General Question

Nimis's avatar

Is there a word for this?

Asked by Nimis (13245points) October 2nd, 2008

Invented implies that you are the first person ever to do it.
What if you came about it independently of your own accord,
but someone beat you to the temporal punch?
Is there a word for this?

Inadvertent copycat?
Cultural pioneer, but ultimate loser?

• Who invented spaghetti?
• Who insulted puns first?
• Who made up the word gleek?
• Who invented such-and-such theorem that I can’t think of right now?

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20 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Second Best.

fireside's avatar

Forgotten by history?

Nimis's avatar

Fire: Good one.

SpatzieLover's avatar


SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m NEARLY certain there is a word for it in German (there are too many German words for this type of thing) but i can’t find it right now.

Nimis's avatar

Ack. Think, little German one. Think!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Ach! It’ll take me a while

back to American

Nimis's avatar

I like that one.

fireside's avatar


russellsouza's avatar

forebearer? leading proponent?

MrItty's avatar

Elisha Gray.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Independent repeater.

gailcalled's avatar

edit: that’s Bopp (de rebopp).

Nimis's avatar

Gail: Good examples!
Though I see less problems with discovering something versus inventing something (simultaneously).
(I am in the math-is-a-discovery camp versus the math-is-an-invention camp.)

gailcalled's avatar

You mean like this?

MY grandfinkel, Ben Finkel, claimed to have been the sole inventor, until we dug up the patent info last year.

Nimis's avatar


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