Say three people A, B and C are talking, with B and C agreeing with A.

A: I think tomatoes are great.
B: Yes, I second this.
C: I third (?) it.

I think the obvious way to say this would be using second again:

C: I also second this.

However, since we have the verb to second, do we also have a verb to express this seconding the seconder? I see that third can be an adjective, a noun or an adverb, but not a verb.

  • If you also agree with the first one, then you are thirder. If you second the seconder, you are just seconding since you are approving of the second person and not the first one? – Magesh Kumaar Aug 9 '16 at 10:00
  • As your own research points out, third is not used in that sense. Whether you choose to support the person who originally said something (in which case you too are seconding them, as in your revised 'C') or the person who seconded the first one, you are still only seconding someone. Probably the best is to say, "Me too" in 'C' (also informally "+1" on internet/messaging platforms). – alwayslearning Aug 9 '16 at 10:09
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    The usage probably overlaps with duelling, in which (according to Wikipedia) a participant could have several "seconds" – Chris H Aug 9 '16 at 11:36
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    "I think the obvious way to say this would be using second again:" if you think that, you're wrong. – Fattie Aug 9 '16 at 13:12
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    @fedorqui there can only be one "second" (in the literal sense of "number two") Even if you abstract "seconder" to mean "motion supporter" there's really only one "seconder" ("motion supporter") in most/all organisational/parliamentary systems. "Thirder" is just a stupid joke, so forget that. The answer is nothing more than "support" ("I support the motion.") Note indeed that the definition of "seconder" is, indeed, "the first person to support the motion". Indeed you need never use the word "second", just stand and say "I support that". – Fattie Aug 9 '16 at 17:30

The term second in this context comes from the language of formal organisational processes.

Second verb 1 Formally support or endorse (a nomination or resolution or its proposer) as a necessary preliminary to adoption or further discussion: Bridgeman seconded Maxwell’s motion calling for the reform - ODO

Here is a more descriptive explanation in the context of parliamentary procedure, but it also holds for other formal meetings:

In deliberative bodies a second to a proposed motion is an indication that there is at least one person besides the mover that is interested in seeing the motion come before the meeting. It does not necessarily indicate that the seconder favors the motion. - wikipedia

In this process, someone proposes a motion, and if someone else seconds it, the motion may be discussed and voted on. If there is no seconder, the motion isn't even considered.

There is no requirement for a 'second seconder' or a 'thirder', and no formal term for such a role. The term seconder is now used in informal settings to indicate agreement, with thirder sometimes used for further supporters.

I third that In response to "I second that," when you also agree with a person who is agreeing to something. - Urban Dictionary

If you wish to use less informal language, you can say that you support the motion or statement.

Support verb 2.2 Give approval, comfort, or encouragement to: the proposal was supported by many delegates - ODO

  • I second this, @Lawrence! Let's see if there are any thirders and so on :) – alwayslearning Aug 9 '16 at 10:12
  • I also second this, even though the usage of to second has grown and it is used in more contexts than the one you mention. For example, find here where my question came from: I second (third?) the idea of listening to books – fedorqui Aug 9 '16 at 10:15
  • @fedorqui Thank you. I'll expand my answer to include this. – Lawrence Aug 9 '16 at 10:17
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    Thanks! So to third is a valid word? Wow, this triggers me to ask: and to forth and so on? – fedorqui Aug 9 '16 at 10:25
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    @fedorqui It's at least well established in colloquial usage, following the familiar 'first, second, third, fourth, etc' progression. However, in my experience, it's something intended to elicit a wry smile or similar, rather than something said in earnest. Nevertheless, the notion of strong support is also often present. – Lawrence Aug 9 '16 at 14:54

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