3

For example, I wish to borrow a book from someone. In order to assure that person that I will treat their book carefully, I want to refer them to someone I have already borrowed a book from in the past who knows that I am responsible.

What is the word for that person who can recommend me?

2 Answers 2

3

Such a person is reference:

reference, noun : A person who is in a position to recommend another or to vouch for his or her fitness.

6
  • I guess this would work in some situations, but I was looking for a word that could be used more informally...
    – Lars89
    Jan 4, 2012 at 19:20
  • Most synonyms (backer, guarantor, patron) are more formal, not less; unless you want go with something like buddy or mate.
    – Gnawme
    Jan 4, 2012 at 19:31
  • It seems like there should be a more efficient way to say 'someone to vouch for me.' I was looking for a term that would be used in everyday speech (outside of strictly business contexts), but perhaps there is none other than 'buddy' or 'mate' or the like.
    – Lars89
    Jan 4, 2012 at 19:45
  • 1
    Is this perhaps the original meaning of a reference librarian? She knows you have borrowed and returned books in the past, so she vouches that you will do so in the future. (My wife was a reference librarian years ago and thinks this is one of the few decent jokes I have come up with in years. :-) Jan 4, 2012 at 19:51
  • 1
    When I use "reference" outside of a business context, it means "character reference" to most people, which seems to be what you're after. Or you can just say, "My next-door neighbor can vouch for me."
    – Gnawme
    Jan 4, 2012 at 20:04
0

Since such a person would be attesting to your reliability, perhaps some form of one who attests might work, e.g., attestant, attester, or attestator.

Otherwise, there are a few legal terms you could choose from if you didn't mind raising a few eyebrows, e.g., deponent, cojuror, and compurgator.

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.