a close confidant

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  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suppose friend would be a bit inadequate.
    It is difficult to think of a suitable word that does not carry with it some kind of emotional/ relationship connotation.
     

    Plectrum

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    "A close friend". I don't think any specific gender reference is required. If you need to specify, then you can use a gender qualifier (a close male friend/a close female friend).
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I use this and understand it to be correct. It's listed in Dictionary.com, too.

    AngelEyes
    You're right.
    Confidante has its own separate OED entry, a female confidant.

    On closer examination, confidante is said to be the more frequently-used of the pair.

    My apologies to all.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You're right.
    Confidante has its own separate OED entry, a female confidant.

    On closer examination, confidante is said to be the more frequently-used of the pair.

    My apologies to all.
    I still don't think "confidante" is in much use in AE.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Thanks for the follow-up, Panj.

    And it's nice to see you again, Packy. :cool:

    Maybe it's regional. It's quite common around my place. I hope others around the U.S. stop by and let us know.

    What surprised me is that you only use it for a woman. I think I might have used it wrongly in the past then.


    AngelEyes
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The British National Corpus and the Corpus of Contemporary American English list confidant and confidante. In each case, there are about twice as many entries for confidant as for confidante.
    Both are used about twice as much in AE as in BE.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    What is the rule that governs the gender formation in this word?

    I looked for other examples, and while I found many with the "ante" at the end, the only one that I was familiar with was "intrigante" (a woman that was full of intrigue).

    These are all from a crossword dictionary and I am not at all familiar with some of these words

    bustamante, comandante, confidante, croissante, deojuvante, dilettante, governante, interrante, intrigante, mercadante, resistante, ristorante, squillante, traficante, tranchante, unguarante
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    My vote: confidant (masc), confidante (fem).

    And yes, it's good to see you back again, Packard!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Of the terms in Packard's list I can find OED entries for:
    confidante - as above.
    dilettant & dilettante - the first being an anglicised spelling of the second, not a masculine form.
    governante - an anglicised version of gouvernante, a female governer, ruler, mistress, housekeeper, governess, chaperon. Obsolete. No entry for governant.
    intrigante, intriguante - a female intriguer; this term is still considered non-English. Intrigant, intriguant are there too.
    resistante - with accents, a female member of the French Resistance. Also resistant.
    ristorante - is different. That's an Italian restaurant.
     
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