Colleague / mate / partner / fellow worker / co-worker

Paul Fierro

New Member
Spanish España
I have found many different words to define a person who is in the same job as you. However I do not know which the correct concept is.

I usually say colleague because from my point of view is the most formal way. I wonder if it is possible to say that your boss is a colleague. You work in the same place as your boss but, is it impolite to consider him a colleague?

The definition of fellow worker as well as co-worker implies the same level of responsibility. Therefore I suppose that it is inappropriate to use these expressions to define your boss.

Mate is used in some cases like flatmate, or classmate. Is it possible to say jobmate or workmate, office-mate or lab-mate? I suppose that this is informal.

Finally, I hear partner. I am worried about this expression due to the fact that sometimes partner implies a love affair.

For me colleague is perfect, but I would like to know the use of the other words. Do you know any other word to express this concept?
 
  • Paul Fierro

    New Member
    Spanish España
    Thank you Uncle Jack, it is a wonderful discussion. Nonetheless, they do not talk about my main problem. Is it appropriate to say that your boss is a colleague or not?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Years ago, I'd have said no to that. We certainly didn't do it anywhere where I worked

    However, there's nowadays is a growing tendency, exemplified by UK supermarkets, to refer to all the staff as "colleagues" irrespective of the position they hold. Consequently, if you refer to another member of staff as "my colleague xxx" he or she could actually be your boss.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Years ago, I'd have said no to that. We certainly didn't do it anywhere where I worked

    However, there's nowadays is a growing tendency, exemplified by UK supermarkets, to refer to all the staff as "colleagues" irrespective of the position they hold. Consequently, if you refer to another member of staff as "my colleague xxx" he or she could actually be your boss.
    Oddly enough exactly the same thing is happening here in Italy.
     
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