What Is A Person Who Asks For Handouts Called?


2 Answers

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

In the UK we call them Romanians. (Oops, scratch that, I didn't say it, sorry Romanians).

Seriously, though, we welcome around 665000 legal immigrants*  to the UK every year (around 310000 leave, so we have a net inflow of er, quite a lot). The vast majority work and contribute culturally, economically and intellectually to UK society.

And there are also some that don't. And they seem always to come from the same few countries.

*We do not really know how many illegal immigrants there are, but usually reckoned to be at least another 100000.

Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
It depends on the nature of the handout and how you ask for it. On the simplest level, a person who stands on street corners with outstretched hands, hat or whatever, asking passers-by for money, is a beggar, and the activity is known as begging. However, if you offer goods or services in exchange - such as singing, or selling things like the Big Issue magazine, you are not a beggar but a busker or street vendor.

The other main way you might ask for a handout is through official channels eg government unemployment agencies (benefits etc.) Strictly the money you might get there is not really a handout, more a kind of social insurance, but it can be treated as a handout. If you claim payments of this kind you are known as a claiment, or, sometimes, a welfare recipient (more in US English, I think.)

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