Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If I am Rita's coach, is Rita my *coachee? (yikes) Is that even a word? Would it be correct instead to say she is my ward? What about terms for people at the other end of a mentor, sponsor relationship?

share|improve this question
This has started being used at my work. Thank you for asking the question for me. –  Stephen Aug 29 '13 at 4:57
'...ee' is usually paired with an '..er', isn't it? Employee/Employer, Trainee/Trainer. I wouldn't use Coachee because to me, it implies you're a Coacher, not a Coach. –  Beejamin Dec 27 '13 at 21:05
add comment

2 Answers

Coachee is indeed a valid word, but often not widely used. I would suggest pupil or trainee instead.

share|improve this answer
The OED reports that coach means "an instructor or trainer in sport"; in that case, I would not use pupil. –  kiamlaluno Mar 8 '11 at 11:20
That's not the only meaning of coach (as a title) though. We also have concepts like "life coach". –  Kosmonaut Jun 2 '11 at 13:29
add comment

You need to qualify the terms to find suitable counterparts.

If you are Rita's coach (sports) then Rita might be a member of your team.

If you are Rita's guardian (parental) then Rita might be your ward.

If you are Rita's mentor then Rita might be your trainee (in education) or disciple (spiritual).

Update: @Malvolio suggests protégé, which I think is the best answer so far.

share|improve this answer
mentee has also gained quite a bit of ground, recently. –  Jimi Oke Mar 8 '11 at 13:14
God, I hate mentee. The word is protégé. –  Malvolio May 31 '11 at 17:47
@Malvolio - protégé is probably the best answer. Add it as an answer and I'll delete mine. –  Ed Guiness Jun 1 '11 at 7:43
add comment

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.