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From this morning, in an online conversation, of mine, about Econo Lodge franchises.

My usual on-line go-to place to resolve such close differences in words is, https://wikidiff.com/franchiser/franchisor .

I see that franchiser is a synonym of franchisor, whereas, franchiser is more basic in the sense of further latitude in meaning. Which option makes more sense, in the above noted sense?

franchiser

English Noun (en noun) A franchisor, a company which or person who grants franchises. (rare) A person who has the right to vote.

  • 1843 ,", book 3, chapter XIII, "Democracy No man oppresses thee, O free and independent Franchiser : but does not this stupid Porter-pot oppress thee? No Son of Adam can bid thee come or go; but this absurd Pot of Heavy-wet, this can and does!

franchisor

English Noun (en noun) A company which or person who grants franchises. Synonyms

  • franchiser
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2 Answers 2

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Confusion seems to have arisen between franchiser and franchisee. The "-ee" suffix refers to the one who may accept something and the "er" usually refers to the one furnishing that thing thing (Compare offerer - 2. A person who presents something for acceptance; one who makes an offer or proposal; and offeree - a person to whom something is or has been offered;)

However, confusion was introduced between the -er suffix and the -or suffix. They are normally considered to be the same and implying the agent doing the action (inspector; worker).

As if this were not enough, the law then had mortgagor - the borrower in a mortgage, typically a homeowner., and mortgagee the lender in a mortgage, typically a bank. BUT a mortager -> a person who mortgages property (and hence) the borrower in a mortgage; = mortgagor n. Also occasionally (in popular use): the creditor or lender in a mortgage; = mortgagee n. 2

And so it is with Franchiser and franchiser and franchisee. The distinctions between agent and patient have become confused.

The OED gives

franchiser, n.

Etymology: Partly < franchise n. + -er suffix1, and partly < franchise v. + -er suffix1.
A person in possession of a franchise, [...] or who grants a franchise, esp. (originally U.S.) a commercial one (see franchise n.2e, and cf. franchisor n.).

1976 Times 14 Dec. 20/2 Kentucky Fried Chicken, second to Wimpy..as Britain's largest food franchisers, is planning a £1.25m expansion programme.

franchisor, n.

Etymology: < franchise v. + -or suffix. Compare earlier franchiser n. and franchisee n.

A person who or company which grants commercial franchises (franchise n. 2e). Cf. franchiser n.

1990 Reader's Digest Aug. 130/1 Because advertising, training, supply and other services are provided by the franchisor, a franchise has a much better chance of succeeding than an independent company.

franchisee, n.

Etymology: < franchise v. + -ee suffix1. Compare earlier franchiser n. A holder of a commercial franchise (franchise n.2e).

1966 Economist 9 July 148/1 Franchisers, to be successful, must to some degree tell their franchisees what to sell and at what price.

Thus franchiser and franchisee may be the same, as may franchisor and franchiser.

All definitions = OED

Edit to add earliest record of the words:

Franchiser originally meant a person with a vote:

1555 R. Sherry Treat. Figures Gram. & Rhetorike f. lxiiv For the Citizens of Rome, both wer thei fraunchisers, and brought out of other countreys, there to enhabite.

But was repurposed in American English to someone who holds a franchise.

1889 Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 2 Dec. 1/2 The apparatus is intended to assist railroad franchisers to turn the corners of streets with their cable cars.

1949 Wall St. Jrnl. 1 Feb. 6/5 Hertz supplies accounting information, helps franchisers set up rate structures and advises them on buying equipment.

Franchisee: 1956 Trademark Reporter 46 45 Opposer adopted the word slim for vitamin-fortified skim milk in 1949 and by use of franchises extended the sale of its products to 40 dairies in 21 states. Mark is normally used in conjunction with the primary mark of the franchisee.

Franchisor 1960 Jrnl. Marketing 25 102/1 The franchisor's activities are largely contained in the establishment of ‘brand recognition’ and in advertising in the areas where franchised outlets operate to establish recognition.

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  • So, is the gist of the answer that that franchiser is ambiguous in that it can stand for either side of the relationship, but francisor is not?
    – jsw29
    Sep 14, 2020 at 15:13
  • Yes, from what I see, that is so.
    – Greybeard
    Sep 14, 2020 at 16:45
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The definition of a franchiser is a company that {offers} franchise rights to those who want to own a franchise.

The definition of a franchisor is a company which or person who has granted {and governs} a franchise.

So if you are referring to someone (or some company) that offers franchise rights, use franchiser, but if you are referring to the entity that granted franchise rights, use franchisor.

"The ABC company is a franchiser who became the franchisor of John's new company."

For additional sourcing, read Franchisor and Franchiser.

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  • The facts that the Online Business Dictionary only list one variant and Wikidiff labels these as synonyms surely strongly suggest they're best seen as spelling variants. Aug 11, 2020 at 15:25
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    @Christopher Do you mean that a company which offers franchises but has not had any taken up is is a franchiser but as soon as one franchise has been taken up it becomes the franchisor for that franchise? Does that also mean that the same company is simultaneously a franchiser in that it is offering additional franchises and a franchisor in that it is managing and profiting from the granted franchise(s)? That seems like a very subtle difference to me.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 13, 2020 at 0:23
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    @ BoldBen - simply put, an offerer=er, a providor=or. A company that offers franchising rights is a franchiser because they are offering them. But once someone agrees to be a franchisee, the franchiser becomes a franchisor to the franchisee only. A franchiser offers, and franchisor governs the agreement and financially benefits. An example would be the difference between a salesman and a contractor--the salesman is a salesman before the sale, and becomes a contractor after the sale. (see additional explanation below) Sep 14, 2020 at 12:02
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    @ BoldBen - continued from above - We don't use the word, Contracter, because we don't differentiate between the offerer and the provider, but Franchiser/Franchisor does. Sep 14, 2020 at 12:07
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    You fail to include 'franchiser a company or manufacturer that grants franchises also sp. fran′chi·sor' in your first definition, which is misquoting. And I fail to see where your specifying definitions are supported in your other quotes. If you actually use such specialist usages, you need (on ELU) to give a reference actually contrasting (in one article) those specified definitions. They certainly aren't the only ones. Sep 14, 2020 at 17:00

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