Define Friend   Leave a comment

One word in the English language is not descriptive enough: friend.

We have “acquaintance” and “bud.”  We have other words for family members and in-laws.  I suppose some of them are not so complementary, but at least there are specific terms for just about every relation you have.

But for friends there is–friends.

If a person is not just an acquaintance, then she becomes a casual friend.  Then maybe a good friend.

Then a close friend or a dear friend, and after enough years have passed, an old friend.

See the problem?  There aren’t words for the friend herself, only adjectives for clarification.

There really are many distinctions in friendship, but there are no words available in American English with which to make those distinctions.

Colleague? Associate?  That’s business, not friendship.

Chum?  too British; we don’t use it.

Companion?  Too formal.

Cohort, compatriot, comrade?  Too Communist!

Sidekick?  Too cheesy.

Intimate?  Familiar?  In our culture, we generally use those words as adjectives.

There are words for friends, but they aren’t in common usage, and many of those which I’ve sampled above are intended for specific contexts.  I’d like a one word word for a new friend, a casual friend, a long-term friend, a good friend, a childhood friend and a lifetime friend.  There aren’t any words for the amazing range of friendships that exist.

Maybe my soul mates and my best buds can help me out on this topic.




Posted December 28, 2015 by swanatbagend in friendship

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