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Is there a word that means something like "someone who does the same job as me"?

I've thought of colleague and co-worker. These both indicate that someone works at the same place, or some other kind of work relationship, but they don't indicate that the job is the same.

The best I've come up with is my fellow-X, but this feels cumbersome.

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"Peer" isn't quite right, but it's heading in the right direction. –  Peter Taylor Feb 5 '11 at 13:43
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I know there is a word beginning with con-. I said it to someone about a year ago, but I'm having troubles remembering it. –  Grewe Kokkor Feb 5 '11 at 14:07
    
@Peter: "partner-in-crime" ? –  JoseK Feb 5 '11 at 14:32
    
@Grewe: yes, I also feel there’s a word for this hovering just out of the reach of memory. Something similar in flavour to compatriot or contemporary. –  PLL Feb 5 '11 at 14:47
    
@lonesomeday there is a better answer than the one you chose, as per here and here on comfrere –  New Alexandria Aug 30 '12 at 12:48
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6 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My Webster's lists the following synonyms for colleague:

coworker, fellow worker, workmate, teammate, associate, partner, collaborator, ally, confederate.

None of these really work in the sense you're looking for, something that means "in exactly the same job" as you.

If no one strikes gold for you here, I would suggest that one alternative for you is to be more specific about the actual job function:

My wife is a periodontist, just like me.

Jean and Kate were both trial lawyers.

Here are a few traits I share with my fellow QA consultants at IBM: [List]

Ed and Bill and I have a lot of disagreements, but we're all teamsters and we stick together.

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I'd expand this to say that "coworker" simply means they work at the same company or more probably in the same office. I am a videographer and my coworker is an artist, for example. –  Wayne May 17 '11 at 16:39
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I think the word you're looking for is

confrere

It comes from the French, and is masculine. The feminine equivalent (in French) is

consoeur

though, in certain contexts you could also use

guildsman, union-worker

These last two terms refer to another person of the same job-class. Though not colleagues, there is still an implied federation (that I think you were trying to avoid).

The question is also a bit of a repeat

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Colleague has the meaning you're looking for when the speaker is a member of a licensed profession (doctor, lawyer, that sort of thing).

Copractitioner may be slightly preferable to your fellow-X construction sometimes.

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When organizations of similar size, states, or armies liaise, I have seen "counterpart" used quite often. Example;

...said Navy Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for the top U.S. military officer, Adm. Mike Mullen, who spoke briefly by phone on Monday and Wednesday with his counterpart in Cairo, Army Lt. Gen. Sami Enan.

obviously, it's only usable in that limited context of two structures/organizations interacting (as @Dour points out it can not be used to describe two equal-ranking colleagues on the "same side"), so it may not be what you are looking for.

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You know what? The quote reminded me of something. I don't have my set of James Bond movies, but I remember that in one of them, M (the female M) says something like "Admiral Something, my THE-WORD-WE-ARE-LOOKING-FOR in Japan, is [...]". There should be the word. I can't remember if it's counterpart or a more specific one, but if anyone can look it up, it be worth the try... –  Grewe Kokkor Feb 5 '11 at 23:34
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A counterpart is something that opposes or balances, i.e. "counters", something else. If someone does the same job as you for an opponent then that person would be your counterpart, but not if that person were working on your side. For two people on the same side to be counterparts they would have to somehow oppose each other. It is possible for two people on the same side with the same job to counter each other, if the job was somehow competitive, but this is by no means necessary. –  Dour High Arch Feb 6 '11 at 2:35
    
@Dour yup, this doesn't work outside the scenario of two organizations having to do with each other, and can be used only to describe people of the same rank or role in the other organization. That's what I meant with the limited context –  Pekka 웃 Feb 6 '11 at 2:37
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Although it isn't a word I've often used, I believe compeer is the word you might be looking for. Defined as: a person of the same rank or status; equal; peer. It is the best I think you will find, unless you just go with one of the above answers which do makes sense.

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The meaning of colleague is a person with whom one works, especially in a profession or business. Even if there isn't any reference to the working place, the word is used when two people have contacts.

The meaning coworker is fellow worker; looking at the meaning of fellow, on the NOAD I read the following definition:

  1. informal a man or boy: he was an extremely obliging fellow.
       • a boyfriend or lover: has she got a fellow?
  2. (usu. fellows) a person in the same position, involved in the same activity, or otherwise associated with another: he was learning with a rapidity unique among his fellows.
       • a thing of the same kind as or otherwise associated with another: the page has been torn away from its fellows.
  3. a member of a learned society: he was elected a fellow of the Geological Society.
       • (also research fellow) a student or graduate receiving a fellowship for a period of research.
       • Brit. an incorporated senior member of a college: a tutorial fellow.
       • a member of the governing body in some universities.

I would use fellow worker to mean a worker involved in the same activity.

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Still, fellow worker could mean the receptionist in a sales office, or the bookkeeper. I don't think you could make the meaning of fellow salesman clear using fellow worker. –  Robusto Feb 5 '11 at 15:14
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I used fellow worker to give the most generic answer. Using fellow worker to mean the receptionist in a sales offices or the bookkeeper, when you are not a receptionist or a bookkeper, depends on what you mean by the same activity. –  kiamlaluno Feb 5 '11 at 15:22
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