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 English Vocabulary for ESL learners 


WORDS ending in -ISH

The suffix '-ish' added to words in English.


The suffix '-ish', in an informal context, is commonly added to words to mean 'approximately', 'somewhat', 'sort of' or 'similar to'.
The list below shows some examples of these.

WORD EXAMPLE OF USE
awkwardish "With his ex-wife standing nearby it was awkwardish to talk about his plans for the weekend."
biggish "The house is biggish but badly in need of repair."
bookish “One of the twins is athletic while the other is more bookish.”
coldish “The food was quite nice but the restaurant was coldish.”
dampish “The dress is not quite dry. Just feel it - it’s dampish.”
darkish “The only person I noticed was a small man with darkish hair.”
devilish “Charlie often gets into trouble with his devilish ideas!”
dullish “The hat she wore was a dullish shade of purple.”
fortyish “How old is the author? He looks fortyish to me.”
greenish “The tank was full of fish swimming in greenish water.”
hottish “It turned out to be a hottish day and we were all dressed too warmly.”
loudish “Those present commented in loudish whispers as he explained the problem.”
mannish “The actress sang beautifully in a deep mannish voice.”
noonish "If we leave early tomorrow, we should get there at noonish.”
oddish “My new colleague doesn't mix much with people. He's an oddish sort of guy.”
oldish "Our neighbours are oldish – over 60 at least.”
reddish “She's tall and slim, with reddish hair.”
sevenish “Dinner is at 8 pm. I imagine drinks will start at sevenish.”
squarish “I suppose you could describe the animal's nose as squarish.”
sweetish “I don’t like the fish. It has a sweetish taste.”
tallish “Tall or short? Let’s say he appeared to be tallish.”
weakish “She's an interesting candidate but her English is weakish.”
youngish “The designer attended the event accompanied by a youngish man.”
NB:
- Some adjectives ending in –ish are standard e.g. foolish, selfish, stylish …
- Others denote nationality: British, Swedish, Irish, Danish …

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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