pollster

poll·ster (pōl’stər)
n. One that takes public-opinion surveys.
Word History: The suffix -ster is used to make nouns referring to persons and can be found in a variety of words that are part of the current vocabulary of English, such as hipster, huckster, jokester, pollster, and youngster. Some of these nouns can refer to either males or females, while others typically denote males. Originally in Old English, however, the suffix (then spelled -estre) was used to form feminine agent nouns. Hoppestre, for example, meant "female dancer" and was the feminine corresponding to the masculine hoppere, "dancer" (that is, a " hopper," so to speak). The suffix -estre was occasionally applied to men in Old English, but mostly to translate Latin masculine nouns denoting occupations that were usually held by women in Anglo-Saxon society. An example is bæcester, "baker," glossing Latin pistor; it survives as the Modern English name Baxter. In Middle English its use as a masculine suffix became more common in northern England, while in the south it remained limited to feminines. In time the masculine usage became dominant throughout the country, and old feminines in -ster were refashioned by adding the newer feminine suffix -ess (borrowed from French) to them, such as seamstress remade from seamster. In Modern English, the only noun ending in -ster with a feminine referent is spinster, which originally meant "a woman who spins thread."

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pollster — poll‧ster [ˈpəʊlstə ǁ ˈpoʊlstər] noun [countable] JOURNALISM a person or organization that carries out polls * * * pollster UK US /ˈpəʊlstər/ noun [C] ► a person who asks people questions in an opinion poll (= a situation in which people are… …   Financial and business terms

  • pollster — (n.) 1939, from POLL (Cf. poll) (n.) + STER (Cf. ster) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pollster — [n] polltaker canvasser, market researcher, public opinion gatherer, sampler, survey taker; concepts 37,103,197,291 …   New thesaurus

  • pollster — ► NOUN ▪ a person who conducts or analyses opinion polls …   English terms dictionary

  • pollster — ☆ pollster [pōl′stər ] n. a person whose work is taking public opinion polls …   English World dictionary

  • Pollster — A professional whose primary job is conducting private pre election polls and advising candidates on election strategy. A pollster may inspect ballots. Pollsters typically hold at least a master s degree in statistics.List of American… …   Wikipedia

  • pollster — UK [ˈpəʊlstə(r)] / US [ˈpoʊlstər] noun [countable] Word forms pollster : singular pollster plural pollsters a person or organization that prepares a poll …   English dictionary

  • pollster — [[t]po͟ʊlstə(r)[/t]] pollsters N COUNT A pollster is a person or organization who asks large numbers of people questions to find out their opinions on particular subjects …   English dictionary

  • pollster — noun someone who conducts surveys of public opinion a pollster conducts public opinion polls a headcounter counts heads • Syn: ↑poll taker, ↑headcounter, ↑canvasser • Derivationally related forms: ↑canvas ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • pollster — noun Date: 1939 one that conducts a poll or compiles data obtained by a poll …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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