Thursday, January 15, 2015

Frenemy: an enemy who pretends to be a friend

What may surprise you about this word is that it has been around A LOT longer than you might think. In recent years, it has been used in pop culture ad nauseum, most notably in an episode of “Sex and the City.”


A combination of the words “friend” and “enemy,” the general meaning of the word is readily understood. It can describe an enemy who pretends to be a friend, or even a real friend who is competing with you for something you desire, such as a job or a love interest.


Here’s the shocker. The first documented use of the word was in 1953. Journalist W. Winchell wrote about the United States’ age-old nemesis Russia as a “frenemy.” It is speculated that this word also derives some of its meaning from the Arabic proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”


Gaining traction in the past decade or so, the word “frenemy” has appeared in respected publications like Businessweek and Scientific American, as well as innumerable websites and, according to, “countless blog pages.” Looks like Wordbabble is now one of them.

Yahoo Answers
OMG Facts

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