Printable Version
Pronunciation: fai-lo-prê-jen-nê-tiv Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Producing many offspring, highly procreative. 2. Loving children or related to the loving of children.

Notes: As a very philoprogenitive father just returned from a visit with my children and grandchildren, I was drawn to this word among all others on the list of Good Word prospects. You may use this word as a noun so long at you attach the usual -ness to it: philoprogenitiveness. If you are a bit more daring, you may use the less frequent variant, philoprogeneity.

In Play: Today's Good Word is probably used in science more frequently in reference to procreation: "The philoprogenitive vigor of the human species is the ultimate cause of many of our environmental problems." However, its connotations in common usage are usually positive, carrying a sense of loving children: "Randy Farmer's eight children certainly indicate that he is philoprogenitive—or that day labor is hard to find in his county."

Word History: This word is a fairly long conglomeration of Greek and Latin stems, beginning with the stem of philein "to love" and Latin progenitivus "procreative". This latter word is based on the verb progignere "to beget", made up of pro- "forth" + gignere "to beget". Gignere is the root gen-/gn- that we see in generate, with a reduplicative prefix gi-. In other words, Latin took the first letter of gn-, then added an I to create a prefix gi-, a process known in linguistics as 'reduplication'. The same root underlies Greek gyne "woman, wife" that English also borrowed for gynecology. (The suggestion of today's Good Word came from the no doubt philoprogenitive William Hupy with the hearty support of Dr. Goodword.)

Dr. Goodword,

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