a "false friend"

Hello2007

New Member
US English
what does it mean if SOMEONE!! (not a word) is a 'false friend'?

everywhere i go it says its a false cognate or false friend which is like the spanish word éxito - it looks like it means exit, but it's really "success". (Used for foreign languages when it looks like the same in another)

i've looked up the words separately, but can anyone tell me what this phrase means?

also if put into the context that they are/were boyfriend or girlfriend, would that change the meaning of this phase? (and is this phrase usually for money - people who are friends with others for money benefits?)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    what does it mean if someone is a 'false friend'?

    everywhere i go it says its a false cognate or false friend which is like the spanish word éxito - it looks like it means exit, but it's really "success". (Used for foreign languages when it looks like the same in another)

    i've looked up the words separately, but can anyone tell me what this phrase means?
    Welcome Hello,

    It is a metaphor. If you are learning a language and you find words that look like words in your own language, you might think they are "friends" because you think you already know what they mean. But if the word in the new language means something different from the word you already know, it is a "false friend" because it seems to trick you.

    Cagey
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hello Hello2007, :)

    Are you asking what a "false friend" is when referring to a person?

    Well, when you break it up it's just the way it sounds. Using the definition of false as "not real or genuine", you could then say that a false friend is a person who acts like your friend, and who you may think is your friend, but when you look at the relationship a little closer you discover that the person isn't really your friend at all. It could be for money, but it could be for other selfish reasons as well.

    It's the same with the "false friends" usage in language. You think you know a word because it acts and sounds like you should know the word, but when you look a little closer you discover that the word doesn't mean what you thought it did.

    Thank you for asking this question. In answering your question about "false friends" pertaining to people, I finally understand what "false friends" means in regards to language - and possibly why it's used that way. :D (And thank you Cagey for your explanation. It helped me as well.)
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    "Fake friend' "hypocritical friend" a "back-stabber" (as in traitor)
    an "egoist friend" or "egoistic friend," perhaps

    A person who is romantically involved with someone purely out of material interests is often called a "gold digger."
     

    lgr632525968

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If someone pretended to care about you but actually he never took you seriously, can I say "He is so false"?
     
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