Word of the Day: Frenemy



Word of the Day: Frenemy

fren·e·my – [frenuh-mee]  Show IPA


Informal. a person or group that is friendly toward another because the relationship brings benefits, but harbors feelings of resentment or rivalry: Clearly, turning the competition into frenemies is good for your business.


1975-80; fr(iend) + enemy

 (Definition provided by dictionary.com)

I was a little surprised to see the origin of this word lies somewhere between 1975 and 1980 because the first time I heard it was in 1998, in a song called, You Get What You Give.




If you’re not too much of a fetus, you’ll likely remember the tune from the late 90s, it was everywhere at the time.  I may have heard of frenemies for the first time in this song, but I didn’t really think about the word or it’s meaning until years later.  That’s peculiar because, now that I look back, I had frenemies throughout most of my childhood and young adult life.  I don’t have the best memory and my youth is somewhat of a blur, but I can spot a frenemy as early as grade school and that’s a little disheartening.

Nonetheless, after college and those first years of figuring out life on my own, I came to the understanding that frenemies are like arsenic in that they can extinguish things slowly over time.  So, in the interest of the pursuit of happiness, logic and self-preservation, I eliminated those who fell under the category of ‘frenemy’ from my life.  They were extraneous and it was more of a reflex than a pre-mediated process, but it had to be done.  Happy, is what any one of us aspires to be and happy can equate to any number of things, but happy never equals despondency.

grumpy cat meme for post

The conundrum rolls in like tumbleweed when you’re faced with a situation where you realize you’ve got a friend who makes you feel more negative vibes than pollution in China, every time you talk. You know this person is toxic, yet you continue to mingle.  Sometimes it’s because your social circles intersect, other times it’s because you work together (and that’s tricky) and still other times you do it because…well you’re not really sure why. Maybe it’s because you’re too nice to peace them out, maybe it’s because you’re too much of a coward.  Either way, if you hang onto this relationship you’ll likely gather more wrongs than rights and you’d be plain stupid to persist when the risks outweigh the benefits.  In other words:

Ditch the people who aren’t really your friends.  You’re creating a mutual negative cycle resulting in a bummer and no one likes a bummer, man.

bummer man

It’s harsh, I know, but so is life.  If you don’t know that by now, I’m not sure how you evolved enough to be able to click your way to this site.  While healthy competition always motivates me to push harder through the muck, rivalry is another thing entirely.  Rivalry involves superiority and if you think yourself capable of such a feat, you’re doing life wrong.

Do you really want to waste your time competing with someone who likely doesn’t appreciate your breathing up all the air around them either? Of course you don’t.  Life is a flash of everything, all at once and time is our most valuable commodity so don’t waste it on ordinary.  Besides, being around assholes just ups the odds of getting shit on your shoe.

Be happy instead.



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