a boy and a girl: boyfriends?

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
If you refer to a married man and woman as a couple, how do you refer to a man and a woman who have an intimate relationship? Do you really use boyfriends? For me, it can also sound like two males who are in a relationship.
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    A couple does not necessarily mean "a married couple." I think this has been discussed before here, but I'm not sure where the thread might be.

    Common names are "lovers", "a couple", "partners", "live-ins", I'm sure others will have more suggestions.
     

    epistolario

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    A couple does not necessarily mean "a married couple." I think this has been discussed before here, but I'm not sure where the thread might be.

    Common names are "lovers", "a couple", "partners", "live-ins", I'm sure others will have more suggestions.
    Thanks. Also, let me clarify that I'm talking about a man and a woman who are not yet married.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Sinners? Sluts?

    I think "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" (depending on who was speaking) is the common phrase.

    I have heard: "Significant other" (but not as a way of introduction)

    I have heard: "This is Joanne, my dear friend..."

    There is also: "My main squeeze"
     

    epistolario

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    Sinners? Sluts?

    I think "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" (depending on who was speaking) is the common phrase.

    I have heard: "Significant other" (but not as a way of introduction)

    I have heard: "This is Joanne, my dear friend..."

    There is also: "My main squeeze"
    I think that is if one is referring to the other. But how do you refer to both of them?:

    John is Joanne's boyfriend. So, John and Joanne are boyfriends?

    Does the second sentence sound natural? If not, how would you describe John and Joanne? How would you replace the word boyfriends in the second sentence?
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    John and Joanne are boyfriend and girlfriend/a couple/in a relationship/an item, not boyfriends.

    You were right in your first post: boyfriends means a man and a man in a couple together. Girlfriends means a woman and a woman, either in a romantic couple or just friends, for example "I went out with my girlfriends on the weekend" means "I went out with my female friends."

    "Boyfriends" doesn't tend to be used in the non-romantic sense.
     

    domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    Cycloneviv says it all.

    They are boyfriend and girlfriend. It's long, but that's what people say. Boyfriends is two males in a gay relationship. Girlfriends is either a gay relationship or just two female pals.
     

    fernandotorres

    Senior Member
    India -Marathi and English
    I think they are referred to as "just " friends,for eg, when film stars or other such celebs want to quash rumours that they are in a relationship,they always resort to saying "We are just friends"[Although most of the times it is the exact opposite]:)
     

    cachatouille

    Member
    England english
    A man and woman don't have to be married in England to be referred to as a 'couple', it is used all the time to mean that they are together in a relationship. 'They are an item' is also used, I think this may have come accross from the US, but I'm not sure.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Are John and Joanne still together?
    Are Bill and Peter still together?
    Are Mavis and Jennie still together?

    Together is a fairly current term for any kind of couple who are emotionally entwined.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I guess my question is: what do you mean by "intimate"? I guess I assumed you meant they were sleeping together. To me, "going out" does not imply a sexual relationship, for example.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Two boys/men not in a relationship with each other can be boyfriends - of the same woman. :eek:

    Unlike some other languages, English does not use a masculine plural to refer to two of opposite gender (unless the same word in the singular could refer to the feminine one as well).
     
    Well, okay, i see your point. Umm... i guess then you would say "couple" or "together" if the two in question were sleeping together. You could say "Partners" but that isn't often used unless you are talking about gay couples.

    And some people mentioned "an item" was an option to say...in america, young people would not know what you are talking about though i guess some older might identify with that phrase.
     

    TheAmzngTwinWndr

    Senior Member
    United States
    I disagree, if you say "john and mary are an item" young people know what that means.

    People can be a "couple" or "together" without sleeping together, but its probably more common to say "they're dating".
     
    Yes, I think young people would figure it out but it's not that common, at least not in Maryland. Maybe, more in California?

    "People can be a "couple" or "together" without sleeping together, but its probably more common to say "they're dating"."


