This book is the most comprehensive study to date of the development of the three suffixes -hood, -dom and -ship in the history of English. An in depth investigation from Old English to Modern English based on data from annotated corpora reveals that all three suffixes developed from nouns into today's suffixes building abstract nouns. It is shown that the rise of suffixes is triggered by semantic change. The findings are analysed in a current model of lexical semantics of word formation (Lieber 2004). The book includes an index with all formations with the three suffixes from Old English to Modern English.