next to last
- (particularly US) Penultimate, one before the end of a series, placed immediately before the end in a sequence.
- Go ahead and rest. We board the plane next to last.
- This is the next-to-last night of my vacation.
In addition to the Latinate penultimate, the traditional English expressions for this idea were last but one and (less often) second last. Following the 1920s, American use has favored next to last to the point that last but one functions as a Britishism. While last but one continues to be somewhat more popular in Britain, however, next to last, second to last, and other such phrases have been gaining in popularity.
- See penultimate.