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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.

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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 - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 20:55
  • Finally, "initiator" applies, but it's rather vague. Also, I added an example to the question. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 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. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Sep 26 '17 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 - reinstate Monica Sep 26 '17 at 21:56
  • @einpoklum: What should I be thinking of when you say "spotting"? – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Sep 26 '17 at 22:13

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