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Definition: petty poet; writer of contemptible verses

Pronunciation: say it as you see it- po-ET-a-ster


Introduced to the English language in the late 1500’s, poetaster comes from the Latin poeta meaning a poet, and the Greek pejorative suffix aster.

Why this word?

I mainly chose this word to have an opportunity to present you with the suffix aster. The original suffix was used to form nouns from verbs, but later on it came to express any sort of resemblance that is incomplete, usually diminutive, pejorative or deprecatory.

The suffix aster began its way with the Greek patraster– meaning he who plays the father- a poor excuse of an actual father.

You can use aster with any noun when you want to diminish it, making this suffix into a very useful one!

Criticaster is an inferior or petty critic, latinitaster is a petty scholar of Latin and the list goes on. So- take this suffix and do whatever you want with it!

How to use the word poetaster in a sentence?

“David merely thinks himself to be a poet when actually he is nothing more than a poetaster”.




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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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