• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Nominal suffixes

Dutch has a great number of suffixes which are found in derived nouns. They range from native, very frequent, and semantically versatile such as -er, as in the agent noun werker (< werken to work), the instrument noun stofzuiger dust sucker vacuum cleaner, i.e. something one vacuums with and the patient noun bijsluiter encloser information leaflet, to non-native, monosemous, rare -ier ( /je:/) as in hotelier hotel owner, hotelier.


Read more about the various individual suffixes via the following links:

  • -aal and -eel as in rivaal rival and korporaal corporal
  • -aar and -enaar as in wandelaar walker and schuldenaar debtor
  • -aard as in wreedaard brute
  • -aat as in Aziaat Asian, resultaat result and in chloraat chlorate
  • -air as in diamantair diamond seller
  • -aris as in bibliothecaris librarian (< bibliotheek library)
  • -dom as in mensdom mankind < mens human, prinsdom principality < prins prince, and rijkdom wealth < rijk rich
  • -e as in de blinde the blind person (< blind blind) and het paranormale the paranormal (< paranormaal paranormal)
  • -een as found in inhabitant names of common gender based on geographical names such as Chileen Chilean (< Chili Chile), with a plural form in -en (Chilenen Chileans), as well as in (international scientific) chemical compound names of neuter gender such as benzeen benzene.
  • -ees as in Chinees Chinese person
  • -elaar, a native non-productive cohering suffix found in names for trees and bushes based on fruit names such as perelaar /'pe.rə.lar/ pear tree < peer pear
  • -enis, a native cohering suffix found in action nouns derived from native verb stems. There are two allomorphs, -nis as in hindernis obstacle (< hinderen to hinder) and -tenis as in bekentenis confession (bekennen to confess)
  • -er as in werker (< werken to work) and stofzuiger vacuum cleaner, i.e. something one vacuums with
  • -erd as in dikkerd big fellow, fatso
  • -erik as in slimmerik clever person (< slim smart)
  • -es as in voogdes female guardian. There is an allomorph -esse in e.g. secretaresse female secretary
  • -eur as in masseur masseur (cf. masseren to massage), skiffeur single scull rower (< English skiff) and amateur amateur
  • -euse as in masseuse female masseur (cf. masseur masseur) and friteuse deep frying pan
  • -heid as in gladheid smoothness (< glad smooth) and correctheid correctness (< correct correct)
  • -iaan and -aan as in Hegeliaan Hegelian (< Hegel) and mohammedaan muslim (Mohammed), inhabitant names Amerikaan American; there is also a chemical use ( saturated hydrocarbon) in formations like ethaan ethane, C2H6
  • -ief as in explosief explosive
  • -iek as in symboliek symbolism (< symbool symbol) and semantiek semantics
  • -ier as in herbergier inn-keeper (< herberg inn) and glazenier stained-glass artist (< glas glass)
  • -ier (French) as in hotelier hotel owner, hotelier
  • -ière as in cabaretière female cabaret artist and bonbonnière bonbonnière
  • -iet as in Israëliet Israelite, Jemeniet Yemenite, meteoriet meteorite, grafiet graphite and chloriet chlorite
  • -igheid as in gekkigheid foolishness
  • -ij and allomorphs as in voogdij guardianship (< voogd guardian), boerderij farm (< boer farmer), ambtenarij bureaucracy (< ambtenaar civil servant)) and mooipraterij humbug (< mooi beautiful and praat talk)
  • -ijn as in augustijn Augustinian and Argentijn argentinian
  • -in as in vriendin female friend (< vriend friend) and leeuwin lioness (< leeuw lion)
  • -ing as in uitvinding invention (< uitvinden to invent) and verhoging increase, platform (< verhogen to increase)
  • -isme as in modernisme modernism (< modern modern) and calvinism calvinism (< Calvijn Calvin)
  • -iteit as in absurditeit absurdity (< absurd absurd)
  • -ling as in dorpeling villager (< dorp village) and krakeling type of cookie, cracknel (< kraken to crack)
  • -oir as in reservoir reservoir
  • -oot as in Caïroot someone from Cairo
  • -or as in donor donor, dictator dictator and tumor tumor
  • -rice as in directrice female director (cf. directeur director) and organisatrice female organiser (cf. organisator organiser)
  • -schap. Two suffixes can be distinguished: non-neuter -schap (de) as in vriendschap friendship, de broederschap the fraternity and dronkenschap drunkenness, and neuter -schap (het) as in martelaarschap martyrdom (< martelaar martyr)
  • -sel as in zaagsel sawdust (< zagen to saw)
  • -st as in vangst catch (< vangen to catch)
  • -ster as in zwemster female swimmer (< zwemmen to swim)
  • -tal as in drietal triple (< drie three)
  • -t as in teelt [telt] cultivation (< teel [tel] to grow)
  • -te as in stilte silence (< stil silent)
  • -voud as in veelvoud multitude (< veel many, much)
Special categories: