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I'm struggling to say 'before previous' in one word. Like "I visited my parents pre-previous month". Is there a suitable word?

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    I can't think of any single word. I would say, "I visited my parents [the] month before last." Jul 2, 2014 at 16:38
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    @StoneyB ".. the month before last."
    – Dom
    Jul 2, 2014 at 16:45
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    @user Naw, people say that sort of thing all the time, like I visited my folks week before last or I already took that test two Fridays ago. Nothing wrong with it at all.
    – tchrist
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:00
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    I visited my parents back in May.
    – tchrist
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:01
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    @user It's not a typo; it's what I intended; it's how I say it; it's perfectly correct when month (or week, year, century etc) is locative rather than substantive. It's not uncommon (or incorrect) even when month is substantive: Month before last was wetter than last month. Jul 2, 2014 at 17:11

5 Answers 5

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As in comments, "two months ago" or "the month before last" are common ways to phrase this. As also noted on comments, some folks will drop "the" from "the month before last." That's a pretty informal mode of speech, but bear in mind that there's another "month" implied in the phrase already "the month before last [month]."

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If you really need a single word, just give the name of the month.

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    I'm trying to name a function in programming, it's relative to current date, takes a certain date in the month before last, can't use the specific month name because of that
    – Valentin V
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:27
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    Then you used a poor example, and programming terms are off topic as well. Personally I would name it "TwoMonthsAgo()". short, pithy names in Programming are very poor practice rather than descriptive ones.
    – Oldcat
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:29
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    There is no such common word in English. Someone may come up with some coined word used once in 100 years, but then nobody will know what you are saying if you used it. As everyone is saying, the common phrase is "month before last".
    – Oldcat
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:36
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    @Oldcat Hey, isn’t two_months_ago() still one word? :)
    – tchrist
    Jul 2, 2014 at 21:22
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    it certainly is a single legal C/C++ identifier!
    – Oldcat
    Jul 2, 2014 at 21:24
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A late answer but you can say "penultimate".

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    Penultimate means last but one, but that's last in the sense of the one before the final one, not the one before the previous one.
    – Jamie Bull
    Jun 5, 2018 at 11:16
  • penultimate should work, assuming the current item is the latest item, and we are interested in the one before it. Jul 1, 2019 at 16:35
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    @TylerS.Loeper but in that case "penultimate" would simply be a synonym of "previous". then you'd need "pen-pen-ultimate" and we're back at the same problem we started with
    – Some_Guy
    Jul 22, 2019 at 19:49
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How about “ante-previous”?  (I just made it up, but I believe that it makes sense.)

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  • A person who hears "ante-previous" might think you said "anti-previous". Jul 2, 2014 at 20:36
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    Or “Aunty Previous”. That’s a risk with any word beginning with “ante-”.
    – Scott
    Jul 2, 2014 at 20:41
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It isn't quite what you're asking for, but an analogous example exists. In British English, a reference to last Friday might be worded as "Friday week" or "Friday last". The same idea would apply here, as, for instance, "October last". I think it is a bit more elegant than "last October", but that might be due to the relative novelty of the phrase to American ears.

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