–tacular suffix in the forming of nouns, ‘an exciting or extravagant event’ associated with the root; in the forming of adjectives, an intensifier of the root, ‘a lot, great, large, extravagant, excessive.’ Editorial Note: Terms created with –tacular tend to be jocular one-offs, though some, like spooktacular and craptacular, appear to have more endurance. Etymological Note: From a resegmenting of spectacular, in which the syllable tacular splinters off of spec and becomes a combining form. This true segmenting of the word would ordinarily be spectacul, from the Latin spectacul-um ‘a show, spectacle, something worth observing’ and the Latin suffix –ar ‘of a kind; belonging to.’ (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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1 Response

  1. Ben Zimmer says:

    Cf. the suffix <-tastic>, which often attaches to the same roots as <-tacular> for forming adjectives.  (“Craptastic” and “craptacular” each return more than 50,000 Google-hits.)

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