Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

What do you call your long-term romantic partner when you’re not married?

Going through messages we’ve received from listeners at the radio show over the past six months, I find that one of the questions that comes up often—and which we addressed in a recent show—is what to call a life partner if you’re not married to them. Boyfriend/girlfriend sounds immature, lover sounds illicit, partner could be confused with “business partner”: there’s a problem with just about any choice.

Ben Yagoda takes a stab at answering the question in Slate.

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Grant Barrett