Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank goodness it's abou-tober

There's something about the name October that seems to inspire the urge to play. There's a certain mellifluous quality to the name that we don't have with other months (heck, people can barely pronounce February). And that -tober on the end makes a satisfying particle onto which you can join practically anything, it seems. We've all heard a local radio station advertise its Rocktober lineup (a term also in use by Guitar Center and, it seems, about 300,000 other folks, if Google is to be believed).

Just how productive an ending is -tober, do you suppose? A few minutes of seaching has turned up the following:

Good, if predictable, fun. Are there rules? Interestingly, almost all the examples here have a vowel that's in the same vowel neighborhood as Oct-. (The most common variant -- Rocktober -- is of course a perfect rhyme.) The word to be joined to -tober seems, from these examples, at least, to require a closing consonant. I would initially have guessed that any new prefix would have to be monosyllablic, but A-Rod-tober and Motor-tober appear to be counter-evidence.

What else can we come up with for examples, rules, or idle speculation?