A euphemism to ignore

We across the word (or phrase) “pre-loved” in a booklet we glanced at this morning.

Here is an ad verbatim quote from the article,

“Six stores located across NI selling pre-loved clothes and homeware to generate much needed income for our charity.” (end of quote)

It was obvious that the word “pre-loved” meant “second-hand.”

We had never heard of the phrase “pre-loved” before but apparently it dates back to the 1970’s.

What is wrong with the word “second-hand?”


We will continue to use the phrase “second-hand” as it is descriptive and should not be replaced.

One thought on “A euphemism to ignore

  1. Presumably, it allows charity shops, eBay and similar retailers to sell actual second-hand foods for a higher value – the implication being that as it was loved, it was cared for and it’s in decent condition.

    As for the phrase, you hear of it and read it in a lot classified ads – again, it’s a euphemism for ‘good condition’, though such ads usually say that as well.

    English as a language is changing, slang, colloquial phrasing creates new words, more so in the internet age. There are dozens of new words added to the key reference dictionaries yearly, so ‘pre-loved’ certainly won’t be the last alteration to standard English – it is a fluid language.

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