Kidult and Prepone

One of the pleasures of editing is the opportunity to learn something new. Today’s editing work introduced me to two new words: kidult and prepone. Neither was to be found in my trusty Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition) but both words are useful.

Kidult refers to an adult who is interested in youth culture or who engages in activities that are more commonly associated with children. The word is a portmanteau of “kid” and “adult.” You may already know that a portmanteau—a lovely term that is in my dictionary—means a word formed by blending two or more distinct words. It can also mean a large suitcase—an excellent visual association if you picture two words packed up and traveling together.

Prepone is the opposite of postpone. It’s certainly more specific than the broader reschedule which may mean a date that’s sooner or later than the original time. Google’s Ngram Viewer indicates that prepone appeared in both American and British English in the mid-1900s. Its use in British English seems to have increased toward the end of the century but it’s less commonly heard in the US.

Both words are handy reminders of the evolving nature of the English language.

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