English Idioms Daily Blog

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A frenemy is someone who pretends to be a friend but is really an enemy. In a Psychology Today article entitled How to Spot Friends, Enemies, Frenemies and Bullies, author Paul Dobransky describes a frenemy as an expression that addresses those situations where someone smiles to our face, but eventually proves true to have ulterior motives towards us. As examples, he gives someone who gives us praise one moment, but spreads gossip unnoticed by us the very next or someone we hire as a consultant, for a service, or for guidance, or whom we know collegially, but are never quite sure is on our side. Some recent news headlines that contain the word frenemy are:

Apple and Samsung, frenemies for life
- ca.finance.yahoo.ca, 10 February 2013, Poorima Gupta, Miyoung Kim and Dan Levine, Reuters
Study: Facebook Is Your Frenemy
- theatlantic.com, 31 January 2013, Megan Garber
Lunching with frenemies: A taste of bipartisanship
-politico.com, 21 January 2013, Manu Raju

The following CNBC news report entitled
Tech Frenemies Team Up demonstrates the use of the expression frenemy quite well:

Which of the following English idioms could also refer to a frenemy?

a) a fast friend
b) a fair-weather friend
c) man’s best friend
d) a bosom buddy

check your answer, click here.

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