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What is a noun for a person who is nice and caring and fun to be around (a noun to refer to the person, as in "Bob is a _____".

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Not a noun, but I think one would typically use 'charismatic person'. –  vemv Mar 5 at 11:28
    
"friend": Bob is a friend. Or he should be. –  Kheldar Mar 5 at 15:03
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4 Answers 4

Although mensch is good, the person being called that will probably need a dictionary or they might punch you. I prefer a more common word, gentleman.

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You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar! :) –  Peteris Mar 5 at 11:50
    
@Peteris - I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot. –  RyeɃreḁd Mar 5 at 15:36
    
While John Henry Newman might agree with you ("It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain"), Oscar Wilde might demur ("A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally"). –  bib Mar 5 at 18:03
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Well, it's a Yiddish loan word: mensch comes to mind.

It means he's an honorable, good person, but it's taken on all sorts of other positive connotations since its importation to English.

It doesn't quite bring up the fun to be around part, though.

Used in the example sentence: Bob is a real mensch.

Otherwise, you would just call him a great guy. Which probably brings with it all of the connotations you were trying to express.

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Beat me to it! Since I've searched extensively for literally years, I know that this is likely the best answer. I also use polyanna occasionally, with the understanding it's awkward when referring to males and that neither is common enough to be used safely in all contexts. –  jboneca Mar 5 at 1:30
    
@jboneca I have the distinct advantage of being Jewish and having grown up with this word in common parlance. :-) –  David M Mar 5 at 1:41
    
I don't think I could ever get away calling any of my friends a real mensch... which would probably translate to them... real munch... to... real muncher... to ass muncher. –  RyeɃreḁd Mar 5 at 1:42
    
@RyeBread Well, you have several options: get new friends, educate your friends, move to an area with a larger Jewish population, etc. Besides, with a name like RyeBread ... I would have thought ... well, that you are tribe. No? –  David M Mar 5 at 1:44
    
Well I wasn't counting my Jewish friends... but the others... educate them? Then they would be no fun. –  RyeɃreḁd Mar 5 at 1:45
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Perhaps a delight

great pleasure, satisfaction, or happiness, or something or someone that gives this

Another possibility is charmer

a person who is enchanting or delightful to be around

However, this latter term is sometimes used to signify one who is engaging but insincere.

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Sounds like a fancy man to me! –  RyeɃreḁd Mar 5 at 5:58
    
Makes me want to combine the answers as "delightful gentleman" or "charmer gentleman". But that wouldn't really work out, would it? :) –  Nav Mar 5 at 8:08
    
@Nav What about those nice and caring and fun to be around women? –  bib Mar 5 at 12:41
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How about social butterfly or philantropist? (And one which could be used in a more colloquial context or as a nickname, which I just came up with is jokebox. Only half-serious suggestion... ;) )

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Philanthropists are not necessarily fun. They can be quite serious, some of them! –  nxx Mar 5 at 13:28
    
Although I am being quite a hypocrit with that demand (since I didn't use any), but what are your sources? Who are you referring to? In my understanding, a philantropist is, profanely put, a lover of humanity and human individuals and this, though maybe not 'fun' is at least affectionate towards other human beings and thus also to interaction. –  T-Saurus Mar 5 at 13:53
    
You have expressed exactly what I meant. "a lover of humanity" but "maybe not 'fun'". Yes, it covers someone who is "nice and caring", but "fun" is not a given in any definition of the word, or in its standard usage. It would be like saying all doctors are fun. I don't think sources are required. –  nxx Mar 5 at 14:09
    
I guess I have to give in... ^^ Although I might be picky about the definition of 'fun' ;) You could apply a wide definition as "beneficial for myself" –  T-Saurus Mar 5 at 14:13
    
Fun: provides amusement or enjoyment; violent or excited activity or argument (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fun) I guess as long as every philanthropist engages in one or the other, then you might have a case :P –  nxx Mar 5 at 14:20
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