English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What's the alternative of saying "delivery guy" or "UPS truck driver" if, for example, you are leaving a note and you want to make it sound less menial? I guess you can say "UPS truck operator" but how would you call a "pizza delivery guy"? "Pizza delivery operator" somewhat sounds silly, right?

share|improve this question
Why bother with anything but the company name: Dear FedEx, Dear Pizza Hut, Dear Sears? There's no need to acknowledge that the delivery person is a person rather than a dog or an android. They know that. You know that. Even your cat & dog know that. Don't step into the quagmire of PC language if you can avoid it, & you can avoid it if you try. – user21497 May 8 '13 at 2:03
OTOH, you can always take the WalMart approach: Dear Delivery Associate. Or you can go all out & say something like Dear Fellow Human Being So Worthy of My PC Veneer of Respect That I Have to Make a Donkey of Myself Trying to Figure Out What to Call You So That You & My Neighbors Won't Think I'm Some Kind of Arrogant & Offensive Consumer or Whatever & feel really really really virtuous & superior to everyone who tends to notice things like gender, age, weight, sunglasses brand, footwear, hairstyle, exhibitionist body piercings, tattoos, & general level of attractiveness. [NB: Humor]. – user21497 May 8 '13 at 2:21
PC labels serve two purposes: They make the PC cantor feel morally superior, & they dehumanize everybody else. – user21497 May 8 '13 at 2:25
@BillFranke's point is good in that a note on the door can just say, FedEx - leave pkg behind planter. If referring to the person, when we must, however, can be handled with "driver", as I offered in my answer, without tripping over our over-sized PC yokes. :-) – Kristina Lopez May 8 '13 at 2:38
Alimentation facilitator – mplungjan May 8 '13 at 8:40

For the general case, deliveryperson may sound less informal and more respectful. For the specific case of a messenger or parcel service, you can use courier.

share|improve this answer
I like "deliveryperson". As to the "courier", let's leave that to the Canadians. :) I'm pretty sure in Brooklyn, where I moved not too long ago, nobody calls a delivery guy - "courier". Even officially – Agzam May 8 '13 at 1:39
We call them "couriers" here in Australia, too. – AlbeyAmakiir May 8 '13 at 6:40
And also here in the UK. – scottishwildcat May 8 '13 at 12:05
the fact that Americans kept 'u' in 'courier' is good enough sign that you should avoid using the word within the US. :) – Agzam May 9 '13 at 14:53

For UPS, FedEx, etc., we say "UPS driver", "FedEx driver", etc. since "driver" is gender-neutral. For pizza, we say "pizza delivery guy" because that's what we've always called that person.

share|improve this answer
+1 for emphasizing gender-neutrality in a non-awkward way, but mostly for “because that's what we've always called them.” ;) – Bradd Szonye May 8 '13 at 1:49
Yeah, & I call my mother "Double X" & my father "X.Y." because being "gender-neutral" is a positive Pyrrhic value in a world without substantial values. [Have I ever mentioned that I'm a cynic?] – user21497 May 8 '13 at 2:33
@BillFranke, down boy! Lol! – Kristina Lopez May 8 '13 at 2:41
If we don't laugh at ourselves, Kristina, we will be laughed at (What am I saying? We are laughed at!) by the rest of the world. – user21497 May 8 '13 at 2:43
@BillFranke, i'm laughing at you right now! And with you, too! ;-) – Kristina Lopez May 8 '13 at 2:46

I've always been a fan of "Courier," but I'm also a fan of formality. Example: Dear FedEx Courier, I'm not home at the moment. Please leave the package by the back door. Many Thanks, etc. Or: Dear Pizza Courier, I've left my children with $30 for the pizza. Please keep the change. Cheers, etc.

share|improve this answer
Shouldn't it be I've left $30 with my children? – user13107 May 8 '13 at 8:03

How about UPS/FedEx/pizza deliverer?

deliverer: a person who delivers goods to customers usually over a regular local route : We eagerly took the food and tipped the deliverer


Ngram pizza deliverer

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.