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cheekyme 🎭
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020 6:10:47 AM

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Is it more natural to say a regular (client/visitor) or a patron? (AmE vs BrE)
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020 5:10:49 PM

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cheekyme 🎭 wrote:
Is it more natural to say a regular (client/visitor) or a patron? (AmE vs BrE)


In AmE, the more common is regular customer, although we sometimes use patron/client. The use of patron/client would be more formal, whereas customer and visitor are informal.
thar
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020 8:57:52 PM

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BrE here.
You wouldn't call someone a regular patron in normal speech.

They are a regular customer, or a client. Or they visit regularly.

If they buy something, they are a customer.
If you provide a service for them, they are a client.

A shop has customers.
Amazon has customers.
A hairdresser has clients.
A solicitor (lawyer) has clients.


Of course there is a bit of a grey area because people are buying services, but that is the general distinction. So a shop can have a regular customer and a hairdresser can have a regular client.


You would rarely talk about an individual patron. It is more of a mass term for "the people who visit the business" such as patrons at a bar. Not specific individuals who are or are not regular visitors.

You see it used in pubs and hotels because they are not shops so "customers" is not quite right, but they are certainly not professionals offering services to clients, so sometimes the term patrons is used. But that is a category of people ( people who have a right to use the parking spaces, or the toilets) not individual people.




And a jokey one, making fun of the formality if the word




A patron is usually someone who regularly gives money (or resources) to a charity or arts organisation.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020 9:16:06 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

In BE it would depend on the business.

A 'regular client' would mostly be found in a gym, a hairdressers, a spa, a dating app. i.e. someone requiring a personal service.
(And yes, that would include Escort Agencies.)

(Although other businesses have 'clients' it would hardly be right for, say a barrister or an accountant to have "regular clients". That would suggest some of their clients habitually broke the law, or got into money troubles.)

A "regular visitor" usually refers to people who go to see things - a park, an art gallery, a Stately Home, or a holiday destination.

People who go to a restaurant, a cafe, a theatre, a club, - a place to go to in their leisure time - are patrons.

Originally a Patron was only someone who gave money to fund a person or an Institution. This includes artists; revolutionary architects; designers; musicians; sportspeople - talented people with little or no funding. Or Universities, Museums, Archaeological Societies - places that are doing valuable work for which funding is very scarce. This usage is still common, but as you will come across rarely, and in context, it will always be clear which usage of 'patron' is meant.

EDITED TO ADD. Seems - yet again - cross-posted with Thar.
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