In English, a large number of our etymologies involve affixation, wherein a word element is attached to an existing word to make a new word. We often see terms with prefixes and suffixes, which involve parts being added before and after the root, respectively, but nobody ever talks about infixes, which involve an affix being inserted into the middle of a word, rather than on the ends. This is very rare in our language, and is only really found with chemical compounds (like how pipecoline was formed from picoline) or with the infix ma (like how edumacation was created to sound quasi-intellectual). Infixation should not be confused with tmesis, the insertion of an entire word, which we've seen with a whole nother, the diddly in scrum-diddly-um-ptious, un-freaking-believable, and a few more expletives. Both are very cool processes that don't get enough recognition!
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd