What is the male equivalent to the term "cougar"?

Clarifying ... The term "cougar" describes an older woman seeking younger men. So a male equivalent would be an older man seeking younger women. While we have a term for women, it seemed to me that it was historically assumed that older men sought out younger women. In other words, men who pursued women, "womanizers" "philanderers" etc. were also going after younger women so a separate term was not required. (From this site, "cougar" seems to have been first used in Western Canada around 2002.)

This is in part a sociological question. We have differentiated older women, but I suspect that the older man seeking younger women was simply part of our societal assumptions. Hollywood movies attest to this assumption.

I hope this helps ...

  • 2
    Dirty old man? Chicken hawk? Commented Jul 3 at 23:56
  • 2
    Do you mean where a younger man pursues an older woman? Or rather where an older man pursues a younger woman? Commented Jul 4 at 1:25
  • 3
    Or for that matter, where an older man pursues a younger man? Commented Jul 4 at 1:29
  • 1
    Is it attractiveness, predatoriness, or both, that you're after?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 4 at 8:48
  • 1
    @TinfoilHat I would describe a younger man who pursues an older woman as counterpart, but not equivalent to a cougar whereas an older man pursuing younger women could be described as either so I would assume the latter
    – Tristan
    Commented Jul 4 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


Silver fox

Per Merriam Webster, this is

“an attractive middle-aged man having mostly gray or white hair.”

This does not cover the aspect of "cougar" relating to trying to attract younger people - but this concept inherently relies on society generally making the sexist assumption that "normal women" would not be attractive to younger men and may not have a preference for younger men as their partner. No such assumption exists for men, and in fact it is very socially acceptable for men to be older than their partner. As such, society has not invented a word for a difference which it does not consider to exist.

Sugar daddy

could potentially be used. However this describes a situation where an older man provides financially for a (normally) younger woman as part of a highly-transactional relationship, and not the age gap per se. It is also highly pejorative for both sides, since it explicitly states that the woman is being paid to be with him, and as such it strongly implies that the woman is a sex worker.

  • 1
    I have updated the question. Silver Fox above is getting at what I am trying to find out and also probing a bit .. wondering if there were terms out there of which I was not aware that captured this dimension of seeking younger women on the part of men Commented Jul 4 at 13:37
  • 2
    As for the UD it is also cited in the official list of acceptable source as a possible reference for slang terms: english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2573/…
    – user 66974
    Commented Jul 5 at 7:17

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.