"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 26 June 2012



Prelapsarian is an adjective. Strictly speaking it means of or relating to the period before the fall of Adam and Eve; characteristic of the time before the Fall of Man.  It is, however, also used in a broader context to mean innocent and unspoiled; or simply ancient.

In a Ruth Rendell novel, for example, a young girl who drives an automatic car describes her mother's car with gears as prelapsarian.

It appears to be pronounced prlps-ARE-ian but don't quote me on that - I'm no good at working with the phoentic alphabet.


  1. Sounds logical enough for me, also the pronounciation.

  2. I like this word! I remember (before internet days) having to go to the library to make sure I was spelling it correctly as it wasn't in my dictionary. I pronounce it as you suggest.

    Mnay thanks for your comment on my blog.