''-logy'' is a suffix
in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek
ending in (''-logia''). The earliest English examples were anglicizations of the French ''-logie
'', which was in turn inherited from the Latin
The suffix became productive in English from the 18th century, allowing the formation of new terms with no Latin or Greek precedent.
The English suffix has two separate main senses, reflecting two sources of the suffix in Greek:
*a combining form used in the names of school or bodies of knowledge, e.g., ''theology
'' (loaned from Latin in the 14th century
) or ''sociology
''. In words of the type ''theology
'', the suffix is derived originally from (''-log-'') (a variant of , ''-leg-''), from the Greek
verb (''legein'', 'to speak').
["-logy." ''The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology''. Oxford University Press, 1986. retrieved 20 August 2008.]
The suffix has the sense of "the character or deportment of one who speaks or treats of certain subject
, or more succinctly, "the study of certain subject
. (The Ancient Greek noun ' mentioned below can also be translated, among other things, as "subject matter".
*the root word nouns that refer to kinds of speech, writing or collections of writing, e.g., ''eulogy
'' or ''trilogy
''. In words of this type, the "-logy" element is derived from the Greek noun (''logos
'', 'speech', 'account', 'story').
The suffix has the sense of " certain kind of
speaking or writing".
["-logy." ''The Oxford English Dictionary'', Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1989. retrieved 20 August 2008.]
is an exception: while its meaning is closer to the first sense, the etymology of the word is similar to the second sense.
-logy versus -ology
In English names for fields of study, the suffix ''-logy'' is most frequently found preceded by the euphonic connective vowel ''o'' so that the word ends in ''-ology''. In these Greek words, the root
is always a noun and ''-o-'' is the combining vowel
for all declensions of Greek nouns. However, when new names for fields of study are coined in modern English, the formations ending in ''-logy'' almost always add an ''-o-'', except when the root word ends in an "l" or a vowel, as in these exceptions:Words Ending In ogy : Words Ending With ogy
/ref> ''analogy'', ''dekalogy'', ''disanalogy'', ''genealogy'', ''genethlialogy'', ''herbalogy'' (a variant of ''herbology''), ''mammalogy'', ''mineralogy'', ''paralogy'', ''petralogy'' (a variant of ''petrology''); ''elogy''; ''antilogy'', ''festilogy''; ''trilogy'', ''tetralogy'', ''pentalogy''; ''palillogy'', ''pyroballogy''; ''dyslogy''; ''eulogy''; and ''brachylogy''.
Linguists sometimes jokingly refer to haplology as ''haplogy'' (subjecting the word ''haplology'' to the process of haplology itself).
Additional usage as a suffix
Per metonymy, words ending in ''-logy'' are sometimes used to describe a subject rather than the study of it (e.g., ''technology''). This usage is particularly widespread in medicine; for example, ''pathology'' is often used simply to refer to "the disease" itself (e.g., "We haven't found the pathology yet") rather than "the study of a disease".
Books, journals, and treatises about a subject also often bear the name of this subject (e.g., the scientific journal ''Ecology'').
When appended to other English words, the suffix can also be used humorously to create nonce words (e.g., ''beerology'' as "the study of beer"). As with other classical compounds, adding the suffix to an initial word-stem derived from Greek or Latin may be used to lend grandeur or the impression of scientific rigor to humble pursuits, as in ''cosmetology'' ("the study of beauty treatment") or ''cynology'' ("the study of dog training").
*List of words ending in ology
The famous British "ology" advertisement
(a long list of fields of study, and a paragraph of exceptions at the bottom of the page)
It provides list of A - Z English words ending with the suffix -ology and their field of study
Ologies and Isms
*Ologies - Wikiversity