I'm a bit too lazy to sort through all of our group's discussions to see whether this exists already, but it's an interesting topic (to me, anyway). I'd like people to suggest, in whatever language they wish, words that do not exist but ought to. I'll start with an example: I think that English should include a word "malefit" that is an antonym for "benefit". I realize we have "drawback", but it just ain't the same.

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I'd like an adult version of boyfriend/girlfriend.

has taken on a homosexual connotation, which is fine, but I found that when I used it, people assumed I was gay, or talking about a business partner. I'd like a word that could be used for a gay relationship or a straight relationship with no specific sexual orientation in mind.

sounds like it's a purely sexual relationship

Other is what I used as late, but I don't like it much.

If one is not married but in a committed relationship and they are over 19, boyfriend/girlfriend just sounds childish.

Companion is not bad, but if it is not a live-in relationship, it seems like an odd choice.
I'd like an adult version of boyfriend/girlfriend.

Me too!

I like the Scots term "bidie-in" for people who live together without being married. I call my bidie-in my cohabi-tater at times... because we live together, and he used to be more of a sofa spud.
I'm with you on this one. I dislike all these terms. I've always hated "lover." It's like introducing someone as "the person I sleep with." And partner does sound gay.

Bill, I'll have to think on this. I'm sure I can think of something.

In one of Pinker's books, he points out that there are no age-appropriate words for niece and nephew. Both seem to carry the connotation of being children. Doesn't it sound wierd for an 80 year old woman to introduce her 68 year old nephew as, well, her nephew? To me, it does sound like an inappropriate word for that age bracket. We also don't have gender neutral and gender inclusive terms for nieces and nephews or aunts and uncles, either. Siblings is gender neutral, as are the words children, parents, and cousins.
Ah , but the operative part of "lover" is love, not sex. I know how people use it, and wish they wouldn't. It reminds me of people saying things like "We played with each other.", when what they meant is that they had sex with each other.

I've never thought of "niece" and "nephew" as having any age specific connotations.
I've never thought that, either. But it would be nice to have a gender non-specific term for nephew, niece, aunt, and uncle. Some languages just use "cousin" to cover all those. Seems reasonable to me.
Don't you have 'relatives'?
Sure, but that covers everybody, including siblings, parents, in-laws. I suppose I'm arguing for a move in that direction, but I'm just trying to solve the over-specificity of nephew, niece, aunt, and uncle.
I think English-speaking Indians (from India) and indigenous Hawai'ians use the term "auntie" to describe any older woman
Yes, and when I actually called my Indian aunt-in-law "auntie", she said "don't call me that!" Yet all the other neighbors were "auntie" and "uncle".
I don't think niece and nephew are age-specific, but what about a word for parents to call their children when they are no longer children? "Adult children" is an oxymoron. Offspring, maybe. No one uses it that way, but I'd think they were awesome if they did.
What about (soul)mate?

In France people often say ma moitié - my half, in the sense the other half of myself. You could try that if you're not comfortable with any of the available alternatives.
In the US, people do often speak of their spouce as their better half or their other half, but it seems to me that typically only married people use this terminology. But I could be wrong there. I don't recall cohabitators using it.




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