What's a word for someone that I haven't seen in a long time? I remember one person saying: "Oh, wow! I think I'm seeing a ghost. I can't believe it's you!" But I'm not so sure if "ghost" is right, given that seeing a ghost means "appearing to be very scared or shocked." Any suggestions are welcome! =)

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    A long-lost friend/relative. – user358018 Jun 30 at 17:29
  • I suppose. I'm pretty sure there is a specific word, though... =) – user386357 Jun 30 at 17:50
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    Just to point out “looked like he’s seen a ghost” is scared or shocked. But that’s not what’s happening here. Saying “I must be seeing a ghost” means “I see you but I (figuratively) thought you were dead because I hadn’t seen you in so long. (Sometimes with the added nuance that being dead is the only acceptable reason for staying out of contact- that a good friend would have been in touch before now) – Jim Jun 30 at 18:20
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    Some people will say, “Well hi stranger” as a joking way to refer to someone they haven’t seen in a long time. Especially when they think it’s the stranger’s fault for the long absence. – Jim Jun 30 at 18:23
  • @Jim Thank you for your help! =) – user386357 Jun 30 at 18:44

How about the idiom blast from the past? From M-W:

blast from the past: a striking reminder of an earlier time : something that excites nostalgia

This is a broader term than meeting someone you haven't seen in a long time, but it captures perfectly the emotions one would feel upon doing so.


Wow! Seeing you is a real blast from the past!

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