A clinger, a clinger-on, a clinge?

Saleh Al-Qammaari

Senior Member
Egypt/ Arabic
Hi all!

I need your help in clarifying what do the British mean by the word clinger or clinger-on?
Well, to make the image clearer, we try to find an English equivalent for an Arabic word which means that some one who is usually following, staying with you, etc. in an way that makes you fed up with him. For further clear image,

review this link:

If this word does not give this meaning, please help us in finding a suitable one.

Thank you in advance.:)
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The usual term is hanger-on. Clinger-on sounds peculiar. Note that the plural is hangers-on. The connotation of being annoying does apply to hanger-on, so it sounds like the word you need.

    Saleh Al-Qammaari

    Senior Member
    Egypt/ Arabic
    I do thank you Matching Mole for your so quick, enlightening posting.

    However, is it necessary to use these words with rich people? I mean is it suitable to be used among friends. For Cambridge says about hanger-on:

    a person who tries to be friendly and spend time with rich and important people, especially to get an advantage

    Best regards


    Senior Member
    I remember hearing about someone that he was very "clingy", because he was always hanging around people, trying to make them like him. I doubt it's more than a word used by youngsters though - it's not in the dictionary, so I wouldn't recommend it :)


    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I've frequently heard "clingy" to describe someone who's excessively dependent or excessively affectionate. It's not really the same as a hanger-on - the cambridge definition given above is an excellent one.
    I don't think I've ever heard clinger or clinger-on, although I think there was a character in the TV series "MASH" called Clinger (or possibly Klinger).


    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    liliput will be talking about the Clangers and the Soup Dragon shortly ... ... oh, no, it's past a quarter to two.

    Clingy is often used to describe small children who are very reluctant to venture away from parents. A clingy child is the last to join in the party games.

    The person who over-stays his welcome is not really a hanger-on either. More like a parasite. There might be another term that is currently eluding me ... ...


    You are giving the impression that you've invented a word. Where does this come from?
    I didn’t know I have the ability to invent words!:D
    I am looking for the word describing the person who overstays in an annoying way when he visits people. Is there any idiomatic expression to express that meaning?


    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I don't think we have a particular word for such a person. A nuisance, a pest or very annoying are all appropriate but not very specific. The most common expression I can think of is "to outstay one's welcome", you could say "he always outstays his welcome".
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