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The appendix is what is appended to something. What do we call something that is prepended to something else?

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  • The opposite to appendix is the main-part. There is no ?prependix. It's more like on-, at- or off- then ante-.
    – vectory
    Sep 16, 2019 at 22:25

3 Answers 3

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When describing parts of a book, the "preface" or "prologue" are common.

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  • This is correct. Except for its anatomical meaning, "appendix" refers specifically to an addition to the end of a written work, usually a book. It is not a general term for something added after something else, although it could be used that way in a metaphorical sense. So the corresponding "in front of" meaning would be what @ptomato says.
    – Robusto
    Nov 24, 2010 at 13:19
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    "Foreword" (not to be confused with "forward") and "Introduction" are also common.
    – CCTO
    Mar 6, 2020 at 16:28
  • "Prefatory material" or preliminary material would do as a more general alternative for a preface.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 20, 2023 at 12:29
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Was expanding my comment to @ptomato's answer but didn't get it committed within the 5-minute mark, so am elevating this to a full answer.

In books, "foreword" (not to be confused with "forward") and "introduction" are also common. However:

In "appendix", the "ap-" seems to just convey "on" or "with"; it's the "pend" that conveys "hanging", thus "downward" or "following". So really the opposite of "append" might be something like "appose" or "adhere". "Prepend", notwithstanding its documented use, seems coined from a complete misunderstanding.

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  • +1 "Prepend" seems coined from a complete misunderstanding.
    – GEdgar
    Mar 6, 2020 at 16:48
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Accordingly to http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/prepend there is no such thing as "to prepend"

The correct English word is "prefix;" for example, "the header is prefixed to the packet." See prefix.

and

prefix: The beginning or to add to the beginning

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  • True - but this doesn't answer the question that you asked! Nov 24, 2010 at 11:58
  • @Steve it does! the answer is "prefix"
    – Jader Dias
    Nov 24, 2010 at 12:00
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    "Prefix" is the opposite of "suffix". The opposite of "appendix" is less obvious, but ptomato's suggestions are closer (in my opinion). Nov 24, 2010 at 12:13
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    OED says "prepend, v. To add at the beginning, to prefix, prepose" with earliest citation from 1872. Nov 24, 2010 at 15:16
  • @Gareth and there is 7,680 Google results for prependix
    – Jader Dias
    Nov 24, 2010 at 15:28

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