I am English and my girlfriend is Canadian. We had a dispute about a word she was using. The word is reprocreate, i said I don't believe that is a word and she said it was in Canada. Obviously I know the word procreate but have never heard of reprocreate.

  • 2
    Can you provide an example sentence on how she would use it? And how she would define it?
    – Jim
    Jul 12, 2016 at 17:40
  • She was talking about life after death. There are burial pods that you can be buried in and a tree is born from the pod. She was saying how it would be nice to reprocreate in that way.
    – HJD
    Jul 12, 2016 at 17:45
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    @HaydnDuffty Zero hits in either Google nGrams (case insensitive) or the COCA corpus. Lest she complain the COCA wouldn't cover Canadian English, there are also exactly zero hits in the Corpus of Canadian English. I even went so far as to check the GLoWBE, and there is literally one hit, and this is it. I'll let it speak for itself. No one uses "reprocreate". I think she meant "reincarnate".
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 12, 2016 at 17:57
  • she probably mixing reproduction and procreation in her mind, though do not let her see this link books.google.ca/… or she'll never back down.
    – P. O.
    Jul 12, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    I think of reprocreation as reproduction as recreation.
    – Drew
    Jul 12, 2016 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


There is no entry for reprocreate in the full-size Oxford English Dictionary of 1971. But a Google Books search turns up fifteen unique matches for reprocreate (and its variant re-procreate), going back to at least 1815. Following are those fifteen occurrences. From J. Buckley, "Birth of Original Sin" (1815):

... thus it is even so in the false, crafty, conceived Serpent's word, which proceeds from the false-heart, which holds forth itself as a lovely persuasive syren, and calls itself holy, till it can discover Man's Desire set open for it, then and there it lays open its heart, and so enters into the full Desire and makes itself a place to work and re-procreate its own likeness.

From Sir Lascelles Wraxall, "A Real American," in Bentley's Miscellany (1862):

So far as our experience extends, we doubt whether these Spanish Creoles, Mulattos, and Mestizes possess the power to reprocreate themselves through themselves, or draw themselves from the deep prostration, whose sad aspect is seen at every step taken by the traveller in these states [of Central America].

From Charles Purdy, "Concerning Spiritul Gifts," in The Esoteric: A Magazine of Advanced and Practical Esoteric Thought (March 1896):

Besides we saw that in the seed there was a procreative life potency capable of producing the concatenation of correlated forces which would build an organism similar in form, structure, and procreative potency to the organism from whence this seed came, and this in a never ending series from any one given seed,—for instance, a seed of Jacob; that this same potential energy conserved within the organism would therein also furnish an impetus to the operation of forces which would rebuild, re-procreate the structural form in an ever-ending series of ever-increasing perfectness of correspondence to environment: ...

From Journal of Indian History, volumes 32–33 (1955) [quoted language not shown in snippet window]:

Manu, the hero of the flood, is also spoken of in Brahmanic literature as being united with his only daughter Ida to reprocreate mankind after that great catastrophe.

From Vittorio Alfieri, Macchiavelli, The Prince and Letters (1972) [combined snippets]:

So by protecting letters, the prince ludicrously and vainly commands writers to seek greatness; because the favours they obtain from him necessarily deter them from all truly lofty thought; so true literature is debased or silenced. For if it could and dared speak frankly in time it would be better able than the prince to reprocreate those virtuous customs which the prince commands but does not desire and can never desire, for from them alone must arise the complete extinction of the principality.

From a translation of a "personal letter" written by Karl Marx, in The Karl Marx Library: On the First International (1973):

... workers, must immediately send the International [membership] cards (after they did not reply to questions asked about them twice in three months), must reprocreate the Communist Manifesto, must come to Leipzig.

From Fazal Mahmood, Urge to Faith (1973) [combined snippets:

It is also said: "We made man reprocreate and then he was set right and given ears to hear and eyes to see and mind to comprehend ; but ye render small thanks. We breathed Our spirit into him. We commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before him."

From Rose Njoku, The Advent of the Catholic Church in Nigeria: Its Growth in Owerri Diocese (1980) [combined snippets]:

Our people have the saying "Onye amutara, ya muta ibe ya" (It is expected that people who are begotten of their parents should also reprocreate others) while women who married and were blessed with many children celebrate it with the traditional "Ewu Omumu", the Reverend Mother has reproduced many children spiritually.

From Agola Auma-Osolo, Cause-Effects of Modern African Nationalism on the World Market (1983) [combined snippets]:

By becoming French, they had to sleep French, eat French, play French, talk French, marry and reprocreate French, think French, and be born and die French. All these things became their sine qua non for becoming a Frenchman — an evolue.

From a quotation from an unidentified 1986 article by Godelier, in Gilbert Herdt, Secrecy and Cultural Reality: Utopian Ideologies of the New Guinea Men's House (2003):

But the way in which they are separated from certain of their products, namely, their male children on a given day, when men come to fetch them to re-procreate them and turn them into men, is perfectly concrete and real. Essentially, then, the transformation, the new procreation is not imaginary, since it is intended to turn these boys into men, who will one day concretely occupy the leading positions in the relations o production.

From The Eastern Anthropologist, volume 46 (1993):

The tree is never grown from a Bija or seed, as is the universal theory of growth an life. There is seed, but it never germinates, signifying the presence of the girl who was denied the opportunity to bloom and reprocreate. In this case a sapling, a part of the tree, a section of a branch, is cut and sown in the ground.

From Abul Barkat, Baseline Study on Increasing Access to Maternal Health Service for Poor Women in Rural Bangladesh (2006) [combined snippets]:

10.3. Infertility "Nobody tolerates the women who is infertile. In Shepchar village of Rangamati (ward No 2) one girl Aklima had no issue. She was divorced only for infertility". FGD with WRA Infertility means inability to reproduce or reprocreate. It used to mean either a women's inability to conceive and bear a living child or means inability to be impregnated.

From Eugene LaCorbiniere, Freedom Run! (2008):

I will then divided the other continents, into many parts, and place them far from each other. I will pick the most righteous families, from each of the twelve tribes, to live and re-procreate the earth.

From Richard Woo, God or Allah, Truth or Bull? (2011):

From our calculations Abraham must be at least 136 years old or over when he started to re-procreate and this is assuming that his marriage to Keturah occurred immediately or shortly after Sarah's death. Keturah allegedly bore him six children. If he was skeptical of his sexual capability when he was 99 years old he evidently became sexually stronger and more active after that, but from which point: 136 yrs? 137 yrs? 139 yrs?

And from Paul Pellew, A Prisoner of Fortune: My Strange World (2013):

Certainly they [breasts] form part of the female body: part of the package designed to eroticise, stimulate and re-procreate, and which, if addressed independently, without the mass as a whole, would be disappointing and unsatisfying.

There doesn't appear to be perfect agreement among these sources as to the precise meaning of the word, but if you replaced "reprocreate" with "procreate again" in each excerpt, you would not go far wrong in identifying the literal or figurative sense of the term in each instance.

  • Thank you very much Sven, I think I need to eat humble pie for my girlfriend! Time to fall on my sword!!
    – HJD
    Jul 13, 2016 at 20:00

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