suffix attached to verbs to mean their action, result, product, material, etc., from Old English -ing, also -ung, from Proto-Germanic *-unga-, *-inga- (cognates: Old Norse -ing, Dutch -ing, German -ung). In early use often denoting completed or habitual action; its use has been greatly expanded in Middle and Modern English.
suffix used to form the present participles of verbs and the adjectives derived from them, from Old English present-participle suffix -ende, from PIE *-nt- (cognates: German -end, Gothic -and, Sanskrit -ant, Greek -on, Latin -ans, -ens). The vowel weakened in late Old English and the spelling with -g began 13c.-14c. among Anglo-Norman scribes who naturally confused it with -ing (1).
Old English -ing, patronymic suffix (denoting common origin); surviving in place names (Birmingham, Nottingham) where it denotes "tribe, community."
updated on February 02, 2019