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I have designed a game that involves parents' arranging marriages for their children (think pre-modern European nobility). I need terms to describe the person (male or female) for whom a match is being sought, as well as the person that the parents are attempting to match him or her with.

It would be great if there actually were specific terms for this sort of thing (where the prospective bride and groom are not active participants), but I'm unaware of any and I'm not expecting to find them. Therefore, I am willing to settle for the term "suitor" for the person for whom a marriage is being sought (even though it sounds more active than it is). However, I can't find any word that would remotely signify the match sought. Logically, it could be "suitee," but that doesn't actually seem to exist (besides the fact that it sounds a little too close to suttee).

I would settle for any reasonable pair of words that would indicate the sought/seeking relationship, e.g. wooer/wooee, if it sounds halfway reasonable (which wooer and wooee do not) and will be readily understood.

Edit: For a sample sentence, "You [as a player] select one of your heirs as the suitor, and another player's heir as the ______."

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    The person being sought could be described as a prospect - I've heard that term before in connection with matchmaking, though I don't have a specific reference to hand. What terms do dating and matchmaking websites use?
    – nnnnnn
    Feb 21, 2020 at 3:11
  • @ChappoSaysSEDuddedMonica Hmm, the problem is that I need it more as a label than as part of a sentence, but I will try to come up with an appropriate sentence anyway.
    – Derek
    Feb 21, 2020 at 15:57
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    The defendant...
    – jxh
    Feb 21, 2020 at 16:38
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    I'm going to accept "intended," below, but "prospect" and "match" are both good and I had thought of both of them. +1 for "pretrothed," but I need to keep the tone in line with the seriousness of the nobility. :)
    – Derek
    Feb 21, 2020 at 18:03
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    I like the pair of suitor and sought... but that's making a noun of a verb, and I just checked, and they don't share any sort of historical root.
    – stevesliva
    Feb 22, 2020 at 4:42

2 Answers 2

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Intended

3rd sense at the Dictionary.com link,

noun Informal. the person one plans to marry

"You select one of your heirs as the suitor, and another player's heir as the intended."

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  • As your user is making the selection in the sentence, your user intends this match.
    – user662852
    Feb 21, 2020 at 16:27
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betrothed can be used for this.

Oxford dictionay says:

The person to whom one is engaged.

‘how long have you known your betrothed?’

‘Bassianus, who is already engaged to Lavinia, reclaims his betrothed with the help of Titus' sons.’

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    The problem is, that only applies once the match has been accepted. I'm looking for a word for a "prospective betrothed."
    – Derek
    Feb 21, 2020 at 15:54

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