Chaos or what?

Sometimes, I get so called friendship requests by completely strange people. Apart from the fact that I very exactly know what I want, I am also a bit irritated, and I wonder about that language habit, surely influenced by its inflationary use in social networks. I often have pondered why the English language has fairly poor possibilities to make differences between acquaintances, (teenager-)friendships, good or very good friends etc.

Take the case of a love-related couple: They both might be already in a mature age; they are not engaged or married, but she is still his GIRLfriend, and he is her BOYfriend with silver hair!!!  For Ladies, I read recently the term LADYFRIEND. It might be the better choice; but I wonder whether the term is used in colloquial speech. Or do you simply say LOVER in this case without a feeling of embarrassment?

I make big differences between the terms 'friend', ‘partner’ and ‘acquaintance'.  One has only seldom very good friends in his life -- and they are precious gifts. In contrast, however, you have acquaintances, partners, colleagues, buddies, mates and pals in abundance.

Which possibilities do you see to express the distinctions between a very good (intimate) friend, a good friend, a likeable person and an acquaintance? I am really curious and look forward to some helpful hints. Thank you.

Mar 30, 2017 4:35 PM
Comments · 24

To be honest, I'm not convinced by 'lady friend' or 'gentleman friend' - they're always said with a slight smirk. I would not want to be introduced as somebody's 'lady friend' and nor would anyone else I know!  It's not a very 'serious' term.

These days, any adult can refer to their 'significant other' as their partner. Whether you are married or living together, heterosexual or gay, the person you share your life with is your partner. For a long-term, serious, adult relationship, that is the best word to use.

Don't use 'lover'. That belongs in salacious gossip columns in tabloid newspapers.

March 30, 2017

Ali, for the little bit of German I know, it seems as though the German language "calls a spade a spade".

 I think it may be that the English language is a bit more... um picturesque?  Creative?

Example:  I remember within the first few weeks of living in Germany in 1977, I went into a store and couldn't find the "bathroom" when I really needed to.  I asked the cashier - but couldn't remember the right word, so I did a quick translation.  "Bath" and "room" - after all, that is what I had called it all of my life!  So, I asked for the " bad zimmer" and I was quickly corrected.  What I needed was the "toiletten". I remember thinking - wow - that is exactly what it is- why in the world do we in America call toilets - "bathrooms" - especially in public places where there is absolutely no bath in them?!   :)  

From then on, I started noticing that many things in German were just called exactly what they were, and marveled how it was so simple, and seeing more and more just how English was often so much more complicated!

I think these terms reflect the same.  "Girlfriend" is a term that has no age.  Ignore the "girl" part in this term.  Putting "girl" and "friend" together gives it a new meaning - not necessarily just the sum of its parts. "Girlfriend" signifies a special relationship with a certain female - (age unspecified).  Same with "boyfriend".

 Hint:  don't try to make sense of it, just accept it, and find some new words and phrases in English that don't make any sense either!  :)

April 1, 2017

These two words almost put me in peril when I was in my primary school. I had not an iota of information that Boyfriend and Girlfriend are words for a male and a female who are in love with each other. Whenever I remember that incident, I laughed out loud thinking how stupid I was! There was a girl near to my house with whom I used to go school every day. She was not that good at the study but definitely smarter than me. She taught me these two words but didn't tell me about the actual meaning and I also didn't ask her the meaning as I easily guessed but obviously as always my guess was wrong. I thought Girlfriend mean a friend who is a girl and nothing much and same goes with Boyfriend. So, whenever we met, instead of calling each other's name, we used to call "bf" and "gf". So, one day her mother listened me calling her "gf" and told her father about this. Then her father asked me what was this "gf" and "bf". I told him with confidence that "gf" is for "girlfriend" and "bf" is for "boyfriend". Then I couldn't understand the expression on his face, a really confusing face! Then again he asked me why I called her girlfriend? I said, "Because she is my girlfriend". Really a stupid answer.:) Then they really suspect that we loved each other and without saying anything they were blaming me with their haunting facial expression. 

Anyhow, after a long and lengthy conversation and interrogation, our parents told us not to use those words and after that, we didn't go to school together. After knowing the actual meaning I didn't get any courage to call her gf but she was courageous than me:) 

March 31, 2017
Nowadays, I come across people referring "toilet" as "washroom".
April 1, 2017

Su.Ki.   LOL!!!  I did not know that!  Thanks for letting me know!!!  (I think I may laugh about that the rest of the day!  :)  )

Ali,  :)

April 1, 2017
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