-eer


-eer
-eer
is a suffix first recorded in the 17c, replacing an earlier (French) form -ier. One of its first occurrences is in mountaineer (first used in Shakespeare's The Tempest, 1610, in the meaning ‘one who lives in the mountains’). In more recent use, it has taken on disparaging connotations, as in pamphleteer (1642), profiteer (1912), racketeer (1928), and marketeer (originally 1832 in a neutral sense, now a person engaged in marketing in the sense of ‘product promotion’). There are many derivatives in -eering, e.g. buccaneering (1758), electioneering (1760), privateering (1664), and associated verbs, some of them independently formed (e.g. electioneer, 1789) and others as back-formations (e.g. mountaineer, 1892). It is interesting to note that the -eer suffix in domineer (‘to behave overbearingly’) and commandeer (‘to take official possession of’) has a different origin as these words are derived from Dutch.

Modern English usage. 2014.


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