friend / unfriend (verb)

samanthalee

Senior Member
Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
Term: friend


Your definition or explanation:
1. Adding someone into your list of friends in social networking websites.
2. To be friends with someone.

Example:
1. I've friended him on Facebook.
2. Reports came that the King would friend Lauderdale. [1676 William Row The Life of Mr. R. B. (Continuation), ch. 12 (1848) 434]
Note: definition 2 may be obscure in present day English, but is very much alive in Singlish.


One or more places you have seen the term:
"Before promiscuous friending turns into a full-blown crisis..." - http://www.slate.com/id/2174439/fr/flyout
http://www.singlishdictionary.com/singlish_F.htm


Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it?
Yes: didn't find it in English dictionaries.
No: found it in a Singlish dictionary.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Unfriend is actually in the OED:
    1659 FULLER App. Inj. Innoc. III. xxxjb, I hope, Sir, that we are not mutually Unfriended by this Difference which hath happened betwixt us.
    That is the entire entry for it, though, and obviously it means something totally different there.

    So, for that matter, is friend [vb.], though all the definitions are marked as obsolete or archaic or worse.
     

    CanuckPete

    Member
    English - Canada
    De-friend (or defriend) is a verb and more appropriate when describing the action of removing someone from your list of friends. Unfriend doesn't sound right. It sounds more like a noun.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    De-friend (or defriend) is a verb and more appropriate when describing the action of removing someone from your list of friends. Unfriend doesn't sound right. It sounds more like a noun.
    Can you provide examples of these in use, or is this a statement of personal preference for how you believe things ought to be in the strange world of social networking?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm not sure if this will help, but read this article: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/11/17/unfriend.word/index.html
    Paulfromitaly seems to be correct. It's more of a "social networking" word, and not a word I would choose to outside of that context.
    Under the heading "Dictionary word of the year", this CNN site tells us:
    "It has both currency and potential longevity," said Christine Lindberg, a language researcher for Oxford's U.S. dictionary program. "In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year."
     

    genine

    Senior Member
    U.S. English & Mexican Spanish
    Panjamdrum, Thanks for the clarification. Did what I say help, or did it have nothing to do with this thread? I'm not exactly sure I understood what the question is here...
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    "defriend" sounds better to me than "unfriend"!
    what about "befriend" - have we forgotten about this word?
    Please note which forum this thread is in:
    Dictionary Additions This is not a forum for questions. If you have a question about English, ask in the English Only forum.
    Suggest new terms to add to the English dictionary. These should not yet be in most dictionaries. Offer additional meanings for words already in major English dictionaries.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I'm not sure if this will help, but read this article: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/11/17/unfriend.word/index.html
    Paulfromitaly seems to be correct. It's more of a "social networking" word, and not a word I would choose to outside of that context.
    [....] Did what I say help, or did it have nothing to do with this thread? [....]
    Actually the article you linked to is very helpful. :thumbsup:

    It gives another citation for "unfriend", and also provides a citation that supports CanuckPete's suggestion, "defriend".

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • Oxford dictionary names "unfriend" its word of the year for 2009
    • Term means to delete someone as a friend on Facebook or other networking site
    • [Other finalists: ....]
    • Some online say the term "defriend" would have been better
    This is exactly the kind of thing we always want, but next time please include the relevant material in the post itself. ;)
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top