Welcome bargainistas!

I’ve found this “welcome” at the entrance of T-K-Max in Air Street, and the linguist in me couldn’t resist taking a picture and starting to mull over a new post 🙂 I remember to have read, in the past, the word “fashionista”, meaning someone who’s keen on fashion. “Bargainista” is obviously on the same wavelength.

What’s interesting for a teacher of Italian as I am is that the “X-ista” suffix is actually an Italian (and Spanish) one, mainly meaning “someone who does X (generally as a job)”. It works pretty much the same in English with “-ist”, therefore we’ll have similar pairs like fiorista/florist, turista/tourist, artista/artist, etc.

While the Italian “-ista” can also refer to “someone who tends/loves to do X (possibily as an addiction)” (e.g. “affarista” = wheeler dealer), it seems like in English you don’t use the equivalent suffix. Therefore, you have resorted to the Italian/Spanish morphology to effectively convey the meaning in a single word, rather than going for “bargain lovers” or akin expressions. To be honest, I browsed the web to see if the word “bargainist” exists, but I only found reference to a website where they promise they’ll get you great bargains…

By the way, I’m wondering whether you can use or actually do use this “cross-language synthesis” in semantic fields other than fashion (which always sounds sooo Italian!). You might want to let me know, maybe…

PS I’ve just noticed how widespread is the Italian word “barista” (plural “baristas”, of course) here in Brighton, and all over the English-speaking Countries. Once again, you English people resorted to the Italian word for “barman, bartender” to name someone who works in a cafe/café (i.e a “coffee bar”), whose main duty is to make coffee-based drinks. This is basically due to the fact that cafés (word of French origin, by the way!) developed in Britain at a much later stage than in Italy (according to the Oxford Dictionary, the English use of the word dates back to the 1980’s), therefore you picked a ready-made word to account for that “specialized” job.


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