"business partner" as retronym?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Nov 2 16:06:17 UTC 2009

At 11:57 AM -0500 11/2/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
>I don't know if we've previously discussed the use of "business partner" to
>distinguish from "sexual partner", where once "partner" alone would have
>been used.

Safire (who of course popularized "retronym" itself) had a column
about it a few years back.


>I just found myself using it in a note to my family:
>Jason ___ & his bus.partner Tommy are coming this eve. around 8 for another
>look at the plumbing. They'll phone a couple hours ahead of time.
>Of course "business partner" is much older than the widespread use of
>"partner" for "sexual partner", but ISTM that its now should count as a
>retronym in some way.
>m a m
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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