    Is there a specific term that means that two people are sleeping togther, then? The only phrase i can think of is "friends with benefits" but that implies they aren't dating.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    John is Joanne's boyfriend.
    ffrancis,

    If you and I were sitting at a party and John and Joanne walked in, holding hands, you might ask me, "So, do you know about those two?"

    I might answer in several ways.
    1. "Yes, haven't you heard? They're a couple now."
    2. "Yes, they're together now."
    3. "Yes, they're only seeing each other now."
    4. "Yes, haven't you heard? They're with each other now."

    It could go on...
    You: "Are they living together?"
    Me: "No, but they're only dating each other exclusively now."
    Me: "Yes, they moved in together."
    Me: "Yes, they're seriously involved now."

    See, ffrancis, there are so many ways to express it to someone else about two people, that it's difficult to give you one, pat answer.

    It's different, also, if it's John and Joanne doing the introductions and explaining.

    John: "I'd like you to meet my special girlfriend, Joanne."
    John: "This is my love, Joanne."
    Joanne: "Hi, this is my boyfriend, John."
    Joanne: "This is John, my special honey."

    There are so many ways to express the same thing. Plus, personal opinions will be taken into account, because a lot of people judge those who only live together without benefit of marriage, and that's going to change the tone and timbre of any introduction or explanation behind the couple's back.


    AngelEyes
     

    TheAmzngTwinWndr

    Senior Member
    United States
    To say that a couple is sleeping together, all I can think of is, "they're sleeping together" or maybe "they are intimate with each other?" but the last one doesn't really sound right.
     

    cachatouille

    Member
    England english
    I can't believe anyone would introduce someone as 'my special girlfriend' unless they were 5 years old or it was a joke....??
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I agree. No one would say "special girlfriend." Maybe it was a typo?

    No, it wasn't a joke or a typo. A gentleman would/could introduce his lady friend as someone special, even if he didn't care enough to marry her.

    You may have a point about the use of the term,"girlfriend," but in my decrepit social circle, using the word, "special" is just general enough, yet carries a quality of "beyond your average date" to make it a very socially acceptable way to conduct an introduction.

    I'll grant you this:
    It probably is Age-sensitive.

    (Where's my walker?)


    AngelEyes
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I don't know that I've heard "special girlfriend", but I've definitely heard "special friend" among the older set (of which I'm rapidly becoming a full-fledged member. ;) ) I can remember my mother saying that about two people her age: "She's his special friend", (usually with eyebrows raised on special) meaning that they were romantically involved but not yet committed to the point of engagement or marriage.

    On the same topic, I've also heard, from the person introducing his significant other, "my best girl", "my special friend", "my special someone" and "my very dear friend". The tone of voice indicated that more than friendship was being implied. These are all older designations, but they still can be heard among the older set.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you think this is hard, my Mom is in a retirement home and there are some new found relationships started there.

    Mom calls me and tells me that the woman next door (84 years old) has a new, younger boyfriend (78 years old).

    There does not exist, to my knowledge, terms to deal with all the possible permutations of "girlfriend/boyfriend" that have evolved in the last 25 years or so.

    The language has yet to catch up with society.
     
    No, it wasn't a joke or a typo. A gentleman would/could introduce his lady friend as someone special, even if he didn't care enough to marry her.

    You may have a point about the use of the term,"girlfriend," but in my decrepit social circle, using the word, "special" is just general enough, yet carries a quality of "beyond your average date" to make it a very socially acceptable way to conduct an introduction.

    I'll grant you this:
    It probably is Age-sensitive.

    (Where's my walker?)





    AngelEyes
    Yes, i agree you can say special; "Special friend" or "Special acquaintance" i was just against the saying "special girlfriend." To me that implies that you have more then one girlfriend but this one is special?!?

    HA ha ha :)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Also, atmosphere is at play here, too.

    If you're at a sports bar, guzzling Coors, you're not going to be as polite with your words.

    If you're at a party at your boss's house, you're going to clean up your act and make it sound pretty.

    I really wasn't trying to be funny or flippant. :) I guess I made some of you laugh, anyway.


    AngelEyes
     
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