When a man makes advances to a lady and proposes to her, what single noun would you give to the man and also to the woman?


Mr.A has proposed to Ms.B. In this context,

Mr.A is a ________ , and Ms.B is a ________ .

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    Please provide some context, otherwise the answers may vary wildly between suitor and stalker, if not even wider. – michael.hor257k Jul 10 '17 at 10:23
  • @michael.hor.257k -- I have given the answer 'suitor' without seeing your comment which mentions the word. – English Student Jul 10 '17 at 10:36
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    Do you mean "propose", as in ask to marry, or "proposition" as in ask to have sex? The two usually, but not always, mean different things. – WhatRoughBeast Jul 10 '17 at 12:33
  • @WhatRoughBeast in fact the meaning of 'proposal' is usually marriage proposal but the expression 'makes advances' in the question is what supports the possible meaning of 'proposition.' You might remember the famous Hollywood film 'Indecent proposal.' However, interpreting the question thus would lead to entirely different conclusions. – English Student Jul 10 '17 at 15:42
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    Please read this. – tchrist Jul 12 '17 at 22:42

A man who proposes to a woman is commonly called a suitor, though this term may possibly be outdated in modern usage in favor of similar-meaning words like 'beau' which can, but need not necessarily, connote a proposal of marriage as implicit: see synonyms in the 'beau' link.

Suitor [noun] a man who courts or woos a woman (some dictionaries also say: with a view to marriage., which is the traditional meaning.)



Example (mine) She is still considering the proposal of her long-time suitor? OMG it's been 8 years now...

A related question has been asked here in 2012: What's the female equivalent of "suitor"? However it is about a woman who proposes to a man, which is very different from what you are asking.

There may not be a common word for the woman being proposed to, in your question, but a less common word 'proposee' has indeed been suggested by AndyT in the earlier answer.

  • Interesting; I would have thought that “beau” was outdated and “suitor” was current.  P.S. AFAIK there is no policy on this, but I would encourage you to link to google.com rather than google.co.in. – Scott Jul 13 '17 at 14:40
  • @Scott googling anything from India in Chrome or Firefox browser automatically goes to www.google.in which is apparently the default setting. I can't get around it. I type google.com, it goes to google.in! It's administrative, I think. And so there would seem to be very little if no difference between the search results returned on google.com and google.in -- at least for these purposes: the word 'beau' in modern parlance appears to be a fashionable substitute for 'boyfriend' especially when talking of celebrities. – English Student Jul 13 '17 at 21:23

The man in this case is the Proposer:

Someone who proposes

and the woman is the Proposee:

1.The person to whom a proposal of marriage is made

Definitions from wiktionary

I wouldn't say they were common words, but it's fairly obvious given context what they mean. As commented by @Mitch: they "sound overly formal or even legalistic". Also note that "proposer" doesn't just mean someone who proposes marriage; it is possibly more common in meaning "someone who proposes an idea".

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    This may be factually correct but would sound overly formal or even legalistic. – Mitch Jul 10 '17 at 12:13
  • @Mitch - I completely agree. Thanks for the comment, I have now incorporated it into my answer. – AndyT Jul 10 '17 at 13:38

The lady being proposed to by a man is the man's love interest.


love interest (plural love interests)

One who is of interest as a potential partner in love

  • Congratulations for finding a word that we couldn't think of or locate! +1 – English Student Jul 10 '17 at 21:31
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    Please read this. – tchrist Jul 12 '17 at 22:41
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    This seems to refer to a girlfriend or boyfriend, but not necessarily one that you want to marry, and especially not a person that you have proposed to. – Scott Jul 13 '17 at 14:35

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