Thursday, April 18, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013: P - Penultimate

Penultimate

pe·nul·ti·mate [peˈnəltəmit] adj. Last but one in a series of things; second last: "the penultimate chapter of the book."

Synonyms: next-to-last (more a phrase-as-word, but hey, whatever)

Etymology: 1670s, from penultima (n.) on model of proximate.

Well that's boring, let's look at Penultima: 1580s, from Latin penultima (syllaba), "the next to the last syllable of a word or verse," from fem. of Latin adjective penultimus "next-to-last," from paene "almost" + ultimus "final" (see ultimate).

There we go. My understanding of this word was not quite right until today.

24 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fun word to use to mess with people's heads, since around here I doubt many know what it means.

Disha said...

I dont think I will use this in everyday vocab :p ... Happy to connect. Do visit www.disha-doshi.blogspot.com I am following you via #AtoZChallenge

Natalie Aguirre said...

Had no idea what this meant.

Adriana Dascalu said...

It's a nice word and I, a Romanian, i know it and use it. I think English born people know it too, though using situations are not very frequent.

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

No ideal what it meant at all.

Yvonne.

Ornery's Wife said...

I tried to use this in a blog post a while back and learned its meaning then. I had thought it was last, not next-to-last. I learned then that I had an incomplete understanding. Nice P word, though!
tm

Melanie Schulz said...

The next to last of something? What if that something never ends- for example I can never say I've had my pe·nul·ti·mate ice cream cone. Or maybe I can, because eventually I'll die, but you get my point. LOL!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I always wonder why we have a word for second to last, but not third or fourth to last?

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

As I write this, I am the penultimate opinion to be published on this blog. But I'm sure there will be more!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I think I'll continue to say next to last so that everyone around me understands what I'm saying. Barbara
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Andrew Leon said...

I've always been ambivalent about "penultimate" even though I sometimes use it.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

I love learning the definitions of unusual words. The trouble is, I never remember the definition when I need to recall it!
Thanks for all your work in the A to Z Challenge!

MakingtheWriteConnections

Nancy Thompson said...

So much easier than saying second to last, but I'll likely never remember it. :/

Sheena-kay Graham said...

The Penultimate chapter of a book is where I want to be at.

Allison said...

I don't think I ever knew what this meant! I love learning new words!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Jay Noel said...

I have a pretty good vocabulary, but geez, I had not a clue about either word.

organizationandinspirationforfellowwriters said...

Interesting concept for A to Z Challenge posts.

Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge
Denise Reashore on Facebook

organizationandinspirationforfellowwriters said...

Interesting concept for A to Z Challenge posts.

Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge
Denise Reashore on Facebook

Carrie-Anne said...

Penultimate is one of my favorite words. I love getting the chance to use it.

michelle said...

The word penultimate always reminds me of the Proxime Accessit, the one who was ALMOST crowned dux!

Writer In Transit

Lexa Cain said...

I remember watching "Gary Unmarried" where his ex thought this word meant above ultimate. I would have made the same mistake. Penultimate just sounds like good thing.
Fun post! :-)

farawayeyes said...

I thought it meant 'near the end' which I guess it does, but it is more specific than that. Always learning.

Beverly Fox said...

Knew the word, but not the origin- learned today!

Tina said...

I'm with Alex, this is a very mis-used word. Kinda like irregardless! Which I love to say to the Engineer to push his pedantic buttons...

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge