Terminology: Man-Crush

This, like a lot of topics here I suppose, is not specific to anything technical. But being in an IT field, I’ve heard the term “man-crush” a lot and find it interesting and fun to talk about 🙂

Mostly, I think it’s funny. What changed it from “funny” to “interesting” in my mind, happened at CodeMash this past year (like many interesting conversations that happen outside of the scheduled sessions) when I had to define the term to someone who had never heard it before! Take a minute… think about it… what can you come up with?





My definition of the term was something like: when you admire someone so much it’s like you have a non-sexual crush on them. You want to talk to them, be around them, and learn as much as you can from them. A “technical crush,” if you will.

Brian Prince at CodeMash had a definition I liked even better: when you admire someone so much you just want to hug his brain!

The top-rated definition on urbandictionary.com defines the term as “When a straight man has a ‘crush’ on another man, not sexual but kind of idolizing him.”

And since then I’ve seen shows (new and re-runs) that have also used the term:

From “Seinfeld”:

“George has a ‘non-sexual crush’ on him, he’s like a school girl around him”

From “Men in Trees”

“You have a man crush!”

“I don’t have a crush on him. I just want to be him.”

If I recall correctly, the reason I brought this up in conversation at CodeMash, was to pose a question for the group to ponder and respond:

Can a person have a non-sexual, “technical crush” on someone of the opposite gender?

I think it’s definitely possible. I believe I have. The group had differing opinions. I recall one guy mentioning a female business partner that, in his opinion, fit that category. Yet another guy had the opinion that with some guys it’s never non-sexual.

Who knows?

I’m curious if anyone else has opinions on the matter. Or if anyone else has any other, better terminology.

  • Can a woman have a “man-crush” on a man or would you call it something different?
  • “Man-crush” seems to have a nice ring to it, but if a woman admires another woman technically in that way, you can’t really say it’s a “man-crush” right?
  • I tried it out, but “woman-crush” doesn’t have the same ring.
  • My term “technical-crush” is closer, but I’m not quite sure it captures the meaning.

I would love to come up with a better term that fits multiple admiration scenarios, and captures the full meaning. I’m still thinking.


7 Responses to “Terminology: Man-Crush”

  1. Jim Cropcho Says:

    I like “man-crush” best as a verb.

  2. Chris Ciulla Says:

    I think “geek crush” is apropos — it’s gender neutral and conveys more of an asexual connotation than “man-crush” (sounds rather gay) or “woman-crush” (ibid).

    “I want you to bear my virtual children” has a nice ring to it, but it’s kind of a mouthful.

  3. Gayle Says:

    “geek crush” does have a nice ring! I noticed it seems much better if the first word is one syllable. (geek/man as opposed to technical/woman)

  4. Josh Says:

    “Can a person have a non-sexual, “technical crush” on someone of the opposite gender?”

    I think it’s possible, but I think it would be easy for it to transition from non-sexual to sexual very quickly, without either person even realizing it.

  5. Eric Says:

    Hi Gayle, I don’t know what you call it but I met Dick Wall yesterday, and it felt like meeting a movie star. I addressed him as Mr. Wall and told him I was a big fan of the podcast. Just thought it was fitting for this post 🙂

  6. Alan Stevens Says:

    I agree w/ Josh. The “technical crush” could become physical if one isn’t careful. 🙂


  7. bb Says:

    Person Crush !!

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