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QUESTION

Why does мартышка exist, but *мартыха does not?

The rest of the words seem to follow this productive pattern. Cf:

And so on.

{ asked by Manjusri }

ANSWER

Картофель

When we are trying to say “Go to the shop and buy some potatoes”, we don’t say “Иди в магазин и купи картофель.” — it’s too official for shopping. We say “Иди в магазин и купи картошки.”.

Плаха

So we use the diminutive form плашка, but we almost do not use the full form плаха.

Names

Антон, Мария — official, full form (passport, forms, at work, etc.). Антоша / Антошка, Маша / Машка — diminutive form. We use it with children and good friends in good mood. Антоха — very light, brute form, only for good friends. This form is very similar to cases of use like “How are ya, you old bastard?”. It’s very tricky to define when you may it use, and when — not. I think that for foreigners it’s better not to use that form. By the way, I can’t remember that I have had heard Маха. Maybe, it’s too brute to call a girl that.

Мартышка

Мартышка evolved from Март (March). We never needed light, brute form of this word for good friends. So it sounds weird.

However, in everyday life some people sometimes use мартышка for the brand name Martini, and, maybe, мартыха. But these cases are infrequent. And I don’t suggest them for foreigners to use.

{ answered by akaRem }
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