I'd like to apologize in advance if I don't make sense. I'm not a native English speaker.

Anyway, here's the background: Back home, it is common that your friends ask you for a treat for every little thing, just another reason to celebrate. By treat, I mean treating someone to food and drink/hosting a (dinner) party just for a person or two. However, there are a few people who ONLY ASK for a treat but never really accept it. And that is not the end of the story, they then complain that we never treat them.

I know its not a very common scenario, but I'd like to know if there's a word for such people or such a behavior?

For example, I'd like to use it in such a sentence:

Just invite him. He'll not join us anyway, he is a _________.

  • Hi Dan, welcome to English Language & Usage. You might not be aware that there are strict rules for single-word-requests: "To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. You must include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used." You can add these details by clicking on the edit link. If you think you might use our site again (and I hope you do!), please also make sure you take the Tour. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 8:43
  • Thanks @Chappo for your feedback. I've edited my question to include a sample sentence.
    – Dan
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 9:07
  • I'm not sure that "treat" is the best word here, unless you're constantly exchanging pieces of chocolate or things like that. A more specific scenario may help.
    – Spencer
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 9:23
  • in your native tongue such a (non offensive) word does exist? Also, your sample sentence only makes sense to me if the invited person is absolutely expected to bring a treat to the occasion - in my mind, that is only true for house-warmings, birthdays, weddings, and the like, not for any invitation. Could you expand on that aspect?
    – loonquawl
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 9:24
  • 1
    @Spencer By treat I mean treating someone to food and drink/hosting a (dinner) party just for a person or two.
    – Dan
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 9:45

3 Answers 3


I'll take the liberty of slightly altering your sentence:

"Just invite him. He'll not join us anyway, he is [a bit] X"

X being:

  • reserved (Probably Likes - Possibly won't come)
  • withdrawn (May Like - Won't Come)
  • reclusive (May not like - Certainly won't come)
  • noncommittal (Likes - Won't Say Whether or not will attend)
  • uncompanionable (May not like - Won't come)
  • solitary (Likes - May not come)

all those would fit into your example sentence to convey that the person may not come to the event, but not all of the persons will like being asked, because some like no interaction (not even the asking).


I thought of two closely-related words that have almost opposite meanings: (1) "ingratiate" - trying to get into someone's favour, but having also the sense of insincerity, and (2) "ingrate" - someone who is ungrateful for the favour or kindness shown. Perhaps the person you are trying to describe is an "ingratiating ingrate"!!


Adding "a bit" makes the sentence more conversational.

Just invite him. He'll not join us anyway, he is a bit standoffish.

Definition of standoffish - Merriam-Webster

: somewhat cold and reserved

She tends to be a bit standoffish with strangers.

She proved to be simply shy, not standoffish.

Aloof works equally well:

Just invite him. He'll not join us anyway, he is a bit aloof.

Definition of aloof - Merriam-Webster

: removed or distant either physically or emotionally an aloof, unfriendly manner

He stood aloof from worldly success. —John Buchan

Aloof also works without "a bit," but sans "a"

Just invite him. He'll not join us anyway, he is aloof.

For other nouns, "recluse" and "hermit" also work with your sentence. The other answer covered "reclusive."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.