For example; Billy holds a grudge against Sally for something the happened. Is there a concise way to describe the situation from Sally's perspective?

EDIT: I'm looking for Sally as the subject, not the object. Also, kind of an employer/employee relationship (grudge-holder vs. grudge-receiver, but a real word)

  • Nemesis maybe? What about just hated like bête noire
    – TsSkTo
    Dec 16 '16 at 20:00
  • Yes I like this! I've never seen this one before
    – Blake Hall
    Dec 16 '16 at 20:11
  • 1
    Scapegoat is close, but perhaps not quite right.
    – vpn
    Dec 16 '16 at 20:12
  • 1
    Sally is on Billy’s shit list...
    – Jim
    Dec 17 '16 at 4:14
  • The usual way of saying these things in English is to add -er and -ee, just as with the employer/employee example; Billy is the grudger and Sally is the grudgee. The former actually does appear in the OED, and I see no reason why the latter couldn't be used, as well.
    – 1006a
    Dec 17 '16 at 5:30

Some ideas from Dimensions Of Forgiveness: A Research Approach by Everett L. Worthington ...

Looking at the bigger picture: the victim is the person (Billy) holding the grudge, and the perpetrator is the person (Sally) who wronged him.

Sally is as yet unforgiven by the victim (Billy) i.e. he harbours a grudge.

google screenshot


If Sally is on the receiving end of hatred, she is hated.
If Sally is on the receiving end of a grudge, she is resented.

To describe the situation from Sally's perspective:

Alice has a grudge against me.
Alice resents me.

This is because a "grudge" is itself a specific kind of resentment based on grievance.

Sally might also be shunned, disdained, scorned, snubbed, etc., but resentment is the general emotional stance of the "grudge-er" towards the "grudge-ee" (not real words). This is true for a powerful grudge or a mild one; unlike hatred, which can have any justification, a grudge implies that a person was specifically wronged. A powerful grudge might also be described as a desire for revenge or vengeance; then the "revenge-ee" (not a real word) might be described according to their specific wrongdoing: "my attacker," "my oppressor," etc. From Sally's perspective: "Alice wants revenge on me."

Note that "begrudge" is a related word, but it takes an object -- either something that is worthy of envy or something that will not be shared. So Alice resents Sally, but she does not "begrudge Sally" -- instead, "Alice begrudges Sally the award." Again, from Sally's perspective:

Alice begrudges giving me the award.


If you are on the receiving end of a grudge, you are a target.

Oxford Dictionaries:

target: a person or thing against whom criticism or abuse is directed

Your example:

Billy holds a grudge against Sally for something that happened. Is there a concise way to describe the situation from Sally's perspective?

Yes, from Sally's perspective, she considers herself a target.

  • Yes, and for example, Sally is a target for Billy's wrath. Dec 17 '16 at 7:03

It is quite possible to hold a grudge against someone without showing it in any way, in which case the other person will be entirely unaware of the fact. However, if someone repeatedly acts against you to show their displeasure, you could say that they "have it in for you".

have it in for someone

To be determined to criticize or harm someone:

  • She’s always had it in for me.

Cambridge Dictionary

Famously, there is the brilliant one-liner (spoken by Kenneth Williams playing Julius Caesar) in the British comedy film Carry On Cleo:

"Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me."

  • I like this, but I'm still looking for how to describe it with Sally as the subject, not the object.
    – Blake Hall
    Dec 16 '16 at 20:06
  • 1
    @BlakeHall The simplest way to put it is to say that Sally is a victim, but this does not imply that she is being victimised because of a grudge. There may be no word with the precise meaning that you are looking for.
    – Mick
    Dec 16 '16 at 20:41

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