Discussion in 'English Only' started by Packard, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    If I rent something I'm a renter.

    We have a new neighbor at work whose sign says:

    Ciannulli Brothers, Rentors of Construction Equipment.

    Is "rentors" a word? It is being used, obviously, to distinguish them from people who rent things to use, they offer things to be rented.
  2. kitenok Senior Member

    Hi Packard,

    "Rentor" does not appear in Merriam-Webster, the OED, or the venerable WordReference Dictionary. The plural rentors does appear once (1990) in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, with the same meaning as on your neighbor's sign.

    The word seems to have an internet presence, but this is in part due to many mentions of a website called "" and some misspellings of "renters" in the sense of "people who make regular payments for the use of something owned by someone else." Anyone who Googles the term, don't forget to click through to the end of the search (page 60 in this case) - you'll find that the estimate of 31,000 hits goes down to about 600 unique uses.

    So my own answer to the question "is 'rentors' a word" would be: yes. If the question were "is 'rentors' a word that is likely to be understood unambiguously by the general public in the meaning intended by the Cianulli Brothers?" then my answer would be: no.
  3. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    They may have bigger dictionaries than I do. I can't find it.
  4. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Santa Maria, CA
    English (U.S.)
    It sounds like the owner was uncomfortable with the (correct) word "lessor" for some reason, and hybridized it with "rent."
    I don't really have a problem with the sign though, as it more or less follows English morphology.
  5. kalamazoo Senior Member

    US, English
    Doesn't "renter" have two opposite meanings as the one who rents something from someone else or the one who rents something to someone else? "We rent furniture" (to furnish our house instead of buying furniture) vs "We rent furniture" (to people who need to furnish their houses.)

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