If someone have an affair...

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Good afternoon,

Peter is married to Mary . He's having an affair with someone. How do you call the other person ? Is it a mistress? Is it a lover if Mary would be having an affair?

Thank you,

  • mamboney

    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    lux86 said:
    mistress is a woman - rather old-fashioned
    I don't agree that 'mistress' is old-fashioned. It is commonly used in AE.

    lux 86 is right that 'mistress' is only used to refer to women & that 'lover' is used for both male and female participants in an illicit affair.


    English USA
    In the same vein as Kelly B's "other woman", a useful term is simply "someone else", which can conveniently (or inconveniently) apply to either a man or a woman. ("He's married, but there's someone else." "She's has a husband and kids, and someone else.")


    Senior Member
    USA / English
    lux86 said:
    mistress is a woman - rather old-fashioned
    lover for both
    Actually, mistress is not at all old-fashioned and it doesn't refer to someone in an affair. A mistress is a woman in a long-term extramarital relationship with a man who, tipically, provides for her financially.



    Senior Member
    England, English
    I suppose it often depends on the nature of the affair - serious or not so serious. However, in British English, mistress sounds very old fashioned, but it seems common enough in the US.
    Most of the time in England, you'll hear her referred to as "the other woman" or the "bit/squeeze/(or any other term relating to women, offensive or less so) on the side".


    Senior Member
    I've never heard mistress used in anything other than a joking fashion. It would sound extremely old-fashioned to me if one of my friends say that they had (or were) a "mistress". We use "the other woman/man" or say that so and so has a "lover".
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