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I've noticed a few words like these:

恥ずかしがり屋{や}
寂しがり屋
怖がり屋

I've only noticed this with a few adjectives, like the ones above, and with verbs with たい:

目立ちたがり屋

I suppose this ending is just a combination of がる and 屋. I thought that perhaps がり屋 might be considered a special combination, but I couldn't find it in any dictionaries. I did find this definition for 屋 in 明鏡国語辞典, which I think is the relevant one:

それを専門とする人や、そのような性質の人である意を表す。

We already have a question asking whether 〜がる is limited to specific adjectives. So I guess the question I want to ask is this: can I use がり屋 for any word where I can use がる? Or is it strange outside of those few words where it seems to be commonly used, like 恥ずかしがり屋?

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  • 「目立ちたがり屋」 may not belong in that group without an "adjective" used in it like in the others? Feb 7 '14 at 10:18
  • I also hear 寒がりや and 面倒くさがりや quite often.
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 7 '14 at 13:57
  • @TokyoNagoya Oh, I didn't think to talk about verb+たい separately. Thank you for pointing that out and describing it separately in your answer!
    – user1478
    Feb 7 '14 at 14:47
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After a few minutes of murmuring to myself, I am going to say that basically, the 「~~がり[屋]{や}」 form will stand if the 「~~がり」form stands with an adjective. The naturalness and frequency of use of the 「~~がり屋」 form as an independent word look to be in direct proportion to those of its 「~~がり」form.

Among the ones that might not make their way into the dictionary but are actually quite often used would be 「[悲]{かな}しがり屋」、「[嬉]{うれ}しがり屋」, etc. I myself was often called 「[痛]{いた}がり屋」 as a kid because I was susceptible to pain.

The ones that sound less natural to me include 「[楽]{たの}しがり屋」、「[難]{むずか}しがり屋」, etc. but those are still heard occasionally if not frequently.

I would need to conclude that with adjectives, one does not have a wide variety of common 「~~がり屋」 forms because it works only with simple adjectives describing rather simple human emotions and sensations.

With verbs, however, one can and does use the 「~~たがり屋」 form much more freely even though only a few could be found in the dictionary. Anything goes in this category because all you need is the name of an action you want to peform --- 見たがり屋、行きたがり屋、食べたがり屋、飲みたがり屋、知りたがり屋、読みたがり屋 --- anything!

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