A chameleon abroad: English -ish and ish used in Norwegian

Signe Nilssen, Torodd Kinn


Norwegian has borrowed both the suffix or clitic -ish and the free word ish from English. The oldest attested use in Norwegian is from 1996. Building primarily on a collection of 240 examples of use, the article describes and analyses the grammar and meanings of Norwegian (-)ish. The findings are compared to English, and while most kinds of (-)ish use are found to be borrowed, there is also at least one apparently non-English innovation. The use of (-)ish in Norwegian is frowned upon and condemned by some language users, but it seems to have become firmly established in the language.



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