What does it mean? A playboy? Like a womanizer?

I was watching a video on YouTube where a British man said "he's a lover of ladies" but then goes on to say "he's a very nice guy" and now I'm confused.

He's not a teenager. He's almost 30.

Is it a player, cheater, womanizer, etc.? If not, then what is it?

If "lover of ladies" means a cheater then he won't be calling him a "very nice guy" but I've searched everywhere and didn't find anything to suggest what the meaning is.

This is an old reading but the question still stands. Even if not in a palm reading but if someone uses this phrase, am I supposed to use the pejorative sense?

The link for reference: https://youtu.be/aXjPUqsmSrs

  • 1
    Given that it's a palm reading, it would be difficult to take anything said seriously. Palm readers (like others in the fortune telling community) will always put a positive spin on their 'readings' so that the clients are happy. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 12:36
  • 'A lover of ladies' is a double entendre. You're correct that the default sense is pejorative. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 12:39
  • 5
    I don't think it's pejorative. The phrase may imply a certain admiration of women, but it does so without any implication of judgment.
    – R Mac
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 12:52
  • 5
    If he's not married, he isn't necessarily a 'cheater'. Attitudes vary. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 13:00
  • 2
    I'm not sure it implies cheating or mistreating, although it certainly implies someone who'll have a lot of short-term romantic relationships or sexual encounters, or at least someone who is a flirt and always ready with a compliment. He may have commitment issues (not settling down with one woman). But you can have multiple sexual partners without cheating, lying, etc.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 10:00

5 Answers 5


The general phrasing X-er of Ys is generative in English. The form crops up in many contexts to artfully describe a quality that could be explained more plainly. Sometimes the phrasing elevates or mystifies; other times, it pokes fun:

Lover of ladies can be placed in the same group. For instance, it can be used to artfully describe someone who is popular with the ladies and treats them well, without any pejorative sense:

In all of these works, waving, abundant hair that moves belongs to idealized characters, those possessing virtue, purity, elite status, and bravery - [...] the man (or angel) who is a heroic adventurer, a lover of ladies, or a prince. (Edith Snook, "Beautiful Hair, health, and Privilege in Early Modern England," Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Vol. 15, No. 4, Fall 2015, p. 26)

Such a phrase can also be used to suggest licentious promiscuity specifically, but ideally the context would make this usage clear based on context. For instance, this blurb from a comic book preview definitely suggests promiscuity (through the trope of the super spy, not to mention pairing "lover of ladies" with "man-slut"), though whether this is pejorative or merely descriptive may be left to the reader:

Jack Steele: World renowned agent of OLYMPUS, super-spy, debonair, lover of ladies, man-slut. (Multiversity Comics review of The Illegitimates #1, quoting the blurb)

All that said, a palm reading can deliberately omit clarifying the statement, leaving it up to the person receiving the reading whether he is a lover of ladies in a positive or negative way.


He knows it is considered a pejorative because he follows it "I or he's a nice guy". He is defending himself against the common view of the phase. That is understood in this context. He is a womanizer and all that but does not consider himself so bad after all. Holding onto the idea of himself as a "very nice guy" in spite of his admission is the point of the exchange. This is what brings the feeling of a contradiction when it is just his twisted opinion.


I interpret it to mean simply "He likes women". Some men like women some men don't like women, some men manipulate women, some men date a lot of women but don't really like them. Some men like women as friends.

For the benefit of this man's fans he is deliberately using an ambiguous term (as all fortune tellers do). The female listeners will draw their own conclusion. Because the phrase has been paired with "nice guy", they will probably believe that he enjoys being with women for their company. On the other hand, some women find a man more attractive if he is more 'experienced' than they are. Who knows whether he has lots of lovers? He may be gay. George Michael for example had a huge female following and he was gay. There is a widely circulated stereotype that attractive women like to have gay male friends.

The point is that only the fans will be interested in this palm-reading and they don't want to hear anything bad about their idol.


The term is ambiguous, and probably deliberately so.

At the simplest level it means "He loves women" but "love" is a very ambiguous word, meaning anything from "is very fond of" to "has sex with".

Obviously "has sex with" does not mean he is also "very fond of".


Consider: I am a lover of chocolate/grand opera/Italian wines. This is the same sense of "lover."


2. A person who has an affection, predilection, fancy, or liking for a thing (action, idea, etc.). Frequently with of, and as the second element in compounds. [...] art-lover, bird-lover, book-lover, music lover, wine-lover, etc.,

c1350 Ayenbite (1866) App. 270 Yet eft þe wordle þyestre, uor þe louyeres of þe wordle byeþ þyestre.

1974 R. A. Caro Power Broker vi. xxix. 672 The War Department can stop it..especially when the sapient being is a lover of New York.

2004 Delicious June 97 Scotland's gastropubs offer food-lovers the chance to enjoy fresh local produce.

  • So the person in question loves all types of ladies/women in general, regardless of wealth, age or build, just as a book lover enjoys reading different genres of books. A lover of ladies needn't make love to women. I'm not sure that is the most common interpretation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 7:20

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.