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Is there a single English word for that?

For example, if Hinata calls Naruto her crush, what is Hinata to Naruto?

What can Naruto call Hinata?

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7 Answers 7

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If Hinata has a crush on Naruto, Hinata is Naruto's admirer.


Edit following a request to explain this answer: It doesn't help that a crush can take many forms, but Lexico offers both "A person who has a particular regard for someone" and "A person who has a sexual or romantic interest in someone" as definitions for admirer, which covers three possible types of crush: admiration, sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

As commenters have noted, it's not an exact or exclusive match and it's certainly more formal than the term crush, but I reckon admirer is the nearest word we have and covers crushes even if it is not specific to them. What it lacks is an indication of informality, brevity or intensity.

"Secret admirer" exceeds the one-word request, but it is often used is a more playful sense than plain old admirer, and examples like this article from Psychology today "How to Tell If Someone Has a Crush on You... Practical ways to detect secret admirers" specifically link secret (and not-so-secret) admirers to crushes.

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    If you want to add a definition to help this answer, you can use this one from the OED: "A person who is enamoured of or in love with another; a suitor, a wooer." It might also be worth noting that if you want to emphasize that Naruto doesn't know about the crush, you could call Hinata a "secret admirer."
    – scohe001
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 18:19
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    You can absolutely have a crush on people you don't admire. Most people crushing on someone wouldn't call themselves that persons admirer. I think it's too formal of a moniker for how informal a crush often is.
    – jdf
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 21:54
  • @jdf, admirer has a sort of a technical sense in the contexts that have to do with romance, and one can be said to be somebody's admirer, in that special sense, even in the cases in which it would be misleading to say, without qualification, that one admires the person. You are right, though, that admirer does not capture the informality and playfulness of crush.
    – jsw29
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 15:04
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A has a crush on B :

  • B is A's crush

  • A is B's suitor, admirer, lover (may suggest reciprocity), swain(old fashionned)… More synonyms on www.thesaurus.com.

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    It is an understatement to say that lover 'may suggest reciprocity'; lover, in the sense in which most people use the word, definitely implies reciprocity. It also implies that the two have entered some kind of a relationship. Suitor implies that one is taking some actions that are aimed at achieving reciprocity; crush doesn't. The only term here that suits the OP's purposes is admirer, but that term has already been presented in @NickK's earlier answer.
    – jsw29
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:41
  • also "object of one's affection" or "object of one's attention"
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:20
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    object of one's desire might also work.
    – NomadMaker
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:24
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    @jcolebrand Those describe "B"/Naruto just like "crush", not "A"/Hinata like "admirer".
    – aschepler
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 21:28
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    A lover means you love someone (either with emotional love or through intimate relations). A crush is informal. There is no way you can state that someone with a crush on someone is that persons lover.
    – jdf
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 21:44
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If Hinata has a crush on Naruto, then Naruto is Hinata's crushee.

Crushee (noun): The person on whom one has a crush (infatuation). [Your Dictionary]

You could also say that Hinata is Naruto's suitor (a bit old-fashioned though) or Natuto's wooer.

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    I thought of this term with a smile, never having the slightest idea it could be in a dictionary, so technical it sounds to me. It must be issued from the lucubrations of some psychologist and reserved to their professional discourse.
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:20
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If Hinata has a crush on Naruto, Hinata is Naruto's devotee.

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    I've had many crushes in my life, and with none of them would I ever accept the label of being a devotee to the person I was crushing on.
    – jdf
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 21:43
  • Of course not, @jdf. The term devotee does have a negative connotation for the person labelled as such. As the person with unrequited love for someone, you would much rather see yourself as a lover, a paramour, or at least a love interest. But none of those more complimentary terms are applicable if the other person has no feelings for you. Still, I'm up-voting your answer as being more generalized and better than mine.
    – RobJarvis
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 12:38
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There is no single english language word for a person who has a crush on someone else.

crush: an infatuation with someone one is not dating

The word has an implication that the infatuation is in the earliest stages. Often it is driven by inexplicable feeling and not by knowing the object of the crush well or even at all. It is often unacknowledged and the person being crushed on frequently doesn't know it exists. People may have many crushes at once. People may have an intense crush one day that is absent entirely the next.

Common usages are a crush on someone you just met, a celebrity crush, or a school-aged crush (puppy-love).

Many suggestions here may fit for a specific instance where someone has a crush, but do not cover the entirety of the connotations of the word. Assigning it a single word brings in too many assumptions and connotations that break the simplicity of a crush.

