Zippy’s Gagacabulary

[Ack.  In a distracted moment this went off as published when it was merely supposed to be saved. Now for some text …]

Zippy is given to flights of playful word formation. Here he takes off on Lady Gaga:

There’s the relatively staid Gagamania, a compound of Gaga and the now-freestanding mania (in the snowclonelet pattern Xmania). And over-Gagaing, with the derivational prefix over- attached to the direct verbing of Gaga (which gives a verb to Gaga that can then take prefixes).

And the complex de-Gagafy, which has both a derivational prefix de- and a derivational suffix -(i)fy. Here, the suffix would have done on its own, since de– with secondary accent can combine with a N to yield a verb with (roughly) the meaning ‘remove N from’, as in debug, defog, and delouse. (The prefix de– with secondary accent has other uses as well.) In de-Gagafy, Gaga has apparently been verbed via the transitivizing suffix -(i)fy, and the resultant Gagafy has then gotten the secondarily accented prefix de– of removal that combines with verbs, as in decaffeinate, decalcify, and defeminize.

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