“Quadragenarian” Or “Octogenarian”: What Is The Name For Your Decade Age?

Every time another birthday rolls around, the thrills become fewer and the anxiety about aging becomes greater. But don’t let those landmark decade birthdays get you down! Now you can whip out a new word every 10 years to describe yourself.

You may not have heard these words used very often, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Try saying one (or all) of them and expand your vocabulary as you expand your age.

quadragenarian

If you’re between the ages of 40–50, you’re not quite over the hill, as they say. But you are a quadragenarian.

The first records of the word quadragenarian come from the 1830s. It comes from the Latin word quadrāgēnāri(us), meaning “consisting of forty,” from quādrāgēn(ī), “forty each.” The suffix -an is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like pedestrian and historian).

Chances are that you know plenty of quadragenarians, but you’ve never heard them called that. That’s because it’s much more common to refer to someone as a 40-year-old or describe them as in their 40s or 40-something. When it is used, it’s probably to be funny (perhaps to make someone sound older than they really are) or just to use a fancy word.

Quadragenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 40s, as in I never thought I’d be a quadragenarian grandmother.

quinquagenarian

If there’s one bright spot in turning 50, it’s that you get to use words like quinquagenarian to describe yourself now.

A quinquagenarian is someone in their 50s (50 to 59 years old), or someone who is 50 years old.

Quinquagenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 50s, as in I have entered my quinquagenarian years. 

The first records of the word quinquagenarian come from the 1500s, but it wasn’t used to refer to age until the 1800s. It was originally used to refer to a commander of 50 soldiers. It comes from the Latin word quinquāgēnārius, meaning “containing fifty,” from quinquāgēnī, “fifty each.”

sexagenarian

If you’re 60 and you’re feeling down, call yourself a sexagenarian to improve your mood. (You can’t be sad saying that word, you just can’t.) As much fun as it is to say, it’s perhaps more often used in writing. It’s especially used in the context of highlighting a person who’s doing something that may be surprising for their age, as in My sexagenarian yoga instructor is way more flexible than I am.

Clearly a sexagenarian is someone in their 60s (60 to 69 years old), or someone who is 60 years old. It can also be used as an adjective as described above. Another word for sexagenarian is sexegenary.

The word sexagenarian comes from the Latin word sexāgēnārius, from sexāgēnī, meaning “sixty each,” from sexāgintā, “sixty.”

No matter what decade you’re living right now, there’s always going to be one generation you fit under. Find out which generation applies to you here.

septuagenarian

A septuagenarian is someone in their 70s (70 to 79 years old), or someone who is 70 years old. Some of the words we highlighted above are rarely used, but what’s interesting is that septuagenarian and octogenarian (coming next) are actually more commonly used. You may have even heard these two before. Maybe the older people get, the more ornate language they like to use? They’ve certainly earned it.

Another word for septuagenarian is septuagenary.

The word septuagenarian comes from the Latin word septuāgēnārius, from septuāgēnī, meaning “seventy each,” from septuāgintā, “seventy.”

octogenarian

You know the pattern by now … an octogenarian is someone in their 80s (80 to 89 years old), or someone who is 80 years old. Another less common word for octogenarian is octogenary.

The word octogenarian comes from the Latin word octōgēnāri(us), meaning “containing eighty” or “eighty years old,” from octōgēn(ī), meaning “eighty each.”

nonagenarian

If you’ve made it this far (in the article or in actual age), we’re impressed. And now you also have one more word added to your extensive vocabulary.

A nonagenarian is someone in their 90s (90 to 99 years old), or someone who is 90 years old. Nonagenarian is often used to be fancy or funny when referring to 90-somethings.

The first records of the word nonagenarian come from around 1800. It comes from the Latin word nōnāgēnāri(us), meaning “containing ninety,” from nōnāginta, “ninety.”

centenarian

Last, but certainly not least, is centenarian. A centenarian is a truly spectacular person who has reached 10o years of age (or older). Living to be 100 is becoming more common, but it’s still somewhat rare. The word centenarian is often used in celebration of the achievement, or as a lavish or amusing way to refer to someone of that age.

Centenarian comes from the Latin word centenāri(us), from centēn(ī), meaning “a hundred each,” from cent(um), “one hundred.”

Fun fact: someone who is 110 years or older can be called a supercentenarian. Actually, if you’re 110 or older, you can be called whatever you want.

 

Watch the video below to learn more unique words for every decade of life.

WATCH: The Words You Need For Every Decade Of Your Life

The Dictionary Is More Than The Word Of The Day

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