Inspiration for a word hit me today whilst reading some text by William Auld (who wrote so well!). So we’re in the rarely visited territory of the Constructed Words category today!
The word is “poŝebla”, the simplest translation of which is perhaps “pocketable”. The meaning is a description of something which is shaped in such a way that it is possible to put it in one’s pocketses (possessed by the spirit of Gollum for a second there).
- Ĝenerale, la melo ne estas poŝebla = generally, badgers are not pocketable (it is not possible to put badgers in one’s pockets)
And now for the derivation!
- poŝo = (a) pocket
- -ebl = suffix meaning “possible to <root>” or “<root> can be done”; “legebla” = “legible, possible to read”
See this post for more information on “-ebl”.
As you’ll learn from the post about “-ebl”, it expects to a verb at its behind. But “poŝo” is the noun form. So to get the proper interpretation of “poŝebla”, we must first interpret “poŝi”, the verbal form.
Check out this PMEG page, under the section “Verboj el ne-agaj radikoj” (“Verbs out of non-action roots”).
It shows a bunch of guidelines about interpreting the verb forms of naturally object type words (like pocket, stone, city).
I believe the most relevant examples are under this statement “Se la radiko montras ilon, aparaton aŭ simile…” (“if the root indicates a tool, apparatus/device or similar…”). It goes on to explain that the verb form then means “to use the tool in its usual manner”. So “to pocket” is to put something in your pocket, or keep something in your pocket.
Therefore “poŝebla” is “possible to put/keep in your pocket”.
I thought it was quite a cool word, sort of like a whimsical version of “portebla” (portable, possible to carry).
Note that you don’t need this word to talk about things like “pocket dictionaries”, those can just be “poŝvortaroj” not “poŝeblaj vortaroj”.