flirting with people

This formerly read-only archive of threads dates back to 1996, but as of March 2007 is open to new postings. For technical reasons, the early dates shown do not accurately reflect the actual date of posting.

Feel free to add new postings to any of the existing threads in the archived forums, but please create any new language-related threads in one of the Language Discussion Forums.
Post Reply

flirting with people

Post by Archived Topic » Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:17 am

We are looking for the English word(s) which means a person who devotes a lot of attention to one person, say, in an informal discussion, and then quickly moves on to another and does the same. "Flirt" is not strong enough, but it is something along those lines. We are translating from Chinese, and cannot find an English term for this. Thanks.
Submitted by ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Topic imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:32 am

I believe a phrase that suits this may be someone who is very compassionate to many people and is very attracted to them. or they may just be someone who likes to talk alot.
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:46 am

.. the easy path is to consult that learned tome, The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000, where we find the following >>>
INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures. 2. To deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with: flirt with danger. 3. To move abruptly or jerkily.
NOUN: 1. One given to flirting.
SYNONYMS: flirt, dally, play, toy, trifle These verbs mean to deal lightly, casually, or flippantly with someone or something: flirted with the idea of getting a job; dallying with music; can't play with life; toyed with the problem; a person not to be trifled with.
.. a quick whip through Roget finds similar synonyms but with the addition of "coquetry" which has a decided sexual undertone added to the flirting ..
.. another phrase that you might consider, but which may have only regional significance, is describing the person as being a "social butterfly" .. this phrase encompases all the visuals of attractiveness, elusiveness, flitting from one source of interest to another that one associates with the flight of a butterfly .. but as I say it is a slang expression used in Aus and I am not sure of how widely it is used .. over to you Ken .. *smile* .. after my superficial look at the question ..
Wizard of Oz, Australia. 12/11/03
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:01 am

Dear (-), I don’t have too much to add to the Wiz’s superficial discussion. (<:) The expression ‘social butterfly’ is a slang expression dating back to the 16th century meaning an individual who flits from one party or social gathering to another. It’s close but I don’t think it’s quite there since it describes a person who bounces from one social function to another rather than the person at a gathering who feigns intense interest and quickly moves on in a serial fashion.

I can’t think of a word that quite nails what you are trying to say, but a type of person that is in that category is a ‘glad-hander’[early 20th century]. A glad-hander is one who greets others with feigned enthusiasm and effusiveness. However, they may or may not do so serially and the encounters are usually brief. “The candidates spent weeks glad-handing about the state.” “Visiting officials were being glad-handed at the reception by CEOs hoping to land major contracts.”
____________________________________________________________

Ken G – November 11, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:15 am

Dear (-), Got to thinking after sending the above posting that I’d seen ‘glad-hander’ used in more than a greeting mode and that it might be a closer fit than I had first thought. Checked a few more sources and looks like that is the case. Their unabridged dictionary does list it as ‘informal’ English. So it is not Standard English, but it is a step above slang if you are worried about using it in a translation. Here’s what the ‘Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang’ had to say:

GLAD-HANDER noun: a person, often a politician, who greets others effusively and usually insincerely: one who seeks self-aggrandizement through flattery and feigned cordiality. <1918 “Stop at Suzanne’s” by Clover, p.134: Well, this...[fellow] is a glad-hander, besides being a mighty clever man.> <1929 ‘Chicago’ by Merriam, p.275: “One type [of politician] is the good fellow, the mixer, the ‘joiner,’ the glad hander, whose chief reliance is the cultivation of the personal friendship of individuals and the acquaintance with all sorts of groups and societies of a non-political nature.> <1934: ‘Dictionary of Slang’ by Weseen, p.342: ‘Glad hander’—person who is always very friendly and cheerful. He is often suspected of ulterior motives.> <1963 ‘Queen St.’ by Gant, p.156: “He was a glad-hander,... a tinhorn politician.> <1972 ‘Geronimo Rex’ by Hannah, p.108: “In their ranks were the hard-lipped scowlers for Jesus and the radiant happy gladhanders for Jesus.> <1986 ‘New York’ (Dec.15) 36: “Reagan...is the glad-hander most at home at the ceremonial functions other politicians abhor.>
____________________________________________

It actually looks to me like a fairly good fit for the idea I think you are trying to convey.
____________________________________________

Ken G – November 11, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:29 am

Erratum: In the above, that should be a semicolon after the first Random House definition. I bother correcting this because the semicolon indicates that it is a second definition and not just an expansion on the first.
_________________________

Ken G – November 11, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:44 am

Wiz, I’ll try to think of you in this new light – a kind of ‘tickler’ as in French – but that would be for the mares. (<:) No matter, similar idea, but a little later in the game. O.K., It’s the ‘Tickler of Oz’ if ever there was there was a Wiz!

Ken – November 11, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:58 am

There are also the activities commonly practised by British politicians at election time that are known as 'kissing babies' (which is what the name implies) and 'pressing the flesh' (i.e. shaking people's hands). Not quite the same as flirting, but in the same area.

Incidentally, I am not in agreement with Ken that 'social butterfly' necessarily implies an individual who flits from one party or social gathering to another. That meaning is certainly not excluded, but it applies equally to someone who moves from one individual (or group) to another at the same social function.
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:13 am

Erik, This is an extremely small point, but in the two sources I just checked in which ‘social butterfly’ appears, they do specify moving from one social function to another. But that’s only their opinion. ‘Facts on File Encyclopedia of word and Phrase Origins’ says “aptly describes a pretty or well-dressed person of little substance flitting from one party or other social function to the next.’ Well, I don’t think ‘pretty’ has much to do with it and I don’t know about the ‘little substance’ dig either. And I guess I’m not sure I agree that ‘well-dressed’ is a requirement, although in the traditional sense it probably is. But I can tell you about some ‘social butterflies’ in my teenage son’s crowd that don’t quite fit that mold. And Urdang in his ‘Picturesque Expression’ says “An irresponsible person who flits aimlessly from one social gathering to another.” Need a ‘social butterfly’ be ‘irresponsible’ too. Guess I’ve pretty well deflated the credibility of my own sources in my own mind. So I guess there’s no reason for me to take them seriously on the point in question. Well, I guess I’ve made my case! (<:)

Ken – November 11, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:27 am

.. ok so it does seem that "social butterfly" has wide usage .. as with Erik's understanding, in Aus, it applies to behaviour at a single function where the person is moving around the one setting .. in the speak of that abomination that cannot be named it might be called "cruising the room" .. I don't know that the person has the negative personal qualities that Ken mentions but it is generally the case that the person is rather superficial, although earnest, in those they speak to ..
Woz of Oz, 13/11/03
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:41 am

Would this word, AFFABLE, work to describe the above context/situation that you are describing? I have heard it used to describe some one who is always trying to please others and not cause any problems. I think that the word is better suited for what is being discussed here.

"Affable

• adjective good-natured and sociable.

— DERIVATIVES affability noun affably adverb.

— ORIGIN Latin affabilis, from ad- ‘to’ + fari ‘speak’."
Source: Oxford Dictionary.

Ahmed
BC CANADA


Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

flirting with people

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:56 am

I like the word schmoozer instead of glad-hander. It's defined as one who converses w/others in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection. It implies a less than honest motive.
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply