"Frenemies" redirects here. For the 2009 film, see Little Fish, Strange Pond. For the 2012 film, see Frenemies (film). For the Glee episode, see Frenemies (Glee). For the Sex and the City episode, see Frenemies (Sex and the City).

"Frenemy" (less commonly spelled "frienemy") is an oxymoron and a portmanteau of "friend" and "enemy" that can refer to either an enemy pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival.[1] The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. The word has appeared in print as early as 1953 in an article titled "Howz about calling the Russians our Frienemies?" by the American gossip columnist Walter Winchel in the Nevada State Journal.[2][3]


A Businessweek article stated that frenemies in the workplace are common, due to increasingly informal environments and the "abundance of very close, intertwined relationships that bridge people's professional and personal lives ... [while] it certainly wasn't unheard of for people to socialize with colleagues in the past, the sheer amount of time that people spend at work now has left a lot of people with less time and inclination to develop friendships outside of the office."[4]


See also


  1. Oxford English Dictionary online, draft entry, December 2008
  2. Winchell, Walter (19 May 1953). "Howz about calling the Russians our Frienemies?". Nevada State Journal. Gannett Company.
  3. Cavendish, Lucy (17 January 2011). "The best of frenemies". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. Frenemies at Work, Liz Ryan, BusinessWeek, June 14, 2007.

External links

Look up frenemy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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