A “coworker” is a person you know through your job. It’s another employee, staff member, or even your boss. But when you’re writing or speaking about them, you want to have a few different words in your vocabulary to break up monotony and repetition. Things like “associate” and “colleague” are quite common.
First, understand that “coworker” is a noun and not a verb, There is no such thing as “co-working” or “coworking.” So, adding an –ing and removing the –er is incorrect.
List of Synonyms for Coworker
There are hosts of words you can use to replace “coworker.” While the list below is by no means exhaustive, it is comprehensive and comprises the most common ones. You’ll notice there’s a marking for “formal” or “informal.” The difference is between professional and blue-collar occupations.
- Assistant (formal or informal)
- Associate (formal or informal)
- Colleague (formal)
- Companion (formal or informal)
- Compeer (formal)
- Comrade (formal or informal)
- Concomitant (formal or informal)
- Counterpart (informal)
- Fellow (formal)
- Peer (formal)
- Team Member (informal)
- Workmate (informal)
When to Use Replacements for “Coworker”
Almost all the synonyms above can replace “coworker” in a sentence. However, there may be times they will be strange or awkward because of the nature of the job. This is because some words have a more professional tone than others do.
For instance, blue-collar jobs like plumbing or sales don’t often use “colleague” to refer to their “coworkers.” But college professors or politicians would use “colleague” and saying “workmate” might be strange.
Study the sentence examples to understand how to use synonyms for “coworker.”
My coworkers gave me opera tickets for my birthday!
My peers at work gave me opera tickets for my birthday!
Rebecca is my coworker but we don’t know each other outside of work.
Rebecca is my colleague but we don’t know each other outside of work.
We are coworkers at the department store down the street.
We are associates at the department store down the street.
Allison is okay to work with as far as coworkers go.
Allison is okay to work with as far as comrades go.
There are various ways to say “coworker” and have them mean the same thing. You just have to be careful to ensure you don’t mix it up incorrectly. As a general rule, more formal synonyms will be for professional jobs whereas casual/slang will be for blue-collar types.