A problem arose during a classroom activity when a student wanted to describe the shape of a carpet. Since I don’t have a picture of the carpet she was talking about, I’m using the photo above of a lovely piece of glass as it has a similar shape.

“Oval” was the word she needed but instead she charmingly described it as “a straight circle”, which of course brought a smile to my face. In such a situation, she could have said that it isn’t exactly round or it is approximately round“. An easier and shorter way would have been for her to take the word round and add ISH at the end, thus creating ROUNDISH. For example, the carpet is ROUNDISH.

This ISH can be used for time, age and even colours. Take a look at some examples:

  1. We’re meeting EIGHTISH outside the cinema => We’re meeting at approximately eight outside the cinema
  2. I’ve no idea how old he is but he looks FORTYISH => I’ve no idea how old he is but he looks around forty
  3. What’s the colour of the piece of glass in the photo above? BLUISH (or GREENISH) => Somewhat blue (or green)

Next time the exact adjective doesn’t come to mind, try out the helpful ISH!

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