suffixes added to proper names
- suffixes added to proper names1. The suffix most commonly used to form nouns and adjectives relating to people's names (usually writers, artists, composers, etc., or founders of dynasties) is -an or -ian, and one of the oldest formations of this type is Virgilian (first recorded in 1513). Other formations include Aristotelian (1607), Ovidian (1617), and Ciceronian (1661), and it will be seen from this short list alone that some have survived more strongly than others. Shakespearian (with an occasional variant Shakespearean) is not recorded before 1755. Some words made in this way have multiple reference, e.g. Alexandrian (normally referring to the city of Alexandria or the literature or philosophy associated with it rather than to Alexander the Great). More recent formations include Beethovenian and Shavian, the latter derived from a Latinate form of the name of G. B. Shaw for reasons of euphony. Euphony often calls for use of other suffixes, such as -esque (from French, e.g. Dantesque, Schumannesque, Turneresque) and -ic (Byronic, Platonic, Pindaric, Ptolemaic), although in some cases the reason for a particular choice of suffix is less clear.2. When -ian is added to an unaccented final syllable of a name, the syllable is normally lengthened to accommodate the addition, so that Beethoven makes Beethovenian (pronounced -vee-ni-ǝn).
Modern English usage. 2014.
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