English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

An article on Wikipedia about a literary work might include a list of influences, i.e. a list of earlier works that influenced this one.

What about the other way around – a word for a later work that was influenced by this one? Is there a noun for that?

share|improve this question
Look at this: Influence – user36922 Feb 6 '13 at 22:04
@SnowFlake - I looked for antonyms in a few thesauruses, including that one. I couldn't find any entry that treats "influence" as a count noun, as in "The album's influences include..." – callum Feb 6 '13 at 22:12
Callum,You are right. I am searching for it because it is interesting for me to know too. – user36922 Feb 6 '13 at 22:16
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If we were talking about people not books it would be follower or disciple. For a single thing, i.e. the book that takes after an earlier work, I think we need to use either:

  1. derivative -- most generally applicable choice
  2. sequel -- if it was very contingent or built upon the first
  3. offshoot -- if it continues or builds on the first but is not a pure continuation

And based on your edit I think what you are looking for is derivatives or offshoots.

share|improve this answer
+1 for derivative – Canis Lupus Feb 6 '13 at 23:19

Follows, derivative, imitative, aping, copying, wannabe, offshoot. And indeed, "influenced by".

If there are a great many, we may say that it was "in the tradition" of the earlier work, or even that it is part of a genre or movement that it (alone, or along with contemporaneous works) started. (Or perhaps founded if there was a conscious attempt to move in a particular artistic direction).

Follower, adherent, disciple, imitator, aper, copyist, wannabe & protégé can all apply to artists who came later, with different nuances as to the relationship to the earlier.

share|improve this answer

English speakers routinely add prefixes and suffixes to produce words from existing words. In this situation you can simply produce

influencee from influence

to get the meaning you want.

The -ee suffix means “the recipient of an action”. It comes from “the Anglo-French ending of [past participles] used as nouns.” It was originally used when writing law, and is still very commonly used in that context.¹ This is analogous to producing

educatee from educate
employee from employ
endorsee from endorse
enlistee from enlist
enrollee from enroll
evictee from evict
examinee from examine
illuminee from illumine
importee from import
indictee from indict
inductee from induct
interrogatee from interrogate
interviewee from interview
invitee from invite

and that is just considering a selection of verbs beginning with e and i.

share|improve this answer
If a person you’ve loved can be said to be one of your beloveds, and one you’ve invited could be said to be one of your inviteds, then I suppose a person you’ve influenced could be said to your influenceds — except for it being so hard to enunciate distinctly. – tchrist Feb 6 '13 at 23:24

The noun descendant is relevant, in its sense “(figuratively) A thing that derives directly from a given precursor or source [eg] This famous medieval manuscript has many descendants.” Also-used is children, from senses of child that include “(figuratively) An offspring” and “(figuratively) A thing or abstraction derived from or caused by something.” (For example, the 100+ companies that were offshoots of Fairchild Semiconductor, like AMD and Intel, have been called Fairchildren.)

share|improve this answer

If the influence is very strong, the term progeny may suit

One born of, begotten by, or derived from another; an offspring or a descendant.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.