I am looking for a word that describes people who are important to me or whom I care about. They could be family, friends, or just people I adore. Is there any word for them or anything that comes close? Basically, I want to give a one-word title to my own public list of people.
They are normally called loved ones.
In 2007 David Wong introduced the concept of the monkeysphere - a natural limit on the number of people with whom we can maintain caring yet individual relationships (as opposed, say, to caring about the number of people starving to death in 3rd world countries)*.
It's a funny way of looking at Dunbar's number, which is the numerical limit of those relationships. I've heard it a lot in IT-related psychological circles lately, and I see no limit to the term's uptake. There's something about the recognition of our mutual inability to remember every name, care about every death and touch every life which makes our humanity bearable.
Therefore, if you're looking for a catchy term which will make people pay attention to your list, I recommend "monkeysphere". I find that it sounds both funny and humble.
If, however, your loved ones are not particularly internet- or technology-savvy, and you're intending to share this with people whose favourable opinion you would like to cultivate, I'd stick with a tried and trusted term somewhere between "monkeysphere" and "loved ones":
*NB: The term "monkeysphere" also includes those people with whom we have adversarial relationships. I believe the monkeysphere represents the summation of positive relationships as the adversarial ones tend to zero, so maybe work on that if it's a problem.
I have been using "tribe" for this.
"Clan" seems to be a pretty good fit as it can be applied to family, friends, and people who share [formal or informal] membership in the same categorical group such as a society, level of education, a common trait (such as race, sex, or a rare disease), common language, etc.
The challenge is including "people who I adore" which is difficult to make fit because there are many reasons for adoration. Adoration can, for example, be limited to a single action we approve of so strongly in an individual that it cancels out all other reasons we might also have for disliking that person but which may still exclude them from our "circle of friends and family" (this may be a moot point since you'll be deciding who to include in your "clan" / public list).
Given the rampant pirate/Star Trek references among my group of friends, "crew" seems to be appropriate. YMMV.
"Loved ones" is probably the best answer, but I often hear "(my) people" used in the same sense. If they're your people then I think it's obvious they're important to you. In slang terms it's often shortened to "peeps" or replaced by "homies," which I believe is short for "homeboys"...
At one time I believe "posse" was used in this sense. Maybe it still is. Regardless, it's informal, if that's a concern.
I'll say again, though, I think "loved ones" is probably the best answer, especially in the context given.
If you'd like a literary reference, Kurt Vonnegut coined "karass" in (I think) Breakfast of Champions to describe this.
Dearests, the plural of the noun form of dearest, is a single word with that meaning, though it doesn't appear in all dictionaries.
In the US I'm much more likely to hear it from women than from men, likely due to the emotional intimacy of dear.
Favo[u]rites, though that word is probably over-used in user interfaces these days.
A commonly used phrase for this is
Loved one: a person who you love, usually a member of your family
protected by RegDwigнt♦ May 25 '11 at 22:42
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