I was wondering whether there is a single word that describes someone who no matter where he goes or where he finds himself (physically or situation-wise) manages to get by, survive, deal with problems and life and even thrive?

It should have the the same meaning as saying "Tom is like a cat, he always lands on his feet" like so "Tom is a _____, he always manages to get by".


  • 1
    Are you looking for nouns only? There are a great many adjectives and phrases that can get your message across
    – Arunkgp
    Apr 14, 2020 at 7:14
  • How would it be different than survivor, which is already implied in your question? Apr 15, 2020 at 19:53
  • I'd prefer nouns but adjectives would be nice too. I'm not sure Yankee is what I'm looking for as it refers to US citizens (I'm from outside the US) Technically survivor fits the bill but it has a life-risking feeling to it like "surviving in the jungle", "surviving a plain crash" or "surviving on a deserted island". While it is true that you can say "surviving in the city" but I was wondering if there is a word that fits better Apr 16, 2020 at 5:36
  • I have heard the expression, "Tom is like teflon; nothing can scratch his surface." Apr 19, 2020 at 18:56
  • @Uri Greenberg I suggested Yankee as a sort of joke--the stories that hace been passed down to us portray the old Yankees (of whom some still exist, wearing red flannel shirts, cutting firewood up in the Catskill Mountains in New York) as gritty tough fellows that died hard.
    – Conrado
    Apr 19, 2020 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


How about survivor (noun) or resilient (adjective) (M-W):

Survivor: one who survives

Survive: to continue to function or prosper despite : WITHSTAND; e.g., they survived many hardships

Resilient: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

  • Thank you for your answers Richard. Survivor feels too life-death scenarios related but I think resilient fits the bill! May 16, 2020 at 8:42

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