Patron

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Hotmale

Senior Member
Polish
Hello :)

Is it common to refer to a regular customer as "patron"?
How do I use it in a sentence?
Can I say: "I am a patron in this restaurant"?

Thank you
 
  • Hotmale

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi :)

    I am asking because it sounds strange to me, however many things sound strange ;)

    This definition is from Cambridge dictionary:

    patron
    a person who uses a particular shop, restaurant, hotel, etc., especially regularly; a customer:
    Will patrons kindly note that this shop will be closed on 17th July.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Is it common to refer to a regular customer as "patron"?
    How do I use it in a sentence?
    Can I say: "I am a patron in this restaurant"?
    You could say "I am a patron of this restaurant", but I think it's more likely to be used by restaurant (etc) staff talking about customers rather than customers talking about restaurants.

    Like Nunty, I'm not familiar with Bonjourmonamour's patron = owner. Not in English, anyway;)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Yes, but any customer is a "patron". If you want to say that you go to the restaurant frequently, you should say "I am a regular customer at this restaurant", or even "I eat there often."
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    In the varieties of English I know, a patron is a client or customer. Do you have a reference for this meaning?
    2. A customer, especially a regular customer.
    3. (also pä-trōn') The owner or manager of an establishment, especially a restaurant or an inn of France or Spain.
    answers.com
    The word was borrowed via French from Latin pater -- father. It is interesting to see how it has come to mean a customer in English. :)

    Tom
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You're right, Tom, that "patron" as the owner/manager of a restaurant in France/Spain appears in some English dictionaries.

    But whenever anyone uses it with this meaning in English they are consciously using it as a foreign word - and probably trying to show how clever they are by doing so ;)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    2. A customer, especially a regular customer.
    3. (also pä-trōn') The owner or manager of an establishment, especially a restaurant or an inn of France or Spain.
    answers.com
    The word was borrowed via French from Latin pater -- father. It is interesting to see how it has come to mean a customer in English. :)

    Tom
    The Latin word from which this derives (patronus*) refers to the one who provides money along with other kinds of support to people who depended on him. It is easy to see this sense in "patron of the arts". Our use of the word patron to mean customer seems rooted in the notion that the business is dependent on our patronage.

    The use of patron to mean "owner" has picked up on another aspect of the relationship.

    * Patronus is indeed related to the word for father (pater), as Thomas says.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    This is not my experience. Patrons are regulars who earn special attention from the staff by dining often and tipping well.
    If I were at a business and saw a sign addressed "To Our Patrons...", I would think I was included in that whether it were my first or my hundredth visit. I can certainly patronize an establishment just by shopping there once.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Wikipedia says something interesting on this in an article about Clientela (a convention in ancient Rome):
    Anyone - usually a Pleb - who required protection or assistance of a more powerful family could petition them to become a cliens, and accept the head of the more powerful family as their patronus (this is clearly from where the modern terms patron and client are derived). Theoretically, such a relationship could be temporary, once the "favor" or obligatio was discharged - if it were a matter of money, or political support, for example. In practice, such relationships were very long term, often multi-generational as the obligations of clientes and patronii were legally and customarily passed down from father to son.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clientela
    It also seems to explain why it is usually a regular customer.

    Tom
     

    languageGuy

    Senior Member
    USA and English
    If I were at a business and saw a sign addressed "To Our Patrons...", I would think I was included in that whether it were my first or my hundredth visit. I can certainly patronize an establishment just by shopping there once.
    Would it also apply to people who haven't visited yet? Probably.

    I know that when there is a event for patrons at the restaurants I frequent, they do not let new customers attend. I can see though that if they put a sign on the door, "To our patrons, we are closed today" everyone would be included. I guess you are a patron whenever the restaurant or club decides to designate you as one, but if special benefits come with patronage, it would be unwise, I think, to assume that one visit entitles you to those perks.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Regular patrons only ...
    Parking for patrons only ...

    Patrons are customers, regular or otherwise.

    Pronunciation?
    First syllable rhymes with pay :)
    (Well almost, but it's too good a pun to miss.)
    First syllable really rhymes with pate.
    Stress on the first syllable.

    The other form, the person in charge, is a patron.
    A patron is pronounced as if spoken in French and with the first syllable being pat, not pate.
    Stress on the second syllable.
    These days one may hear of a chef patron.
    ______________________________

    [...]
    Can I say: "I am a patron in this restaurant"?
    Thank you
    That's not quite what I'd say.
    I'm a regular patron at Beanies.

    I added regular and changed the preposition.
    (I'll check with Beanies tomorrow - should get a free coffee at least :))
     

    Hotmale

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Regular patrons only ...
    Parking for patrons only ...

    Patrons are customers, regular or otherwise.

    Pronunciation?
    First syllable rhymes with pay :)
    (Well almost, but it's too good a pun to miss.)
    First syllable really rhymes with pate.
    Stress on the first syllable.

    The other form, the person in charge, is a patron.
    A patron is pronounced as if spoken in French and with the first syllable being pat, not pate.
    Stress on the second syllable.
    These days one may hear of a chef patron.
    ______________________________

    That's not quite what I'd say.
    I'm a regular patron at Beanies.

    I added regular and changed the preposition.
    (I'll check with Beanies tomorrow - should get a free coffee at least :))
    I see. I thought that the very word "patron" suggests that somebody goes somewhere regularly, so I don't need to add "regular".

    Thank you for clarifying this :)
     
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