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What archaic five-letter suffix denotes "poor quality imitation"?

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Answer: aster

The archaic suffix -aster is used to express poor imitation or incomplete resemblance. For example, a poetaster is an inferior poet and a patraster is someone who plays at being a father.

The suffix derives from the Greek suffix -aster, which was originally used to form nouns from verbs ending in -azein.

Note that the Greek suffix -aster is not the same as the Greek word aster, star.


I always thought the suffix was "taster," as in one who hasn't plunged fully into the profession.
CMarsch786 at

Geez, I'm devastated. All along, I was under the impression that my collection of statuettes were the real deal. Now I find out that they're made out ersatz alab. So much for the Antique Roadshow.
jacko at

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