The Deal With ‘Trader’ and ‘Traitor’

ONE businessman is a merchant or a person engaged in commerce, while a traitor is a person who betrays another, or commits an act of treason. Their pronunciation is different, but can often sound the same when spoken aloud.

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The last ‘traitor’ comes from the Latin verb ‘tradere’, which means “to hand over, to deliver or to betray.”

From businessman And traitor are words that are close to each other, which can sometimes lead to their confusion, especially for non-native speakers.


ONE businessman is a merchant, or a person engaged in a trade. It usually precedes the item being bought or sold, as in fur trade. More modern examples might be stock trader or Cryptocurrency trader. terms horse merchant refers to someone in the horse trade—that is, the type of negotiation marked by shrewd bargaining.

There is a slight hint of anachronism in the word as most business transactions today involve buying and selling with cash instead of exchanging items for items that the verb trade (a word derived from Middle English from Middle German) implied. businessman may be best recognized in the name of the grocery chain The name of the chain of stores Trader Joe’s.


ONE traitor is a person who betrays the trust of others, or more commonly, a person who commits treason (betrayal of the motherland).

American history students often associate the label traitor with Benedict Arnold, who during the American Revolution communicated American military strategy to British officials and then demanded money from them for promising to betray a tentative position at West Point.

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traitor derived from Middle English and Anglo-French from the Latin verb sellermeans “to surrender, to surrender, or to betray.” transaction formed by roots Pandemic- (“through, through”) and dare (“give”).

And while businessman comes with clear base verb tradeclosest verb in relation to traitor To be betray (also derived from .) seller). Betray also has a meaning in relation to other types of giving (“a wicked man betrayed his intentions”), which is probably why we are more likely to avoid using the verb when referring to to treasonous activities and just say that a traitor is a person commit treason.

A lesser known synonym for traitor is curlnamed after Norwegian military officer Vidkun Quisling, a fascist who collaborated with the Nazi powers and encouraged Adolf Hitler to occupy Norway at the beginning of World War II.

traitor And businessman have distinct pronunciations, but their differences are sometimes difficult to discern in fluent speech. And while context can often dictate what meaning is intended, there are sometimes situations in which both terms can appear:

It’s time for them all to be taken down, all 1,712 statues, signs, schools, roads, federal military bases, buildings, parks and other public monuments (according to the Law Center) Poverty in the South), most of which were built in the decades following the Civil War. impressed with their existence in the Jim Crow era – it was supposed to honor traitors and the slave trade. —Robert Azzi, Concord screenJune 28, 2020

Categories: Usage Notes

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