January 19, 2006

be intimate with

Posted in Fun at 10:15 am by Feng

be intimate with someone — have sexual intercourse with

A Korean girl was talking to an English guy she just met. She was surprised to learn that the guy happened to know her officemate. So she asked whether the two were close friends, “are you intimate with that girl?” The guy was shocked…

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7 Comments »

  1. Toni said,

    Hi, I think your blog of English colloquisms is pretty cool, and informative for non-native speakers.

    I just wanted to clarify one small thing I noticed in this particular post. The term “officemate” is not really used in English (at least, in American English). “Co-worker” is much more common. I noticed that older Filipinos (like my mom) tend to use the term “officemate” as well.

  2. Feng said,

    I heard this word “officemate” from time to time in Singapore. Probably, it is often used in south asia. But I think “co-worker” is not suitable in this case. Here in Cambridge, the research students share offices. I cannot think of another word other than “officemate” to refer to this relationship. Can you?

  3. Toni said,

    I think that “co-worker” can still apply in your case, since they all work in the same office. However, you can also use “colleague”.

  4. vdovault said,

    Actually I have heard of Americans who share offices or cubicles refer to each other as “officemates”. A co-worker or colleague is really anyone you work with, but many Americans would understand that “officemate” literally means some one you share office space with.

  5. vdovault said,

    On the use of the phrase ‘being intimate with’ — in the USA and in the UK that does imply something sexual. If you are in the USA, the better questions to ask are ‘Are you close?” or “Are you friends?” or “Are you good friends?”

    There’s an old American expression to “be on intimate terms with” someone is to be ‘close friends with’ that person, but that word ‘intimate’ too many Americans will interpret as meaning ‘sexual’ so I’d avoid using ‘intimate’.

  6. Toni said,

    vdovault said:

    “Actually I have heard of Americans who share offices or cubicles refer to each other as ‘officemates'”

    Really? I don’t think I’ve ever heard Americans use that phrase. The only people I hear use that phrase are older Filipino Americans like my mom or aunts/uncles. I just figured it was a form of Filipino english, kind of like how the Japanese use the term “salaryman” to refer to any white-collar worker.

  7. […] A guy in my group was amused by the story of “be intimate with“. He told me an equivalent phrase: know someone. “Adding ‘in a biblical way‘ makes the meaning more explicit,” he continued to explain, “This phrase is traced back to the biblical story that Adam had a baby with his wife Eve.” […]


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