Wingman (social)

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Wingman is a role that a person may take when a friend needs support with approaching potential partners. A wingman is someone who is on the "inside" and is used to help someone with intimate relationships. In general, a woman's wingman will help her avoid attention from undesirable prospective partners, whereas a man's wingman will help him attract desirable ones.[1]

The 'pre-wing' refers to the talking up of one friend to another in order to build an attractive persona before any direct interactions. The pre-wing is then usually followed up by the wingman role; the follow-up support often involving befriending associates of the potential partner.


The 1989 film Batman employed the term in its original context, a reference to tandem pulling scenarios. The social definition of the term has found repeat usage in popular culture, such as in the 1996 film Swingers.

In the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother, the term is often used by "Neil Patrick Harris"'s character Barney Stinson.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ackerman, Joshua; Kenrick, Douglas (2009). "Cooperative courtship: Helping friends raise and raze relationship barriers.". Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35: 1285–1300.