B-ing responsible
July 26, 2021 11:45 PM   Subscribe

What are words that mean "reliable", "dependable", "responsible", "trustworthy", etc., but begin with the letter b, in English or any other language?

I've been spending the evening working on this values exercise, in which you make a long list of value words that resonate with you and then divide them into groups and name each group. So far I realized that my other groups can all be summed up with words that start with the letter b, so I thought it'd be fun to find a good b word for the last group (having to do with reliability, dependability, etc.) to keep the theme going.

I'd like whatever word I use to label the group to be as close in meaning to the other words as possible and to feel like a "core" example of the values in that group. (I know connotations vary from person to person, so what feels similar in meaning to me might not to you -- but I want to cast a wide net and hear what comes to mind for others.) A synonym search online has suggested things like "bona fide", "blameless", and "believable" -- while these do have related meanings to the words in my list, they feel either too far on the fringes or too specific to be a good "core" word to sum up the group.

I want to avoid wordplay (title of this post aside!) and find just a regular word that expresses the quality of being a reliable person. The word can be uncommon or a neologism, but I'd prefer it to be something you've used or heard people use (i.e. I don't want to make up a word to fit the requirements).

Can you think of a word in English or any other language that captures what I'm trying to get at here? Thanks in advance!

(FWIW, in case you're interested, the labels for my other groups are balance, bravery, benevolence, brilliance, bigheartedness, so those words are all off the table.)
posted by chaiyai to Writing & Language (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Google translate gives me the Dutch word betrouwbaar as a direct translation for reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.

I'm really having a hard time coming up with anything in English. Closest I got was believable or boundless but both, as you say, have a pretty different connotation.
posted by sir jective at 11:56 PM on July 26, 2021 [1 favorite]


bankable, bankability
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:00 AM on July 27, 2021 [8 favorites]


Best answer: Google translate gives me the Dutch word betrouwbaar as a direct translation for reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.

That's correct.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:10 AM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


Basic
posted by jamjam at 12:18 AM on July 27, 2021


Believable, Boy Scout
posted by DanSachs at 12:34 AM on July 27, 2021


Backbone maybe?
posted by Mizu at 2:45 AM on July 27, 2021 [4 favorites]


betreuend (German, comes from same be+trust Germanic root as sir jective's Dutch word, but the meaning is more remote from what you're looking for: I think it's a gerundive (like when you say in English "she's an understanding person") that describes someone who looks after and cares for others.)
posted by sy at 2:48 AM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


Betrodd (Swedish) carries most of the connotations of reliable, dependable etc - same origins as the Dutch and German suggestions above, I suspect.

Other possible Swedish options: betryggande, beprövad, besinningsfull.
posted by Signy at 3:09 AM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


buirdly - Scots term meaning stalwart, robust.
posted by rongorongo at 3:25 AM on July 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


Buddy system
posted by dywypi at 3:49 AM on July 27, 2021


I don't see why you couldn't have "being responsible" as the title. Or, let's say "being a pal" - yes it's a phrase rather than one word, but sometime it offsets a list nicely to have one item (ideally the last item) being slightly different while still staying in-pattern. My Ancient Greek rhetoric teacher would have called this an extended tricolon crescendo.
posted by guessthis at 3:57 AM on July 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


bearing?
posted by offog at 4:01 AM on July 27, 2021


Best answer: Betroubaar literally means "trustworthy".
posted by Zumbador at 4:33 AM on July 27, 2021


Balanced, blameless, bombproof, bonded.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:40 AM on July 27, 2021 [3 favorites]


Bass player.
posted by flabdablet at 5:16 AM on July 27, 2021 [4 favorites]


Bulletproof.
posted by NotLost at 5:48 AM on July 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


Bondable.
Bondworthy.
posted by NotLost at 5:48 AM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


Building block, baseline, bedrock
posted by hessie at 7:29 AM on July 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, lots of great ideas in here! I’ve decided to go with the Dutch betroubaar/betroubaarheid.
posted by chaiyai at 9:23 AM on July 27, 2021


bastion
posted by aniola at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2021


obs. buxom.

It seems to have been a general term for helpful , and then was used mostly of women and picked up obedient and then soft and from there deep-bosomed. Oy already.
posted by clew at 3:57 PM on July 27, 2021 [4 favorites]


Response by poster: (Edit to my previous comment: spelling. It's betrouwbaar in Dutch, betroubaar in Afrikaans.)

Thanks for the history about buxom, clew - made me chuckle and shake my head at the same time.
posted by chaiyai at 9:40 PM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


Beyond contempt.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 12:26 AM on July 28, 2021


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