How to Refer to Someone's Not-Spouse

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Reader Comments (63)

Rerun? I still laughed...

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaleb

Disclaimer: the use of the term honey-butt may induce the spewing of liquid from unintended orifices.

Younger women that I know are generally offended by the use of boy/girlfriend. I think that they find it demeaning to the relationship. That I am somehow trying to insinuate that their significant other is the opposite of a lover. And, yes, I despise the SO term. Lover is creepy, even if accurate. Frankly, I find most terms other than boy/girlfriend to be lacking. "Gentleman caller" does have a nice genteel quality to it. "My +1" has the advantage of brevity. The best that I've heard is "my fella". Unfortunately, there is no good female substitute for fella/fellow. A lady fellow is, well, a fellow.

Wait, let me try it... I'd like you to meet my lady fellow. Nope.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Brilliant summation of a true conversational awkwardness!

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTR

I still like "the woman you refuse to marry" from one of your earlier comics.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Once again, excellent stuff, keep it up!

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan

This has just reappeared in my google reader feed after a gap of more than a year. Did I do something wrong, or has something changed?

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJM

wow! pure gold!

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteratec

Funny as always, especially the last panel. :)
When I'm not sure if someone I know is "married" to their partner or not but I can assume they're in a committed relationship, I generally use the term Significant Other. Sometimes it is abbreviated to S.O.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKlepto

Great gags, I LOLed on each panel.

But wow! The art looks different. Did you clean your pens? :)

- Joyce

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce Melton

Really good one this time! "I'm not comfortable with THAT." ha!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Back when we were co-habitating, I referred to my now-wife as my spouse equivalent.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGyrogeerloose

2nd panel for the win! "... she ordered me to stop." Ain't it the truth!

My wife's german. I call her "meine Führerin", give her a hearty "ja vol!" and clack my heels before I follow her orders. She doesn't think that's too funny. Germans ... no sense of humor.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAtheismo

When in the mood for an awkward term I like to use "significant other" - 'cos it trips so lightly off the tongue.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKibi

so very, very true. this is a constant problem for me.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercody

'other half' is fairly non-specific, though I imagine it's not to everyones taste.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul_Bags

What's with the on-again/off-again glasses?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrammer Natsi

This comic just popped up in my RSS reader. I hadn't seen a comic of yours in a long time and figured you'd stopped making them. Turns out you hadn't stopped at all! Seems like I have a lot of catching up to do!

Do you have any idea why your RSS feed stopped working for, I think, several years?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhans

where is the logic?
where this world is coming to?
what for gods sake is the problem with first option? the name?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkuldeep

I always thought "partner" sounded more like a business arrangement. There ought to be a nicer general name for it and personally I'd vote for "honey-butt".

I'm in the UK and I'd love to hear the BBC refer to the leader of the opposition party Ed Miliband and his honey-butt Justine.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTomic

I can't be first, surely ? lol :) "Boss ?" LOL!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYeebok

I wonder what goes through a mans mind when he nicknames his significant other "honey butt". On second (and more vivid) thought, I withdraw the question!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBart

omg, lol, that is good! I really need to read these before I go to work and sit at my desk. I wonder what health issues I am developing by not allowing my full laughter to be expressed?

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAC

Mender of my hoodies... taper of my broken glasses... musser of my hair...

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternorbizness

"She ordered me to stop." Ha!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGraham

You're in my mind D:

I have this same conversation with pretty much everyone I meet, even friends from my childhood.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJake

"I tried that, but she ordered me to stop."

Priceless!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeltafront

This one made me laugh, since my partner and I have lived together almost a decade, but people still have trouble with terminology. If the person talking to me starts to stumble, or use too many weird euphemisms, then I just say, "Hey, we prefer the term 'Shacking Up'."

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaszeta

Significant Other (my ex often called me an "Insignificant Other") the Other Half, Companion

Terms to Avoid: F*!k-Buddy, Ball & Chain (may lead to a discussion of your friend's genitals), That Bitch.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRock Ripsnort

Since no one gets married in Sweden, they have a name for that - sambo. Maybe it can come over to English to join ombudsman and smörgåsbord.

Note from Scott: Yeah, ... I don't think referring to someone as your "sambo" is going to catch on in America anytime soon. (it's considered a racial slur here.)

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

A girl at work had a "sorta like a boyfriend" that she'd been dating off and on for 11 years (more off than on by the sound of it). He died in a motorcycle accident recently. That's been a confusing situation, because they never lived together or anything, and she seemed reluctant to even call him a "boyfriend" at their commitment level before the accident. She's been on two months leave grieving for him. I guess what irks me most is that my wife and I lost our baby last year, and I got 5 days off.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

Marvellous!!! I really like the expression on that dude in the 3rd panel. XD

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSniffy

Panel 2: Bang-on to your typical power-positionning of any average couple

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

honey-butt it shall be.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjames yeamans

"...but she ordered me to stop."

Love it.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaminar

this one makes me think of the one-liner reviews they put at the end of movie trailers like "hilariously brilliant", "brilliantly hilarious" or "brilliant and hilarious". but seriously, this is great.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLordassenfroth

Loved this one... every panel was a gem!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

Panel 2 could go on forever...

Better half? Too Douche-y.
Woman? Too caveman.
Cohabitant? Too clinical.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterj2

Amazing. All of it.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkarateghost

Partner - it's not so much that it makes us sound like Crockett ad Tubbs, more like Bert an Ernie, if you see what I mean? Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I sometimes like watching the response of others when I use the term and they are uncomfortable with the connotations.

Other terms used variously depending on context or mood - Significant Other, Better Half, Other Half, Her Indoors, The Finance Minister, My Good Lady, The Missus (even though she's not) and even occasionally, and equally falsely, the Wife!

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnalogKid

What is it with people not getting married? If you want to be treated like a couple Get Married!

@Soul of Wit The female equivalent of "fella" is "gal".

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheherazahde

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