1. The suffix -ary and its kin
This group of suffixes includes -ary, -arium, and -aire, which are used in several ways as noun and as adjective suffixes.
1.1. -ary as noun suffix, denoting place. The suffix is the anglicised form of the original -arium from Latin.
The following are examples of names of places with the suffix -ary:
(1) aviary [Latin avis “bird” + -ary]; (2) bestiary; (3) granary; (4) library [Latin liber, libris “book” + -ary]; (5) sanctuary [Latin sanctus “holy” + -ary].
Oddities: There are words which look as if they have been formed with the suffix -ary –but are not.
(1) burglary [burglar + -y, not burgle + -ary]; (2) peccary; (3) quandary [Latin quando “when” + -are, infinitive suffix]; (4) vagary.
1.2. -ary as noun suffix, denoting person or thing or group thereof. The suffix is derived not from -arium but from the Latin -arius, and is used to form nouns denoting “connected with or engaged in”.
(1) beneficiary [benefice + -ary]; (2) constabulary; (3) dromedary [Greek dromas, dromados “running” + Latin -arius “-ary”]; (4) mercenary; (5) obituary [Latin obitus “death” + -ary].
Variant -aire: This word-ending, which appears in millionaire and billionaire, is sometimes considered as a variant of -ary (as in concessionnaire, legionnaire, and questionnaire, with double “n”) and sometimes as a variant of -er (as in commissionaire, with single “n”).
1.3. -ary as adjective suffix. The suffix is derived from Latin -arius, and is used to form adjectives denoting “pertaining to” or “connected with”, and is attached to Latin-derived words.
(1) ancillary [Latin ancilla “maidservant” + -ary]; (2) culinary [Latin: culinarius = culina “kitchen” + -ary]; (3) exemplary; (4) mercenary; (5) monetary [Latin moneta “mint, money” + -ary].
Note: Some of such adjectives may also function as nouns, e.g. contemporary, mercenary, revolutionary, tributary, visionary.
1.4. -ary as adjective suffix, to denote order, or time, or blocks of time. Examples: (1) anniversary; (2) centenary; (3) primary; (4) secondary; (5) tertiary; (6) quaternary.
1.5. -arium as noun suffix. The suffix is derived from the original Latin -arium, denoting a place or an instrument.
(1) aquarium [Latin aqua “water” + -arium]; (2) columbarium [Latin columba “dove, pigeon” + -arium]; (3) herbarium; (4) honorarium; (5) sanitarium, US spelling (= sanatorium, British spelling).
2. The suffix -ery (with its short form -ery) and its kin
This suffix forms nouns and adjectives.
2.1. -ery/-ry as noun suffix, to denote place or establishment. This is a Middle English noun suffix, derived from the French -erie. It is affixed to nouns or verbs to denote a place or establishment.
(1) bakery; (2) brewery; (3) eatery; (4) hatchery; (5) nursery.
Note: The variant -eria (of Italian origin) occurs in the word pizzeria; and the variant -erie (of French origin) occurs in the words menagerie and patisserie.
2.2. -ery/-ry as noun suffix, to denote a breeding colony of animals.
Examples: (1) heronry; (2) rookery.
2.3. -ery/-ry as abstract-noun suffix. This suffix forms abstract nouns denoting activity, action, art, craft, occupation, vocation, trade, or business.
(1) chemistry; (2 cookery; (3) husbandry; (4) midwifery; (5) jugglery. This suffix, when added to nouns, adjectives, and verbs, also forms abstract nouns denoting quality, state or condition, and behaviour.
(1) artistry; (2 bravery; (3) demagoguery; (4) greenery; (5) thuggery.
Note: The variant -erie (of French origin) occurs in such word as camaraderie [French camarade “comrade” + -erie].
2.4. When -ery/-ry is not a suffix. There are many words containing the word-ending -ery/-ry – but their etymology indicates that their formation involves some other affix or not at all.
(1) awry [a- + wry]; (2) cemetery; (3) equerry [misleading – the word has the ending -erry, which, with a double “r”, is not a suffix]; (4) mastery [master + -y, not mast + -ery]; (5) mystery; (6) sundry.
3. The suffix -ory and its kin
This group of suffixes includes -ory, -orium, and -oire, which are used in several ways as noun and adjective suffixes.
3.1. -ory as noun suffix, denoting place. The suffix is the anglicised form of the original -orium from Latin.
The following are examples of names of places which incorporate the suffix -ory:
(1) armory, US spelling (= armoury, British spelling); (2) conservatory; (3) dormitory; (4) observatory; (5) repository.
Variant -oire: Of French origin, this suffix appears in (1) conservatoire (= conservatory); (2) escritoire; (3) repertoire (= repertory).
3.2. -ory as noun suffix, denoting agent. Example: signatory.
3.3. -ory as adjective suffix. The suffix is derived from Latin -orius/-oria/-orium, meaning “having the function or effect of”.
(1) accessory [access + -ory]; (2) compulsory; (3) derogatory; (4) obligatory; (5) sensory.
Note: The adjective accessory is used also as a noun.
3.4. -orium as noun suffix, denoting place. The suffix is borrowed from Latin, denoting a place, a facility, or an instrument.
(1) auditorium; (2) crematorium; (3) emporium; (4) sanatorium, British spelling (= sanitarium, US spelling); (5) scriptorium.
3.5. When -ory is not a suffix. There are many words which end with -ory. However, etymology shows that such words are made up of some other suffix or not at all.
(1) advisory [advisor + -y, not advise + -ory];
(2) allegory [Greek allegoria, from allos “other” + agoria “speaking”];
(3) category [Greek kategoria “statement, assertion, accusation”; from kategoros “an accuser”; from kata “down, against” + agora “marketplace, assembly” + -y];
(4) history [Greek historia];
(5) oratory [orator + -y, not orate + -ory];
(6) territory [irregular formation, from Latin terra “land” + -i- + -tory, abstracted from other words with such ending, e.g. directory, dormitory, purgatory];
(7) victory [Latin victor + -y, not vict + -ory].