In English there is the concept of somebody who is a 'leech', and takes advantage of a second person's resources or generosity, financially or otherwise.

What word or phrase could be used to denote the one who is leeched from?

I don't mind whether there are positive or negative connotations to the word - "sugar daddy" is a good American example but not suitable for my (British / Scottish) context. To me this is a good example because it explicitly implies the ongoing leeching relationship, and is not simply an attribute of the person.

edit: In the specific usage I'm looking for, the provision is given consciously by the second party. Beyond that, I don't mind whether the giving relationship is willing or reluctant, personally (e.g. parent) or impersonally (e.g. bank). The word or phrase must function sensibly in the following sentence: "I am not your _____"

  • Sticking with the metaphoric imagery suggested by leech, the victim could be a sucker. But I don't see how sugar daddy relates to the concept being queried. – FumbleFingers Jun 23 '16 at 11:37
  • Thanks @FumbleFingers - have updated the question to clarify why I consider it a good word for the context. – Steve Taylor Jun 23 '16 at 12:01
  • "Victim" is the usual term. – Hot Licks Jun 23 '16 at 12:05
  • @HotLicks - really? If a person 'leeches' off their parents or a friend or an organisation, is the latter well described as their 'victim'? Seems a bit strong. – Steve Taylor Jun 23 '16 at 12:10
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    I've seen some very muscular leaches. – Hot Licks Jun 23 '16 at 12:12

I think 'prey' could fit the bill if you think 'victim' (suggested by @Hotlicks) is a bit strong.

One that is deceived or taken advantage of by another: 'easy prey for swindlers'

[American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition]


You could say "a soft touch", but this is a more general characteristic meaning that the person is easily tricked or taken advantage of, and doesn't capture the "one side of a specific relationship" aspect.

  1. a person who is easily convinced, especially to give or lend money:
  2. a person who is easily influenced, duped, or imposed upon:



In British English a person is often called a mug if they have allowed someone to take advantage of them (it's a little like being the mark of a scam, but with mark you don't know whether the scam succeeded or failed—with mug you know it worked). I think it's a carney term.

You probably wouldn't say "I'm not your mug" but you'd say "I'm not a mug"—or "Do you take me for a mug?" or "What sort of mug do you think I am?"

American English gives us chump and sucker along the same lines.


"I am not your servant" (or subject, or other synonyms)


noun a person who serves others


noun 11. a person or thing under the control or influence of another.

  • It looks like this might be as close as I'm going to get... will mark this as right if nothing else comes through in the next few days. Thanks – Steve Taylor Jun 27 '16 at 11:24

A person that is soft in character, is easily lured into doing things that might not be in favor of her/his own interests.


I was thinking maybe 'schmuck' would fit.

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage. Please consider adding a dictionary reference or quote to support your answer. – Glorfindel Sep 12 '17 at 8:02

protected by MetaEd Sep 12 '17 at 20:50

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