By forming a noun from a verb, the person that steals is called a stealer. What do you call a person that is being stolen from?

Is there a corresponding noun that denotes the object of this action, as there is for verbs like employ (employer, employee), call (caller, callee), etc.?


3 Answers 3


There is no such single noun that I am aware of. We might say the one stolen from or the victim.

Colloquially you could find terms like the mark or the patsy but I would not recommend using them except under restricted circumstances and informal usage.

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    Under restricted circumstances. Do you mean in prison? Aug 29, 2012 at 20:19
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    I think "mark" and "patsy" are more commonly used for the victim of a fraud than a simple theft. "Victim" is an appropriate word, but a victim can be the target of any crime, from trespassing to murder, so you'd have to make clear what the crime is in context.
    – Jay
    Aug 29, 2012 at 20:50
  • @Jay I am just glad I did not marry a girl named Patsy, or would we be in for some bad luck. Aug 29, 2012 at 20:52

Well, you could say "the robbed".

Some of those people who were robbed by the banking system in 2008 are still having a hard time, eleven years later.

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    But it would be unusual to use it that way, and probably cause the reader to stumble.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 26, 2019 at 16:42
  • The question is about stealing, not specifically robbery.
    – jsw29
    Aug 24, 2021 at 21:58

Theft is a crime so legal words are appropriate. The legal word for the victim of theft (or robbery or burglary) is (in England) "the loser".

See https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Theft-offences-definitive-guideline-Web.pdf

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