Romanian language has the term "decreţel" coined after the 1967 communist regime decree.

The Wikipedia argues that the word means decree, but word morphology suggests the "a small thing born out of a decree" (the word contains a diminutive suffix). This meaning is emphasized by its pejorative/ironic usage: unwanted children born due do lack of access to contraceptive methods following the aforementioned decree.

I am thinking of something like "decreeling" (analogy to earthlings), but it sounds strange.

Question: How to translate in English the Romanian word "decrețel"?

  • 1
    We'd probably use a hypernym like 'fallout'. DIY candidate neologisms are unacceptable on ELU. Apr 19, 2018 at 9:15
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    English has a famous poem called "For want of a nail", which captures this concept nicely. Basically, because it lost a nail, the horseshoe came off, so the horse could not run, so the messenger could not deliver the message, so the general did not get critical information, so he lost the battle, and then the war. So a war was lost for lack of a nail. I don't know we have a single word for this concept.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:22
  • An English equivalent probably should not some until needed. So far, it dosen't seem needed
    – J. Taylor
    Apr 19, 2018 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure there is a need to translate. "Decretel" could be used after its meaning is explained.
Imported words are used in English frequently. Paparazzi and wunderkind are just two examples.

The point is that even if you used an English term like Decree-child or Decree-children there would be a need to explain what the term meant. So, "decretel" would work just as well. Making up a word that still had to be explained does not seem efficient.

It is quite acceptable in English to use an imported word. The enormous number of words in English dictionaries testifies to that. "Decretel" would not be used as much as glasnost maybe, but still would be useful.

  • ...In fact, "decretal" is a preexisting English word that means something very different from Romanian decrețel /dekreˈt͡sel/.
    – herisson
    Apr 19, 2018 at 18:14
  • @sumelic I actually thought about all this before writing the answer. I am not suggesting the use of "decretal"...and, I could be backward in this matter, but I think the use of such a letter as "ţ" is unusual in imported words. I would certainly accept a better solution.
    – J. Taylor
    Apr 19, 2018 at 18:26
  • (Oops, I suppose the spelling of "decretel" and "decretal" is actually different even if you use "t" in both--I had ignored the different vowel letters in the last syllable.) I don't know of a better solution; I just wanted to point out one possible downside of using the spelling "decretel" because you say in this answer that it would "work just as well" as an English paraphrase like "decree-child".
    – herisson
    Apr 19, 2018 at 19:32
  • @sumelic... I agree,, but, sometimes perfection is the enemy of progress.
    – J. Taylor
    Apr 19, 2018 at 19:44
  • The more typical formation would be decree baby, given the emphasis is on the circumstances of conception; cf. urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blackout%20baby Jul 20, 2018 at 3:20

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