Today’s Word: Perendinate

The other day I heard from a listener named Lenore from Cambridge, Wisconsin. Of course, it was hard to resist opening her email, considering that the message header read: “I had the radio on but wasn’t listening.”

(Gee, thanks, Lenore! We’re flattered. No, really.)

Actually, Lenore said some very nice things about “A Way with Words,” so Lenore, you’re forgiven for briefly turning your attention to something else while our show was on. I’m assuming it was a some kind of dire emergency, and the worst of it has now passed, so that you can get back to more important things, like emailing your friendly neighborhood Verbivores.

Anyway, Lenore wanted to find out the word I’d mentioned that means “to put off until the day after tomorrow.” That word is perendinate.

I suspect that most first-year Latin students get a little thrill when they learn the Latin word cras, which means “tomorrow.” Once you see that word, it’s easy to see how we get the word procrastinate, which literally means “to put off until tomorrow.”

The word perendinate, however, goes procrastinate one better. As the Oxford English Dictionary tells us, “perendinate” means to “put off something until the day after tomorrow.” It’s from the Latin perendie — literally, “on the day after tomorrow.”

Btw, Lenore, I would have answered your email before now, but I’ve been dreadfully busy perendinating.

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