I have a project that requires storing a latest file, previous file and 'one before the previous' file. Each will go in its own folder named: current, previous and {one before previous}. What do I call that third folder?


It's actually antepenultimate but this word is so uncommon that most people won't know what you mean. People tend to say something like "this one, the previous one, and the one before that".

I would be delighted if more people used antepenultimate but I have been on the losing side of many linguistic battles and am not optimistic on this one.

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  • What a great word. In conversation I would use "the one before". It seems a bit clumsy in written word though. – user1752971 Apr 12 '16 at 8:41
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    And, conveniently, antepenultimate, penultimate, and ultimate sort that way alphabetically - great for folks whose OCD extends to folder and directory structures! – Charl E Apr 12 '16 at 9:46

This is a well established procedure in computer science, and the files are called grandfather, father and son files.


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  • Thanks. This implys some ancestral relationship that isn't present in this application, though. – user1752971 Apr 12 '16 at 8:47
  • "Antepenultimate" can be used when you're referring to versions of files. I don't think you'd use "father/son" terminology for versioning? – TrevorD Apr 12 '16 at 12:07

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