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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 _____"

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  • 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. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 11:37
  • Thanks @FumbleFingers - have updated the question to clarify why I consider it a good word for the context. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 12:01
  • "Victim" is the usual term.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 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. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 12:10
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    I've seen some very muscular leaches.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 12:12

6 Answers 6

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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.

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  • "I'm not your mug" - that gave me a good laugh. This does 'feel' like the best fit, and so I'll accept it under the assumption there probably isn't an ideal word for what I'm looking for. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 9:57
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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]

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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:

(Dictionary.com)

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

ServantM-W

noun a person who serves others

SubjectDictionary.com

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

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  • 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 Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 11:24
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A person that is soft in character, is easily lured into doing things that might not be in favor of her/his own interests.

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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
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 8:02

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