- suffix forming nouns, orig. from French words in stressed -on (balloon; buffoon).
Replaced by -on in recent borrowings and those with unstressed -on (baron).
Etymology: L -o -onis, sometimes via It. -one
* * *a suffix occurring in words borrowed from French and other Romance languages (bassoon; balloon; dragoon; pontoon), and on this model occasionally used in the formation of new nouns in English (spittoon).[as an English formative (e.g., in spittoon), extracted from words of various origins (buffoon, lagoon, etc.) but repr. chiefly F -on in words stressed on the final syllable; cf. Sp. -on, It. -one, L -on-]
* * *suffix forming nouns, originally from French words having the final stressed syllable -on
balloon | buffoonOrigin:from Latin -onis, sometimes via Italian -one
* * *-oonthe form usually taken in Eng. by Fr. final -on in words stressed on the final syllable, esp. by those adopted during 16–18th. c., as dragon, dragoon, Chalons, shalloon; and hence by the Fr. suffix -on, = It. -one, Sp. -on. L. -o, -ōnem; forming in L. masculine appellatives, often contemptuous, as balatro jester, calcitro kicker, capito a big-headed man, naso a big-nosed man, etc. In It. and Sp. usually augmentative, as donnone big woman, hombron big man; but in Fr. usually diminutive, as in aiglon eaglet, chaton kitten, or after another suffix, as ogrillon little ogre. In Eng. in many adopted words, as balloon, bassoon, batoon, buffoon, cartoon, doubloon, musketoon, quadroon; rarely an Eng. formative, as in spittoon; cf. also octoroon.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.