Day 20- Affix: What’s in a Name? #write31days 2014



Term of the day: affix: an appendage or attachment.


An affix in a name, for me, is when I can’t decide definitively what the appendage is. This may be an example of using a partial root then adding on a suffix or an example of a compound name, similar to a compound word.

Consider the name Thompson. “Son” is clearly the suffix, but where did “Thomp” come from? Does “Thomp” stand alone or is it simply “Tom or Thom” with some affix letters?

Let’s look at the name Joanna. We’ve seen this already within the suffix top, but this is where it really belongs. Before I compared Jo to Joanna, but let’s be honest, Joe should be spelled correctly. The name is a combination of “Joe” and “Anna”, but an “e” is dropped in the process.

Name of the day: Lillian (Lilly, Ann)

Breakdown and meaning:

I like names like Lillian. Their meanings are always pleasantly complicated.

Lilly is the name of a flower, so that itself could serve as a meaning for this name. With English and Latin origins, Lilly means “purity”  and “innocent” which goes along with the previous meaning, since flowers have long since been symbols of purity.

Anna, related to my earlier discussion of nicknames, means “grace” and “beauty” much like Annabelle, but it has also been known to take on the meaning of “mother”

With all these meaning, it’s clear to see that Lillian is a special name given to someone with a lot of love. My favorite derived meaning of this name is “pure mother”.

In my Eternal Curse Series, Lilly is one of the few, non-major, characters to play a small but impactful role in both book one and the up-coming book two. The reader gets to see her life from childhood into the senior years, thus seeing how her roles change over time.

Well, that’s it for Day 20. See you tomorrow.


Go back to the beginning to see all the posts in this series.

Outside of my own personal search throughout the years, basic meanings and definitions of the terms used here can be found at the following websites:, Google search, and

Learn more here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.