The "-age" suffix

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Tue Apr 4 02:22:36 UTC 2006

There's a Wikipedia article on l33t-speak:

One item in the article interests me, concerning the nominalizing suffix
"-age". This is apparently quite common in l33t; now that I think about it,
I have seen it quite a bit. But my first thought, on seeing the suffix, is of
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"; it was heavily used on that show. I don't see
a direct link between the two communities, whether by internal logic
(the only "hacker" on the show was Willow, and as I recall Buffy and
Xander were more prone to use the suffix than she was) or external.

I guess the first question is one of timing. BtVS ran from 1997 to 2003,
and "-age" starts being used fairly early. Does anyone have data on
how early the suffix appeared in l33t? Secondly, does anyone know of
any evidence of dependence between the two, via the creators of the
show, the audience, or some other channel?

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society -

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