What suffixes are used to indicate jobs? Please provide examples.

  • These are normally called "agent" or "agentive" suffixes. Dec 14, 2011 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


Common sufixes:

Taken from "Sufijos nominales en español", from Lucie Rossowová's Master Thesis, p. 30:

Noun suffixes denoting the "agent" of the action:

  • -ero/-era (cocinero / cocinera)
  • -dor/-dora (cazador / cazadora)
  • -ante (cantante)
  • -ista (deportista)

We could add some other examples (some of them may be "allomorphs" of another one):

  • -or/-ora (captor / captora)       (may be allomorph with -dor)
  • -or/-triz (actor / actriz)
  • -in/-ina (bailarín / bailarina)

Derived from a masculine substantive:

  • -isa (poeta → poetisa; sacerdote → sacerdotisa)       (is only used with feminine nouns)

Some roots take more than one suffix in order to "build" different meanings:

  • -ante (cantante)
  • -or (cantor)       (used at least in Chile to name a folklorist)

Regional variations:

  • Andalusism:
    • -aor/-aora (bailaor / bailaora; cantaor / cantaora)       (in most cases is just the -dor suffix with its 'd' dropped.)

Not directly related to jobs:

  • -logo/-loga (podólogo / podóloga; entomólogo / entomóloga)
    • This suffix relates to people who study or practice a science. As a side effect, they work on that field, but the suffix's main aim is not to emphasize the work done.
  • -atra (pediatra; psiquiatra)
    • Someone who heals using some field of the medical science.
  • There is also -ín_/_ina (e.g. bailarín) and aor in the Andalusisms bailaor, cantaor, and tocaor.
    – Jaime Soto
    Dec 13, 2011 at 22:15
  • @JaimeSoto: I've just included your comment because -in/-ina suffix is very important. Thanks! Dec 13, 2011 at 22:28
  • Probably also ólogo: podólogo, odontólogo. ico:médico, físico, atra: fisiatra, pediatra, Dec 15, 2011 at 11:46
  • @belisarius: I've just expanded my answer including the suffixes "-logo" and "-atra". The word "médico" doesn't have a suffix "-ico", as far as I know. Dec 19, 2011 at 22:28

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