prefixy words?
June 11, 2008 12:19 PM   Subscribe

What are some good words that form the prefixes for other words of varying definition? I want to write a rule-fudging sestina where I do (prefixy word as my sestina end of line word) + hyphen + linebreak + (ending of longer word).

I've got things like:
arm (armory, armagnac, armageddon)
do (door, donate, dolor, doting, dog)

(you get the idea)

I've also got in, con, & all. What are some others?
posted by juv3nal to Writing & Language (11 answers total)
 
Response by poster: technically I guess "a" and "I" work, but I won't be using those.
posted by juv3nal at 12:25 PM on June 11, 2008


Best answer: if you're feeling modern and blue, then shit, fuck and ass are all intensifying prefixes that obviously also stand alone.

if not, well off the top of my head: hyper, be, me, you, she, it, man ... there are loads.
posted by mumkin at 12:27 PM on June 11, 2008


Not to discourage direct answers, but you (or someone inclined to do this for you) could generate a pretty thorough listing of these with a half-hour, a scripting language, and a unix wordlist.
posted by cortex at 12:33 PM on June 11, 2008


Response by poster: Shit, fuck, & ass are a bit of a cop out because it seems you can pretty much tack anything on to the end of those. "You" seems a bit limited as everything that I can think that comes of it is sort of similar in meaning (young, youth, what else?). Ideally the longer-version words would be dissimilar in meaning and there would be at least 5-6 such words per prefix. The rest are good. Any more are welcome.
posted by juv3nal at 12:37 PM on June 11, 2008


Response by poster: Which is why, although an algorithmic approach would be a good place to start, it does leave a lot to winnow through because there is a semantic component to this rather than just being a substring problem.
posted by juv3nal at 12:40 PM on June 11, 2008


ant, cack...
posted by Busithoth at 12:54 PM on June 11, 2008


to (today, together)
art (artistic, artificial)
posted by squ1rr3l at 1:12 PM on June 11, 2008


eve
hum
lo
posted by zeoslap at 1:17 PM on June 11, 2008


sign
bum
be
posted by zeoslap at 1:44 PM on June 11, 2008


Best answer: This appears to be pretty doable for most three-letter words, although it gets a hell of a lot harder at four letters. I say if you're going to do a sestina, which is a half-insane festival of compositional masochism to begin with, you might as well go whole hog and impose a theme on yourself:

cat (caterwaul, catechism, catsup, catastrophe, category)
ant (antechamber, antipathy, antlers, antique, antsy)
dog (dogooder, doggerel, dogged, dogma, doggo)
hen (henna, hentai, hence, henchman, hendiadys)
cow (cowardly, cowl, coworker, cowslip, cowlick)
ape (aperture, apex, aperitif, apercu, aperiodic)
ram (rambunctious, rampant, ramparts, ramification, ramble)
rat (rating, rather, ratify, ratchet, rationalize)

etc.
posted by dyoneo at 1:54 PM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


You" seems a bit limited as everything that I can think that comes of it is sort of similar in meaning (young, youth, what else?).

I don't know if you want to play with homophones, but:

You could always play with it and go from "u" to "you" and back again

so

la

I'll think and give you more later

Would love to see the sestina when you're done...
posted by sondrialiac at 2:00 PM on June 11, 2008


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