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The suffix -ty derives interjections from interjections. Examples are bats! wham! > batsty! wham! and pak! catch! > paksty! I will get you!. As can be detected from the latter example, sometimes a linking element -s- is inserted. The origin of this suffix must be sought in a grammaticalization of the personal pronoun dy, the object form of second person singular.

[+]General properties

The suffix -ty [ti] is mostly added to interjections that imitate a sound that denotes a swift, falling or blazing movement. In these cases the suffix has a strengthening function. The base form always ends in a voiceless obstruent: /f, s, k, p, t/. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
rûf!to indicate fast movement rûfty!to indicate fast movement
pof!imitation of sound of a punch pofty!imitation of sound of a punch
rûts slide! rûtsty! slide fast! or rûtsdy! slide fast!
wûp(s)!to denote a fast movement or incident wûpty! / wûpsty!to denote a fast movement or incident
wip!denoting a certain swiftness of movement, a push or sweep wipsty!denoting a certain swiftness of movement, a push or sweep
kaats!to make the cat go away kaatsty!to make the cat go away
jûp! come on! jûpsty! come on!
plûmp! splash! plûmpsty! splash!
hak! take it! haksty! / hakty! I've got you!
koest! keep quiet! koesty! keep quiet!

Several of these formations tend to become obsolete nowadays.

[+]Linking element

As can be seen, there is often a linking element -s- when the base form ends in /k/, /p/ or /t/. This does not occur if the final segment is a fricative.


The suffix -ty originated from the personal pronoun dy you in exclamative sentences, and can thus be viewed as the result of a kind of grammaticalization. Compare the lexicalized collocations like repdy-skeardy! quick quick!, lichtdy, a command for the horse that he must lift his leg and also stringdy, a command for the horse to stand inside the traces again. The initial /d/ of the function word dy may become voiceless after voiceless obstruents by progressive voice assimilation.

These derivations in -ty are completely old-fashioned. A modern form that is used as interjection (ending in -y) is for example oepsy! oops!, but this word does not occur in written language, and is a loan from Dutch.


This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:164-165) and Hoekstra (1986).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1986Wûpsty!Friesch Dagblad08-11Taalsnipels 8
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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