Something along the lines of 'hero of the occasion', but specifically for birthday? If there isn't, how would you otherwise say that?

('the subject of birthday party', 'the hero of this birthday party', 'birthday's hero' all sound stupid somehow).


I have often heard the person in question informally referred to as the "Birthday Boy/Girl". e.g.

The birthday girl was having a wonderful time at her party.

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  • I've heard this used before, but it feels highly colloquial. – dbkk Jan 8 '11 at 5:15
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    @dbkk, it is highly colloquial, but there isn't any more formal alternative. Plus, how many times do you have to discuss birthday parties in a formal setting? – JSBձոգչ Jan 8 '11 at 6:04
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    Perhaps "birthday gent" and "birthday lady" would do: just formal enough to avoid being inadvertently demeaning by saying "boy" or "girl", and just informal enough to retain some lightheartedness. They're still perhaps a bit posh, but a time for all things, right? – Jon Purdy Jan 8 '11 at 16:17
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    If you want a short term, "Birthday Boy/Girl" is the standard terminology, informal as it is. If you really need formality, then you will have to use a longer descriptive term such as "the person whose birthday is being celebrated". – nohat Jan 8 '11 at 18:53
  • In the UK we'd say "birthday boy/girl" regardless of the age. – Rupe Jul 30 '14 at 9:15

Though its usage isn't limited to birthday parties, I like "guest of honor."

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    As a birthday celebrant is usually the host, this doesn't seem to be a good fit in typical situations. – user86291 Jul 30 '14 at 10:57

In a birthday situation, the word 'celebrant' would be generally understood to mean the one whose birthday is being celebrated.

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    The word "celebrant" is perhaps more commonly used to refer to someone presiding over a religious ceremony (priest, vicar etc). – psmears Jan 9 '11 at 17:25
  • @psmears: It depends on the context, situation or environment. Here in the US, this word may not be widely used, but in the part of the English-speaking world where I spent my formative years, celebrant was (and still is) the default term for the person celebrating the birthday; even seven year-olds use and understand this word. – Jimi Oke Jan 9 '11 at 21:02
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    I'm not contradicting you - just pointing out (for the benefit of those who haven't come across the word) that it does have this other meaning! – psmears Jan 9 '11 at 21:31
  • @psmears: Point taken! No hard feelings. – Jimi Oke Jan 10 '11 at 2:51
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    In Virginia, a celebrant is a legal term meaning one who is authorized to preside over a wedding (sometimes a clergyman or a judge but often just someone who registered with the Commonwealth to fill that role) -- not the parties being wed. – Malvolio Jul 19 '11 at 21:51

My first reaction was that the birthday boy or girl is the "Fetted" person, which upon research appears to not be a (current) dictionary word!

For what it’s word Here are some usages of it from culture, via https://www.wordnik.com/words/fetted:

In hindsight, asked Marr "is there anything different you might have done over the past decade, anything you did wrong ... maybe became too enthrawled by the magic of these bankers you knighted, fetted, appointed to high office?"

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Living in an age when women as writers and playwrights were not as evident or plentiful as they are today, Hellman felt she could take liberties with the truth knowing full well how Hemingway and other fetted and celebrated male writers were also bound to fudge the truth, or embellish.

The scandalous Lillian Hellman

It seems to be very fringe but a fun and useful word, despite the similarity to "Fetid".

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Would celebrantee be okay (although maybe a bit neologismic)?

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  • That would have to be *celebree and ? neologistic. – Tim Lymington Sep 13 '13 at 22:03
  • I agree that the word would have to be celebree based on the usual way in which French words enter English. I came up with it independently and was shocked to see that it's not in the OED. Apart from some isolated uses in a Festschrift context, all Google Books hits for the word seem to be for occurrences in French quotations. – user86291 Jul 30 '14 at 11:02

The word celebrant may be the best, though Christians uses it in their holy masses here in Uganda.

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    Please elaborate on your answer. It provide no reason why celebrant should be used. – Matt E. Эллен Jul 30 '14 at 18:28

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