Definition: After a meal

Pronunciation: Post-pran-dee-al  (the first three syllables have the same emphasis. The tone tapers off on the last (al))

Origin: 19th Century. Post, meaning after, and prandi, from the Latin for ‘meal’.

Why this word?

Christmas time is here. A time of significant preprandial expectation and months of postprandial regret! The average Christmas dinner contains some 3,500 calories. The average one hour jog burns 500 calories. Thus, the best way to minimalize holiday-related postprandial depression is to spend seven hours catching the turkey yourself!

How and when to use this word in a sentence:

The how is easy. If in a restaurant, for example, you could tell a waiter: “I fancy a post-prandial beverage. A sherry, my good man.” The ‘when’ to use this word is very important. It is suited to dinner parties. It is not, however, suited to talking about suffering after a hot dog at a sports game or to describe gluttonous, self-loathing acts. For example, “I ate so much cheese last night that I suffered hours of postprandial discomfort”.

Christmas is just around the corner. Want to know why it only happens once a year? Simple. Santa has milk and cookies in every American house and a bottle of Guinness in every Irish house (true story!). The duration of his postprandial discomfort must surely run into months!


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Written by Sean Carabini

Seán Carabini is a Dublin-based author. To date, Seán has written the humorous travel memoirs 'Sticking Out in Minnesota' and 'American Road', as well as 'American Road: The poems' - a book of travel poetry related to the memoir. Seán has also developed a podcast based on the book - subscribe to the American Road podcast today! Seán is a committee member of the Irish Writers' Union.

Chrissy Skelton is Seán Carabini's editor. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's Anthropology programme, Chrissy emerged armed with an arsenal of little-known words and cumbersome jargon - all of which will now be off-loaded onto 'unusedwords' readers!


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