trickster. Such terms continue to be formed, again most frequently in the US: popster, hypester, soulster, scamster.

Master comes from Old English mæg(i)ster, but derives from Latin magister (see also -meister); others that derive from Latin words with the same ending include minister and barrister (formed from bar in imitation of minister), as do nouns ending in -aster (such as poetaster). In words such as boaster, jester, broadcaster, and protester, the suffix is -er (see -er1) on a stem ending in st.

See also -stress.

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