What did burglars and editors do while they waited for their verbs, burgle and edit, to catch up? Normally, nouns evolve naturally from their action: a person who could ‘write’ was called a ‘writer’, but sometimes it takes a little backformation to make a living.
Are you a chocoholic? Would you feel as guilty if we called you a chocolatic? To create the word ‘chocoholic’, we’ve taken ‘-holic’ from ‘alcoholic’, but, grammatically speaking, we should’ve just taken the ‘-ic’. Adding ‘-ic’ to ‘alcohol’ means ‘caused by drunkenness’.
Dogs: the barking linguistic mystery. No one knows why ‘dog’ — from the Old English word, docga: a specific, powerful breed — suddenly replaced the general word ‘hound’. Now the two have swapped; ‘dog’ is the general word and ‘hound’ refers specifically to a hunting dog.