In some sort of an exchange (maybe of services, maybe of items), there are those who seek and then request, and those who offer. What would be pleasent nouns to use for these roles? "requester"/"requestor" and "offerer" don't sound right ("offerer" especially).

A shade of meaning that needs to be reflected in the nouns I'm interested in is that these cannot be ongoing services, i.e. the "offerer" does not offer you to also get some of what s/he is providing all the time to many people. If an agreement is made, the offerer will do something; otherwise s/he will not be doing it.

(Not a real) Example 1: Suppose it's a forum in which people offer or request to have a stimulating intellectual conversation about some subject. Or offer to spot someone lifting weights and request someone to spot them. Offerers, and requesters.

I know there's a related question on "someone who makes a request", but I thought I'd ask about both terms together since the choice could be related.

  • 1
    I usually write "requestor" and "offeror" ...................... but I have no idea why !
    – Fattie
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:25
  • You might start by searching our site for questions containing the word offeror.
    – MetaEd
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:32
  • @MetaEd: An unaswered question, a qeustion with answer suggestion "offeror", and there's this answer, which also doesn't actually offer an answer. I think that basically covers it. But you're right, I should have checked that first.
    – einpoklum
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:47
  • For services and goods, likely synonyms of provider/consumer would be the best match. For your example, you might try something like samaritan and dependent.
    – jxh
    Sep 26, 2017 at 22:31
  • 1
    @einpoklum: English adopted this word, and it is not considered pejorative.
    – jxh
    Sep 27, 2017 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


If the exchange is economic, which I would say exchanges normally are, you could say supplier for the person offering goods or services, or purveyor, or else provider or even giver, or reciprocator. The recipient could be the recipient or the buyer, the client, the seeker, the asker (informal), the beneficiary, the initiator. But it depends on context: what exact situation did you have in mind? Could you give an example?

  • So, all of these make assumptions that can't be made in this case: "Supplier" has a supply of something; but what if it's something s/he will make? Or arrange? "Provider" suggests that it's something the offerer has to provide, or regularly produces, him/herself; but what if it's, say, an offer to do something together? "Buyer" suggests the ownership of something changes; "Client" again suggests passivity of the requestor; "asker" - what, as in a question? not clear enough.
    – einpoklum
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:55
  • Finally, "initiator" applies, but it's rather vague. Also, I added an example to the question.
    – einpoklum
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:59
  • @einpoklum: Ah, it's good that you have given an example. If initiator is vague, then the situation in the example is also a bit vague! I might use initiator and reciprocator in that situation. I've added reciprocator and seeker to my answer, btw. Sep 26, 2017 at 21:22
  • "seeker"... that's not so bad. Reciprocator would work for a conversation, but just for examples where the interaction is reciprocal. If it were, say, for spotting a person lifting weights, it wouldn't be a reciprocator.
    – einpoklum
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:56
  • @einpoklum: What should I be thinking of when you say "spotting"? Sep 26, 2017 at 22:13

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