This word incorporates the pejorative Latin suffix -aster, which indicates that something is inferior or shallow, or mimics something else. If you are at all creative about insults, I'm sure you can see great potential for the use of -aster to construct arcane derogatory labels. Anu at A.Word.A.Day, whose emails do much to expand my vocabulary, suggests the following illustrative examples: A reviewer brands a poet a poetaster (an inferior poet) and the reviewee might return the favour by calling the former a criticaster (an incompetent critic). In the same vein, we can have a politicaster, an astrologaster, and the bane of writers everywhere - a grammaticaster. (Seen a few of those around here!)

Phi*los"o*phas`ter (?), n. [L., a bad philosopher, fr. philosophus: cf. OF. philosophastre.]

A pretender to philosophy.

[Obs.]

Dr. H. More.

 

© Webster 1913.

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