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What can I call someone (a friend) who is always asking for favours such as:

  • if you are going downtown, can you buy this for me please or,
  • can you lend me your car for an hour or,
  • if you have some spare time,
  • can you post this letter for me please because I am so busy today

He doesn't seem to realise or, pretends not to, that there is a limit to asking for help or favours from other people.

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"needy" also "overly-needy". – Joe Blow May 22 '14 at 6:52
A friend in need is a friend indeed! – Blessed Geek May 22 '14 at 7:09
A Gimme-pig! (kidding) – Ilythya May 22 '14 at 9:51
I'd call him demanding. – Justin May 22 '14 at 17:25

14 Answers 14

up vote 42 down vote accepted

He may be called a moocher. It is used for a person who tries to get to something free of charge.

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or just "a mooch" – TecBrat May 22 '14 at 9:57
@mohita, Moocher is not a formal word. he can't say to his friend. – user72862 May 22 '14 at 10:45
Well, we really won't ever have a polite word for such a friend. :) – Veronica Diamond May 22 '14 at 10:56
Just "free of charge" doesn't fit the situation. No one would expect to be paid for such a minor service to a friend such as post a letter or help with shopping. The key in becoming annoying is that someone always asks for such favors, and, presumably, never does such favors himself. – vsz May 24 '14 at 18:42

Leech would be a suitable term. He is leeching off you.

Freeloader might be OK as well but that would suggest he is aware of what he is doing and is doing it intentionally.

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I'm not sure free-loader requires knowing that they're doing it. I was tempted to agree with mooch but I think its too narrow a term. – mikebabcock May 24 '14 at 13:03
I would agree with freeloader being intention-agnostic; I've never encountered that aspect of its meaning (and I was one, at one point!). – naughtilus Jul 9 '14 at 11:55

I hear the term freeloader a lot.

a person who takes advantage of others' generosity without giving anything in return.


When is the last time that Dan paid his share of the cab? He is such a freeloader.

If the person is a friend you would often just call them needy.

Trashy example from UD, yet still good.

A mother fucker that always needs something.

Like.... You see them comming & you say "shit dude.... Act like you don't see'em JUST >ACT LIKE YOU DON'T SEE'EM.... Keep walkin"

"Hey ummm bro,hate to be needy but can you give me a ride to the store? & OHHH yeah..... I need $4.25 for cigarettes when we get there!! .... Shit, I forgot to mention, DUDE Can I crash on your couch for a few days?....

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:-) Who is UD and where can I hear the rest of the material!! – Keni May 22 '14 at 15:14
@Keni - Urban Dictionary - they had lots of definitions for needy and this was one. – RyeɃreḁd May 22 '14 at 15:21

In the programming world, when someone continually seeks help and does not give much effort to improve themself, we call them a help vampire or just a vampire.

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There is the Yiddish shnorrer. More generally, scrounger might be used, but I'd most likely describe them as taking advantage of the other person.

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Maybe a sponger but mainly he is a pain in the neck.

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Sponger is great but pain in the neck is far too general, implying any of a myriad annoyances which needn't include the specific description given by the OP. – naughtilus Jul 9 '14 at 11:52

I would call that person presumptuous: characterized by or showing presumption or readiness to presume; unwarrantedly or impertinently bold; forward.

Presume is to take unwarranted advantage of something; go beyond the proper limits.

Your friend is presuming on your kindness.

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One who is always taking from others, similar to a mooch or chiseler. In most cases takers aren't stealing, they are just taking advantage of the hospitality of others without reciprocating or saying thanks.

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How about piggybacker?

piggybacker: someone so broke or just really cheap that relies on their friends to pay for everything: He's such a piggybacker, why do I always have to pay for everything?

Alternately, consider parasite.

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He is a dependent friend. A dependent friend always asks for help.

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"He doesn't seem to realise or, pretends not to, that there is a limit to asking for help or favours from other people," suggests to me that the friend is certainly capable of getting by without the favors. On the other hand, if I were to call someone dependent I'd be implying that they couldn't get by without assistance (i.e. they depend on me, or others). I was actually going to upvote this and not upvote other answers until I saw that line, but considering that line I think this answer doesn't quite fit. – KRyan May 22 '14 at 18:23

You can simply say that your friend is "using" you, as a one word title for their behavior. More appropriately, within a context of general conversation, to say that your friend "is taking advantage of you," not 1-word, but this is what is going on here.

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Then the one word is "user". – Monty Harder May 22 '14 at 20:06

How about

Blood sucking parasite!

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a person who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principle.

He knows there should be a limit but pretends not to - No principal/Disregards principals.

He just keeps asking when he has the opportunity, whether or not he actually needs that favour - Taking advantage as and when opportunities arise.

The person you described also sounds like someone who plans in his mind that he would pick up his children after work but will still ask you to pick them up regardless of his plan to pick them up. Habitual opportunist!

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How about simply calling them "a friend"? Aren't these the things friends do for one another? I know I would be happy to do any of the things you list for any of my friends. Did you mean someone who persists in asking even when you tell them "no", or "later"?

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protected by RegDwigнt May 23 '14 at 20:06

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