Zippy Zombie

Today’s Zippy, with several treats:

First, there’s the playful nickname suffix -ster in the Zipster (the definite article is part of the naming package). An American thing, related to the formative -ster in common nouns. From Michael Quinion’s affixes site:

A person or thing associated with an activity or quality.
[Old English -estre, -istre, etc.]

Some early examples referred to a woman engaged in an occupation, such as brewster, maltster, and spinster, originally ‘a woman who spins’ (the ending was the feminine equivalent of words in -ere, which later became -er; see -er1). It has long been extended to activities undertaken by men, such as chorister or teamster. Words in which it refers to a characteristic of the person include youngster and the US-derived oldster, as well as hipster (a person who is hip, who follows the latest trends and fashions). Less often, the ending refers to objects, roadster being a rare example.

It often has a derogatory sense: tipster, rhymester, prankster. Many of these are more common in the US than Britain: gamester, gangster, huckster, jokester, mobster, punster, trickster. Such terms continue to be formed, again most frequently in the US: popster, hypester, soulster, scamster.

Then there’s the mangled idiom march to the bleat of a different plumber (march to the beat of a different drummer before Griffy performed rhyme-word substitution on it).

And finally, the play on the un- of undead, extending it to make uncoffee: the uncoffee for the undead. (The negative prefix un- gets combined, often playfully or ostentatiously, with bases other than simple adjectives.)

And yes, of course, the zombie craze sweeping over Zippy. Zippy the Zombie, what a pleasure to say.


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