Summary: Is there a (possibly old) print literature/use of the word codecessor?

Background: I intuitively used the word assuming it exists in peer-reviewed publications first around 2008 only to be told recently that codecessor does not exist in English dictionaries. Nobody complained and I was told I was understood when I used word. I then searched myself extensively online to come up with the conclusion that mine was the only predominant use of the word. I've found that strange as I naturally assumed back in the day the word existed and never meant to create a neologism or some such.

Since the word appeared in recent print, I've then gone to Wiktionary and added its definition I meant the word to have. The suggested use of it was either as a noun or an adjective. The Wiktionary entry has been called a protologism since been moved. My definition was:

A (technically) co-descendant notion or concept, but not necessarily a close sibling to concepts alike emerged around the same timeframe from the same or similar predecessor concept(s).

  • The X is based in part on its Y predecessors and codecessors, such as Z, A, B, and C.

  • (Other terms I would use would be co-descendant or co-successor, but they didn't end up being used.)

    Thus the main question if anyone here has ever come across codecessor elsewhere, such as older print literature, and if yes, what is the reference and a possible definition.

    • 1
      Interestingly, although codecessor has been incarcerated in a wiktionary talk page, its plural codecessors remains at large. Oct 20, 2013 at 20:19
    • @jwpat7 codecessor was userfied to me; the Talk page is the RfV discussion. However, you are right, the dangling plural is still there in the mainspace... I guess it will be incarcerated next.
      – Serguei
      Oct 20, 2013 at 20:41
    • @jwpat7 I have requested the move of codecessors and it was done until, if ever, the term gains traction and wider use or more past use is found.
      – Serguei
      Oct 21, 2013 at 17:11

    1 Answer 1


    Neither OED 1 nor Google Books records the term, and the only hits on Google appear to derive from your own use. Go ahead and copyright it.

    I have to say, though, that it is not a ‘natural’ coinage. Predecessor derives from L decedere meaning “withdraw, retire, go away”: your predecessor originally meant the guy who held your office before you. Consequently, in the ordinary course of derivation a “codecessor” would be not a cosuccessor with you of a previous officeholder but someone who retired at the same time as the previous officeholder, his contemporary.

    But, hey, you’re Humpty Dumpty, it’s your word, you get to make it mean whatever you want; and it seems you’ve got other folks understanding it, so you’re home free.

    • Copyright it? I think I'd rather copyleft it :)
      – Serguei
      Oct 20, 2013 at 20:44
    • PS: I should have added that I did search Google Books, OED 1, etc. myself.
      – Serguei
      Oct 20, 2013 at 20:47
    • 1
      Words are not copyrightable. At most, they can be trademarks.
      – Nemo
      Nov 16, 2015 at 8:02

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