Tag Archives: ish or esque

Ish, esque, or y? They’re a lot like each other — ish


Peter Paul Rubens: The Three Graces (Wikimedia Commons)

When someone describes an experience as “Kafkaesque”, we get that it must have been nightmarish. “Orwellian” we understand as totalitarian in a futuristic kind of way, à la Orwell’s novel 1984. But why “-esque” for Kafka and “-ian” for Orwell? (And, indeed, why “ish” for nightmare and “istic” for future?) Why don’t we say Kafkaish, or Orwellistic? Continue reading