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Insignificant other

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (1 of 14), Read 197 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 07:28 AM

L. Squires, of Pittsburgh, Pa., writes, "My friends and I have been searching for a term to describe a person you are merely dating. To say 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' invokes visions of schoolyards and long-lost days of the 20-something crowd. The person may possibly not even fit the description of a friend in the early stages of dating. 'Significant other' implies someone to whom you have some higher level of commitment. Does a word -- beyond just their names -- exist that describes those people?"

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (2 of 14), Read 191 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Lisa G (gourleylm@peti.sm.upmc.edu)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 09:03 AM

I think that in this case the person is hidden but not in your life and social circle. The fact that they have not yet received the status of being called a significant other meerely indicates that they have not blossomed to their full potential, and that the beauty that can result is meerely hidden. So I think it would be acceptable for descriptive purposes to use the word rose to indicate a positive relationship with an individual, because as buds roses are fairly unremarkable..but when in full bloom they are quite wonderful and exciting. But for every positive there is a negative, where the relationship may be dragging on at an excruicating pace. I think that word turtle could be used in this case. Turtles are mostly hidden and extremely slow and meander at an agonizingly slow pace and steady pace, which unfortunately seems a like a lifetime in the case of an unsuccessful relationship, one in which you wish would be hidden again.

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (3 of 14), Read 190 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 09:18 AM

If it hasn't gone on long, it's fresh. The proper scientific term is Phoenix dactylifera.

If it's gone on for a long time, the person is known as a radiocarbon date.

If the relationship is "getting old," the person is an out-of date.

If it feels good to you, they are up-to date.

If you're trying to start a longer term relationship with the person, he or she is a target date.

If you or the other person doesn't know why you're dating but do it anyway, he or she is your blind date.

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (4 of 14), Read 176 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jamie Atkinson (jka7@axe.humboldt.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 04:01 PM

how about "dating partner"

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (5 of 14), Read 175 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Corners (barbarjo@pacbell.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 06:27 PM

friend, collegue, assosiate, boy/girl man/woman I'm dating (seeing), admirer, amigo, ami, person, freund, individual...

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (6 of 14), Read 179 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 10:35 PM

why didn't the dendrochronologist get married?



all he ever dated was trees!

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (7 of 14), Read 124 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Tami Tanoue (grifftan@msn.com)
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999 06:29 PM

I like "umm-friend," as in "So-and-so, I'd like you to meet my umm-friend, Such-and-such."

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (8 of 14), Read 113 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: William Irons (birons@aol.com)
Date: Monday, November 15, 1999 04:49 PM

I like the way the French say it: (petit ami / petite amie) lit. "little friend"

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (9 of 14), Read 82 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rachel Duclos (rduclos@u.washington.edu)
Date: Monday, November 22, 1999 07:39 PM

I introduce men I'm dating with no description -- just "this is Joe Smith. Joe, I'd like you to meet So and So." If they know me well enough to need to know more...they already know the status of the relationship!

Later on, if we become a "real" couple, and again if anyone "needs" to know, he becomes "my partner."

If I ever marry, I'm going to stick with partner -- husband and wife sounds possessive, legalistic, and really old-fashioned.

rd

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (10 of 14), Read 72 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: William Smith (wesmith@northernnet.com)
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 04:53 PM

How about "gahswith" or "gwith". Short and fast for "goes with". I like it because it's short, unpretentious, and carries no baggage.

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (11 of 14), Read 68 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Bill Galey (billgaley@usa.net)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 08:32 AM

I like the word "companion" here. It can imply several levels of commitment, depending on how well the introducer knows the third party.

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (12 of 14), Read 61 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Lynette Laeha (chancencounter@webtv.net)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 11:27 AM

On 11/3/99 7:28:39 AM, Barbara Wallraff wrote:
>L. Squires, of Pittsburgh,
>Pa., writes, "My friends and I
>have been searching for a term
>to describe a person you are
>merely dating. To say
>'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend'
>invokes visions of schoolyards
>and long-lost days of the
>20-something crowd. The person
>may possibly not even fit the
>description of a friend in the
>early stages of dating.
>'Significant other' implies
>someone to whom you have some
>higher level of commitment.
>Does a word -- beyond just

>their names -- exist that
>describes those people?"
>
>




I like the term "demo-date". It is exactly what the name implies, that you are in a 'demonstration period'. Just trying each other out as it were. Should the relationship blossom beyond "demo-dating" then you could move on to another term.(Caveat Emptor!!)

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (13 of 14), Read 50 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Trevor Jackson (jawd@iname.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 02:49 PM

How about: "datee" (especially if you golf together). Of course you then become a "dator", and a group could be "data". Some-one you are unlikely to date again, but who is still a possibility, could be a "datum". An ex-date becomes a "post-datee" and an upcoming date a "pre-datee". And last but not least: some-one you would like to date: "candidate".

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Topic: 2) Insignificant other (14 of 14), Read 41 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Richard Brehm (brehm@pacbell.net)
Date: Friday, November 26, 1999 03:01 PM

How about the noun "dater" for one who dates.? As in, "This is my dater, Bob."


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