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  1. #1
    ackeiyword is offline Banned
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    Default Caress VS fondle

    What is the difference between caress and fondle?


    And also can I say 'caress the orphan's head' or is it a 'sexual' connotated word?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Caress VS fondle

    As explained elsewhere, it is "fondle" that has the sexual connotation, not "caress."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    phrasemix is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Caress VS fondle

    I slightly disagree with the last answer, in that I think "caress" does also carry a slight sexual connotation. But its meaning is positive. For example:
    He caressed the small of her back.
    In older literature, you might see a phrase like "caress the orphan's head" and just chuckle a little bit because it sounds a little "wrong". But I would use a more neutral word like "petted" or "patted" to describe the same action.

    The word "fondle" has a strongly negative connotation. It just sounds dirty, like you're touching someone against their will. Even if you're "fondling" an object, it sounds like you're obsessed with that object and touching it too much.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Caress VS fondle

    Quote Originally Posted by phrasemix View Post
    I slightly disagree with the last answer, in that I think "caress" does also carry a slight sexual connotation. But its meaning is positive.
    I agree that it may have a slight sexual connotation, but feel that it is also used with an idea of non-sexual affection. Context will usually make it clear.

    I am sure that I caress the bowl of my favourite pipe at times with no perverted thoughts.

  5. #5
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    phrasemix is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Caress VS fondle

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I agree that it may have a slight sexual connotation, but feel that it is also used with an idea of non-sexual affection. Context will usually make it clear.

    I am sure that I caress the bowl of my favourite pipe at times with no perverted thoughts.
    Agreed.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Caress VS fondle

    And if you fondled your favourite pipe, people might worry about you.

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