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-es (adverbial)

-es [əs] is an unstressed, unproductive, cohering suffix found in interjections based on adverbs or verbs.


  • The meaning is emphatic.

Table 1
nietes it is not true < niet not
welles it is true, I insist < wel indeed, well
hebbes I've got it < heb have

[+]Morphosyntactic properties

The suffix -es [əs] is an unstressed, unproductive, cohering suffix found in interjections Etymologiebank.


The etymology of the suffix is unclear. WNT http://gtb.inl.nl/iWDB/search?actie=article&wdb=WNT&id=M041178&lemmodern=niet claims it is derived from niet des not the-GEN, but this is countered by Philippa (2003-2009) with the argument that the genitive form des is obsolete since centuries and does not occur in children's language, where nietes is particularly popular.

[+]Phonological properties

The suffix -es is a cohering suffix: syllabification does not respect the morphological boundary: nietes niet-es [ni.təs] it's not true.

[+]Syntactic and semantic properties

Usually, -es formations are utterances by themselves: if I am looking for something and you have told me where to find it, I can report my successful search by shouting hebbes! got it!. If I then boast to be a good searcher, you can counter this claim with nietes! you're not!, which I can try to rebut with welles yes I am!.


Etymologiebank suggests that the nouns lobbes big stupid fellow, big good-natured dog/chap and dreumes toddler are derived by means of another suffix -es [əs], denoting persons.

dinges someone or something without a name (< ding thing) Etymologiebank may or may not be derived with this -es. dinges behaves like a noun (heb je een dinges voor me, een hamer do you have a what-shall-we-call-it for me, a hammer?) or a proper name (mijnheer Dinges mr. so and so), has a plural form (dingesen) and a (Belgian) diminutive (dingeske), can productively be made part of a compound (waterdinges waterthingy, dingesweek whatshallwecallitweek) and has been converted into a verb (dingesen, dingeste, gedingest to fiddle, to fumble) that has found its way into the Van Dale dictionary.

The indefinite pronoun or quantifier noppes nothing does not belong to this class, if only for the fact that it is older than nop nothing. Its etymology is unclear, the word may go back to Old Gigh German neowihts 'nothing' (see Etymologiebank).

[+]Morphological potential

Both welles and nietes are found in the compound welles-nietesspelletje yes-no game (spelling may vary).

  • Philippa, Marlies, Debrabandere, Frans, Quak, Arend, Schoonheim, Tanneke & Sijs, Nicoline van der2003-2009Etymologisch Woordenboek van het NederlandsAmsterdam University Press
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