“Age”

No, this isn’t a discussion of how old we are, although a new year might prompt that feeling. Instead, it’s a discussion of “age” as a suffix. Here is how I started thinking about these letters.

While walking through several neighborhoods from October through December, it occurred to me that people sure do have a lot of yard decorations for the end-of-year holidays. Where do they keep all of this stuff? What kind of storage is needed to store a giant skeleton (often decorated) for Halloween? What about all of those blow-up yard decorations? (I figured out the answer to that last question from the deflated versions all over people’s front yards during the day 😉).

As those of you who know me might guess – this question started me on a weird path about words that end with “age.” Is this a common suffix? Oh, yes, it is!

SO . . . I wondered . . . what does this suffix mean? I did some online research and found this information:

According to etymonline.com and membean.com, this suffix comes from both French and Latin, meaning “to do something” if attached to a verb, as when “use” becomes “usage,” or “belonging to, related to,” if attached to a noun or adjective, as when “acre” becomes “acreage.”

Without looking at the Internet, I thought of some words that end in “age” as a suffix, other than “storage.” I am sure that I have omitted several – please add!

  • Average
  • Beverage
  • Cabbage
  • Carnage
  • Cottage
  • Damage
  • Dotage
  • Forage
  • [Pronounced with the emphasis on the ‘age’ syllable] – garage / montage / visage
  • Garbage
  • Hostage
  • Leverage
  • Manage
  • Mileage
  • Millage
  • Postage
  • Sewage
  • Suffrage
  • Tutelage
  • Village

Happy 2024, no matter your age! ðŸĪ—😄

p.s. I still want to know how those giant skeletons are stored! Let me know if you know!!

6 thoughts on ““Age””

    • Ah, you have hit on the difficulty of trying to explain a suffix (or prefix) when the letters also appear at the end (or beginning) of words and, yet, are NOT a suffix or prefix. Like cabbage – a great example of when “age” is not a suffix.
      If that letter combination is its own syllable, it generally is a suffix. And especially if the rest of the letters make up a separate word, so I am just adding letters to an already-existing word. But several of my examples, as you pointed out, are not really suffixes, like “age” in cabbage.
      “Ing” is a common suffix, but it isn’t a suffix in “ring” or “sing.” Sigh . . .
      I think I will go back to wondering about the giant skeleton! 😏ðŸĪŠ

      Reply
  1. Acre and acreage are both nouns.

    Therefore a small amount of cabbage is just a cab. Just a small amount for cole slaw or something, a tiny cab.

    Reply
    • I like the small cab thought! Or should it be “cabb”? Now you have me thinking!
      It’s weird, isn’t it, if we imagine if “age” really is a suffix in all of the words that end in “age.”
      We would have a type of fish as the root word for “garage”! 😄

      Reply
  2. The word “homage” fits the list, but it’s the only one you pronounce in a fancy way.

    I’m game to change this, order a fancy cabbage by rhyming it with homage.

    Reply
    • Let’s hear it for the French influence! Corsage, dressage (for those who like to watch equestrian events), fromage (French for cheese), homage, massage.
      Interesting that “message” is said with emphasis on the first syllable. “Massage” – the emphasis is on the second syllable. The same with the other French-influenced words I mentioned.
      Hmm . . . a rule??

      Reply

Leave a Comment