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

According to Farlex Financial Dictionary, an e-lancer is an independent contractor who performs their duties predominantly or exclusively online, at home, communicating with clients and colleagues via phone and e-mail.

So, since in others terms an e-lancer is a kind of freelancer working at home, I would like to call a character participating in my next novel a 'homepreneur', which seems a word in current usage ("Three's the magic number for Kristy Sturgess, a homepreneur from Vineyard.").

But, alas, I didn't find that word in dictionaries, so I wonder:

  • Is 'homepreneur' a valid word, a word that I can use in a novel?

  • If not, what do you call a freelancer working at home?

share|improve this question
Homepreneur seems like a fairly obvious portmanteau word referring to an entrepreneur working from home. I see it as a quite ugly word not worthy of use. e-lancer also is ugly but less so. For a novel, I'd use more-solid words like entrepreneur and teleworker – jwpat7 Sep 20 '13 at 17:23
Homepreneur is contrived and too "hokey" for my taste. – Stan Sep 20 '13 at 20:23

@Stan and @jwpat have dealt with your first question in their comments. I will attempt to answer your second question:

what do you call a freelancer working at home?

People who work at home are usually referred to as homeworkers or teleworkers or telecommuters. These words describe a working arrangement and not the employment or contractual status of the worker.

There is no word to distinguish between a freelancer who works at home and other people who work at home (for example, permanent employees, part-time employees, and temporary employees).

I think you may have misinterpreted the definition. According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, an e-lancer is

An independent contractor who performs his/her duties predominantly or exclusively online.

The reference to "at home" is given as an example.

I agree with the other comments that homepreneur is ugly and hokey, but in any case I don't think it is a good description of someone who does freelance work. A freelancer does well-defined assignments at a fixed hourly rate. The revenue potential is limited by the number of hours the freelancer can work, but the risk is also limited. An entrepreneur has greater revenue potential but also takes on a bigger risk. A freelancer could become an entrepreneur by taking on more work and hiring more people to deliver it. In all of this, whether the work is done from somebody's home or somewhere else is irrelevant.

share|improve this answer

A 'remote worker' is acceptable.

share|improve this answer

I would have said the lady in the newspaper article is not a freelancer, but rather she is self-employed and works online or runs an e-business. If your character is not the owner of the company but is employed by one; her job could be described as being an "e-business manager" or an "e-CEO" if you wanted to give her a higher position.

None of these terms are commonly used, there were very few instances on Google, but they have the advantage of sounding more professional than homepreneur.

share|improve this answer

A freelancer working at home is unemployed or a consultant. : )

When not working at home, they're called a "temp." If the person operates a studio away from home the freelancer has a boutique.

share|improve this answer
Hmmm. It seems that there are some thin-skinned freelancers here. – Stan Sep 21 '13 at 17:44

Your Answer


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