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Terminology: Suffixes Expressing Relationships

15 January, 2016 - 09:32

Although not really part of the taxonomy of contracts (i.e., the orderly classification of the subject), an aspect of contractual—indeed, legal—terminology should be highlighted here. Suffixes (the end syllables of words) in the English language are used to express relationships between parties in legal terminology. Here are examples:

  • Offeror. One who makes an offer.
  • Offeree. One to whom an offer is made.
  • Promisor. One who makes a promise.
  • Promisee. One to whom a promise is made.
  • Obligor. One who makes and has an obligation.
  • Obligee. One to whom an obligation is made.
  • Transferor. One who makes a transfer.
  • Transferee. One to whom a transfer is made.


Contracts are described and thus defined on the basis of four criteria: explicitness (express, implied, or quasi-contracts), mutuality (bilateral or unilateral), enforceability (void, voidable, unenforceable), and degree of completion (executory, partially executed, executed). Legal terminology in English often describes relationships between parties by the use of suffixes, to which the eye and ear must pay attention.


  1. Able writes to Baker: “I will mow your lawn for $20.” If Baker accepts, is this an express or implied contract?
  2. Able telephones Baker: “I will mow your lawn for $20.” Is this an express or implied contract?
  3. What is the difference between a void contract and a voidable one?
  4. Carr staples this poster to a utility pole: “$50 reward for the return of my dog, Argon.” Describe this in contractual terms regarding explicitness, mutuality, enforceability, and degree of completion.
  5. Is a voidable contract always unenforceable?
  6. Contractor bids on a highway construction job, incorporating Guardrail Company’s bid into its overall bid to the state. Contractor cannot accept Guardrail’s offer until it gets the nod from the state. Contractor gets the nod from the state, but before it can accept Guardrail’s offer, the latter revokes it. Usually a person can revoke an offer any time before it is accepted. Can Guardrail revoke its offer in this case?