TL;DR

If Hinata has a crush on Naruto, she is simply "someone with a crush on Naruto".

Naruto can call Hinata "someone with a crush on me".

Anything else and you're making a statement about Hinata's feelings that you don't know to be true.

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hanger-on, pl. hangers-on

hang·er-on (hăng′ər-ŏn′, -ôn′) n. pl. hang·ers-on (-ərz-) A person who spends time in the company of another person or of a group out of admiration or for personal gain.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/hangers-on

This typically applies to an attractive person who has a lot of admirers. They enjoy the admirers' company (or it makes them feel special) but only want them as friends. The hangers-on are hoping for more than friendship.

In some cases these people exploit their hangers-on by getting them to perform tasks in return for a smile or a kind word.

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  • 1/ The first stress is secondary stress.Main stress is on "on". 2/ You assume the point of view that there is no real crush, even a case of more or less reproachable motivations. All of that is absent from the context of the question.
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:31
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    @LPH - "... out of admiration or for personal gain ..." The wished-for personal gain can be a desire to be loved by one's crush. The bitterness of many divorces show that "true" love isn't always in the picture - merely infatuation. True love is through thick and thin. Most crushes are unrealistic and temporary. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:38
  • This personal point of view, that some might call pessimistic and/or cynical, which I will not do as it appears to be a profound conviction of yours and as you might very well be not far from the truth, is still an added point of view that is not part of the premise in this question. There is just the plain assumption of a true crush and the question of what that entails linguistically in the light of our acknowledging it as such, a true crush, and not otherwise.
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:48
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    @LPH - I am not claiming that my answer is the only answer but it is an answer. But how do you define a "true" crush? Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:50
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    @LPH - It seems we are talking at cross-purposes. The feelings of having a crush aren't fake - they may simply not be anything other than self-interest - typically the person with a crush knows little about the subject and has a distorted view of reality about them. Yes that is a cynical point of view but I'm not entirely cynical. I'm happy with my answer and don't want to get too deep into my personal philosophy of life so I'll leave it here. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:20
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Hinata is to Naruto basically a conquest although it remains to be determined how exactly Naruto feels about Hinata's crush. It must be kept in mind that conquests, in love, do not have to be the outcome of any special yearning from the "conqueror" and can simply be granted him/her through the sole power of charm.

Addition aiming at countering, at least to a certain extend, the contentions expressed in the comments

a) merriam-Webster a person whose favor or hand has been won

b) OALD​ [uncountable] approval or support for somebody/something

c) Wiktionary (colloquial, figuratively) A person whose romantic affections one has gained, or with whom one has had sex.

d) dictionary.com a person whose favor, affection, etc., has been won: He's another one of her conquests.

e) Google Books

enter image description here David Chantrey, chapter XXX

f) urbandictionary conquest: either noun or verb, depending on which way is west and whether the sun shines above or below

  • a person who one wishes to become much closer to, often a long-term goal; one that another wishes to date, but that the one that we formerly referred to as "another" does not see as quite in reach at or for the time being; the act of going after such a person.

1/ It can be seen from the definitions that the agent of the action this name implies can be as well a male as a female; "person" (as the object) is the term often found in the definition; therefore, taking into account only the sentimental male-female relationships, the agents are persons of both sexes. The examples in "d)" and "e)" show female agents, although "e)" does not provide a very explicit case. Therefore there are no significant sexist connotations deriving from the term "conquest". It might be argued that there exists the beginning of a modern tendency towards giving the term a slight sexist tinge in conjunction with its use in sexual contexts; nevertheless, that is not sufficient to justify a taboo on this term as it is widely used also in non-sexual contexts.

2/ To show, in the words of user BoldBen, that "a romantic conquest does not necessarily involves specific attempts to attract the admirer" I think that "e) is perfect. It is clear that the context can't be sexual and moreover that a multiplicity a courtship relations is impossible. (A reading of chapter XXX makes those deductions certain.)

3/ There is in modern times a reality very similar to that taken up again in "2/", i.e. "making conquests passively"; it stems from a new usage in the making of the word "conquest", usage which is closely connected in meaning but that will tend to muddle the mind of the users of the language; it can be understood from f). The "conquest" is not in this context the person affected with a crush but the the person who is the object of the crush. Nevertheless, the explanation leaves no doubt, for this acception of the term conquest there exists between the two person no relationship on the level of the feelings implied except possibly one of rejection by the conquest. That similarity is a really a proof of nothing but I found it so oddly reminiscent of the context under discussion that it seemed to be worth mentioning here.

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    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:35

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