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friendly, empathic


affable = freundlich, umgänglich, leutselig



“Pity Ben van Beurden. The boss of Royal Dutch Shell is an AFFABLE man steering a Scylla-and-Charybdis course between oil-loving shareholders on one extreme and carbon-hating ones on the other.”

The Economist

Did you


- friendly and easy to talk to
- being pleasant and at ease in talking to others
- showing warmth and friendliness; kindly; mild; benign

Cambridge Dictionary / Merriam-Webster / Collins Dictionary


"Affable" is from the Latin affabilis meaning approachable, kind, friendly, and can be easily spoken to - from affari to speak to (af = to + fari = speak).

It’s interesting to note that the noun “fame” stems from the same root as affable. In this case it took the noun form of farifama – meaning talk, rumour, report, reputation.


- A friend in need is a friend indeed (Latin)

- One who walks with wolves learns to howl (Spanish)

- Speak well of your friend; of your enemy neither well nor ill (Italian)

- Who seeks a faultless friend remains friendless (Turkish)

- A good friend is he who speaks well of you behind your back (Chinese)

- Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light (Syrian)

- A friend’s eye is a good mirror (Irish)

- Friendship, like wine, gets better with time (French)


AFFABLE, amicable, amiable, approachable, bonhomous, congenial, downright neighbourly, en rapport, good egg, good-natured, empathetic, genial, hail-fellow-well-met, magnanimous, mild-mannered, palsy-walsy, sweet-tempered, soft hearted, tender-hearted, unflappable, white-hat, winsome

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“I warmed to André immediately. He's such a friendly and AFFABLE chap, and a really good listener."

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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