I am writing a scene where a character interacts with someone he cannot see and does not know - in essence anonymous stranger, with no visual aids. Are there any other words or phrases I can use to refer to the second party instead of "the other"? Because of the lack of visuals, I cannot say "the man with the hat" or something similar, and since positions relative to each other are important, I cannot accurately depict their motions/actions relative to each other in detail without using "the other." A lot of motions are going on and I'm sick of using the same repetitive phrase.

For example, "The other flipped him over their shoulder."

Either a phrase or a single word replacement works fine, I just want to have something that conveys the meaning without giving away detail that the character doesn't have that isn't "the other."

  • Perhaps, Jane/John Doe? Feb 25, 2019 at 9:20
  • Writing might be a better place to ask for help avoiding repetitive phrasing.
    – Barmar
    Feb 26, 2019 at 1:37
  • You can describe their relationship, e.g. "his assailant", "his opponent", etc.
    – Barmar
    Feb 26, 2019 at 1:38
  • I did not see that there was writing, thank you! I'll try your suggestions and see how it goes. @Barmar
    – user337716
    Feb 26, 2019 at 1:44

1 Answer 1


Why not call them "the stranger"?

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