Fun fact : In colloquial Hebrew there is a difference between "ידיד" and "חבר" which both translate to 'friend' in English.
We use "חבר" or "חברה" to who ever we would consider a friend or someone we are having a relationship with, depending on your sex:
If the person is like you it would mean friend
If the person is of the opposite sex it would mean boyfriend/girlfriend
However "ידיד" or "ידידה" are considered friends who aren't that close to us or someone of the opposite sex who isn't our boyfriend/girlfriend, so:
If the person is like you it would mean someone you aren't close to
If the person is of the opposite sex it would mean a friend who we are not in a relationship with
Hope I helped ! :D
You would use חבר/חברה which makes it a bit vague on whether the person talks about his/her boyfriend/girlfriend or just a friend, so knowing the person will make it easier to understand what he/she means and will prevent the awkwardness :D
I actually learned it exactly like this. I'm male, and my male friend is a חבר but my female friend is a ידידה.
I remember being taught the exact opposite almost 50 years ago... So either my teacher at the time was wrong or the meaning has changed. Do you know if the latter could be the case?
Well since I wasn't around 50 years ago that might have been the case :D It sounds reasonable to me that it could have been like that. I can imagine older folks calling each other "ידידי" (my friend) for example ,but now the meaning is different and the way I described it is the case.
I thought the same thing, but I wonder if we might be confusing this word with דודי (my beloved), as in שיר השירים --Song of Songs. I think that's what I was doing.
I think it’s a bit more complicated. I think it depends on age and context, e.g. saying חבר טוב would most likely mean ‘a good friend’ while ‘החבר’ would mean ‘the boyfriend’.
Generally ‘ידיד’ is more literary but used when disambiguation is important. Hence the saying that there’s nothing gayer than a man calling his חבר a ידיד.
So what would the English equivalent be if a male refers to another male as ידיד?
Well I'm not sure since English isn't my native language, but it should be one that would describe a friend of yours who you aren't particularly close to.
Does that mean that you don't ever use ידיד/ידידה in the sense boy/girlfriend?
I recently binged on the tv show Shrugim and the women used the term chaver for good friends (not nec. dating each other) when introducing other opposite sex friends to one another, perhaps the meaning has changed somewhat with the younger generation?
The example sentence is odd. Why the "of mine" syntax? Usually in English we would just say "He is my friend and I am his friend."