guardian- a person who cares for persons or property

caretaker - a custodian who is hired to take care of something (property or a person)

Is there any difference between a caretaker and a guardian. I have to say I'm a bit surprised by the dictionary definition of caretaker. To my knowledge, a caretaker is like a temporary guardian. I could be wrong.

Please advise. Thanks!
Veteran Member7,658
A guardian will usually have legal rights regarding the person they are taking care of. I would not use the word guardian to apply to property. (Perhaps another US/UK difference.)

A caretaker simply provides "care." I think of a caretaker far more for property than a person. Interestingly, a "caregiver" is almost the same word, but used for people. A babysitter, a nanny, or a doctor are all caregivers.
Veteran Member27,441
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
I got it all wrong. I wonder what you would call in the following context

A group of children were taken away and are currently at a shelter with caretakers/caregivers.
Temporary guardians, or caretakers - it does work with children in this context. Actually caregivers and care providers all work in this instance. The context makes it so clear.

I was just remarking to my coworker that it's funny that caretaker and caregiver sound like they should be opposites, but they are not!
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Grammar GeekTemporary guardians, or caretakers - it does work with children in this context.
I think of a caretaker as a vocation and a guardian as a responsibility.

Personally I'd never use caretaker for a child under some sort of protection order.
Regular Member532
Thanks GG. Bokeh, thanks for your opinion. For what it's worth, an article on CNN used caretakers.
Anonymous:
I wonder, then, what we would call the person who receives the care. She is taking it from someone who gives it, but is not a "caretaker." Interesting definition puzzle!
Anonymous:
  • the cared-for (Nel noddings) :academic term-receiver

  • the carer (Nel noddings) :academic term-giver
Live chat
Registered users can join here