As our culture evolves, the language we use to express ourselves changes too. To fully understand the world in which we live, its important to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of the words that we use to describe it. Words that have more than one definition or more than one meaning enrich not only our vocabulary, but also our lives.
The word friend is generally associated by most people with close and personal understanding between people on a particular area of life and friends are regarded as people with whom we share values and ideas. More categorically, the noun friend is thought to have originated from the word freond used in the Old English. A precise definition would thus be that person someone knows clearly and views with uttermost trust and affection. It is believed to be the direct antonym to another old English word feond, which translates to more of an enemy. (Skeat and Walter)
Therefore a friend is that person who deserves someones trust and affection since they are comprehensively known to each other. The kind of relationship that exists between friends is more appropriately known as a friendship. Friendships can vary depending on the kind of the mutual interest shared by both parties involved. Therefore a friend can be an associate like a blood brother, who joins one in their activities and endeavors; an acquaintance like a bunkmate, camp mate, a connection, a mess mate or even a pickup; and also someone who backs or supports a politician or a sports person. The expanded academic ASAP associates the word friend to several articles citing cases pertaining to people living together, sharing events and institutions. The word in itself acts as a genus for several word phrases such as best friend, friendly match, friendly fire, boyfriend and old friend. As a result, the friend word family can be classified into various categories based on the interests shared and acts committed and the various materials and resources people share in their daily lives. (Fox)
An amigo or comrade is a friend with whom one is involved in the same movement, organization or activity. These kind of friends share the same movement beliefs and goals and the trust is limited to the movements interests. A companion or a fellow, on the other hand is the type of friend with whom one is in constant company with. This type of friend can also be called an associate or a familiar since the presence of either of the friends is promptly associated with the other. Similarly people usually associate particular actions of either friends to the other. A confidant or intimate is the type of friend with whom one shares confidential matters and situations that would otherwise be unappealing to mass exposure. These kind of friends would in some cases end up into a more intimate relationship. A female confidant, is more appropriately referred to as a confidante. ("Friend - Dictionary Definition")
Other popular type of friends in this word family are the boyfriend or girlfriend. A boyfriend refers to any male friend with whom one is involved with in any of the friendship types. A girlfriend on the other hand is any female friend of a similar type. These types of friends may or may not require some level of intimacy or confidentiality.
Friendships are also based on shared interests and materials where the relationship is termed by the shared interest or material suffixed with the word mate. More common in this category are the types of friend s called roommates. A roommate is someone with whom a person shares a room. These friends can be just acquaintances or even brothers. Others in this category include classmates, who are friends with whom a person share classes, lectures or tutorials; schoolmates or school friends, who share the same school; and flat mates with whom a person resides and shares the same flat or apartment.
In terms of a follower or a supporter, there can be a believer or a trustee, who is a friend who receives what one does as true and acceptable. The believer friend can also turn into a cheerleader who is vocal supporter and enthusiast of a friends deeds and ideas. Another kind of friend in this category is the sympathizer. A sympathizer shares in someones personal feelings, mostly in times of predicaments and help keep hope that it will be well. The sympathizer is also called a well-wisher in the case of activities such as fundraising towards charity. Sharing close characteristics is a seconder or an endorser who is a friend who shows strong approval and support towards an idea proposed by someone or stands in favor of a motion seeking approval through a vote process ("Friend - Dictionary Definition"). Other types of friend s are the fanatic, junkie and apostle.
There are several example cases of outstanding friends in the worlds history who are worth mentioning in this article. In the Greek mythology believed to date back to the 4th Century, there are two friends Damon and Pythias. Pythias was due to be executed by death by the king and Damon came in and slotted himself in his friends place to let him prepare for the execution. Pythias however returned at the right moment to save Damon, an act which impressed the king until he set both Damon and Pythias free. ("Friend - Dictionary Definition")
Several definition and concepts are associated with the word friend family. It is, therefore, appropriate to define a friend as any individual who deserves someones trust and affection since they are comprehensively known to each other. As a result various types of words are used to describe friends based on the mutual type of interest they are involved in and the materials the friends they share. The friend family is inclusive of a boyfriend or girlfriend, class mate, school mate, sympathizer, fanatic, endorser or a believer. Individuals who have stood out for being ardent friends have been involved in either or all of the types of friendships outlined in this document. The word friend also acts as a genus leading to the development of several phrase words that elaborate other cases and words associated with it, for instance, best friend.
Skeat, Walter W. An Etymological Dictionary Of The English Language. Oxford [England]: Clarendon Press, 1910. Print
Corning, Richard. "How To Write A Definition". Wou.edu. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.
Fox, Carol. Information Access Company Article Selection Guidelines For Academic ASAP/Expanded Academic ASAP, Business ASAP/Business And Company Profile/General Business File, Magazine ASAP/General Reference Center (& Select & Gold)/General Periodicals, National Newspaper Index, Legaltrac, PROMT?F & S Index Plus Text/Intelliseek. Searchbank Tech Talk. [Oklahoma City?]: Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries, 1998. Print.
"Friend - Dictionary Definition". Vocabulary.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.
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