Revised as of 26 June 2017
I’ve been running across this confusion quite often these days. D’ye reckon it might be the economy that is subliminally influencing writers into wanting a confidant?
Whatever, whyever, confidant/e is one of those words with masculine/feminine endings. There is no e when the word is applied to a man/boy while if the person in whom one is confiding is a woman or a girl, add the e. Or we might get transgender confused… Know that these three words are also homonyms.
Confident is more of a state of mind. How a person feels about him- or herself.
What’s that you say? I’m being too picky. Mais oui, I am an editor, LOL. It’s me job, don’cha know!
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Oxford English Dictionary: confident|
|Part of Grammar:|
Plural for the noun: confidants
Plural for the noun: confidantes
Plural for the noun: confidents
A male person with whom a man or woman shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others
A female person with whom a woman or man shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others
Feeling or showing confidence in oneself
|He was her business adviser and confidant.||She was his business adviser and confidante.||Adjective:
I was confident that I was capable of driving home.
She was a confident dog, for we had trained and loved her well.
His parents were his closest confidents and friends in a sense, but they were still his parents.
They wanted nothing to do with the black market or its confidents.
|Adjective: hyperconfident, nonconfident
Adverb: confidently, hyperconfidently, nonconfidently
|History of the Word:|
|Mid-17th century as an alteration of confident (as a noun in the same sense in the early 17th century), probably to represent the pronunciation of the French confidente meaning having full trusta.||Late 16th century from the French confident(e), which is from the Italian confidente, which is itself from the Latin confident- meaning having full trust, from the verb confidere, which is from con- (expressing intensive force) + fidere (trust).|
You may want to explore other masculine-feminine word confusions from the French such as “Fiancé versus Fiancée“, “Blond versus Blonde (which includes Brunet vs Brunette)”, “Chargé d’affaires vs Chargée d’affaires“, “Cher, Chéri versus Chère, Chérie“, “Attach vs Attaché vs Attachée“, or “Protégé versus Protégée“.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?