The feelings of love that a young person has for somebody else and that adults do not think is very serious is called "puppy love". Is there an equivalent noun for the elderly? For example, in Greece, when an old person falls in love, in which case this love is not taken seriously by the majority, this love is called "old-age love".

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    While puppy love maybe associated with young people because it implies naivete, it isn't defined as something that can only apply young people -- it's defined as superficial, trivial, passing, easily forgotten. I.e., there's no reason you could not apply it to old people, if that's what you think about their feelings. Sort of like the use of the word "cute" -- associated more with children, but there's nothing wrong with "cute old man", and in fact commonly one might say of puppy love, "isn't that cute". – goldilocks Jun 16 '14 at 17:01
  • Is this two elderly people falling in love, or an elderly and a young person? In the latter case, it might be condemned or ridiculed as a "May-September" or "Spring-Winter" love affair. I suppose that love between elderly people might not be taken seriously, because their time to enjoy it will probably be so short (which is being cruel), but I don't know of any English term for it. – Phil Perry Jun 16 '14 at 17:19
  • Not both have to be elderly people. I'm describing an old person falling in love, and feeling and behaving like a younger person would in this kind of situation. – Vic Jun 16 '14 at 17:29
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    The elderly are just as capable of puppy love as children. They are also capable of kitten love, or love for any other baby pet. :-) [wordplay] – CoolHandLouis Jun 16 '14 at 22:48

I don't know of any terms that deliver specifically what you've requested. You might consider:

  • Infatuation. No age implications, has a sense of obsessiveness.
  • Crush (noun def. 2). Informal. Has some sense of childishness and is also transient or brief.
  • Passing fancy. Not nearly as strong as love, no age connotations, short lived. However, the phrase is a bit antiquated sounding (to my ear, at least), so it might be appropriate for describing the elderly.
  • Smitten (adjective). Includes those genuinely in love, no age connotations. Someone smitten, especially an older person (who we generally assume has experience and isn't as susceptible to powerful feelings as a teenager) has fallen in love hard and fast and has at least some of the characteristics of someone infatuated, though there's at least an equal chance they're "really" in love.

Honestly, it's quite acceptable to use puppy love the way you want, as long as you give enough context to make it clear who's experiencing the feeling. Though it's most commonly used with youth, the definition isn't restricted to them. Describing an elderly person or couple with it even gives the phrase some extra weight, by implying they were so stricken that they behaved as if they were teenagers again.

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    I agree; while some dictionary definitions suggest puppy love only applies to teens and tweens, others seem to allow for a broader application. From ODO: puppy love (noun) an intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, typically associated with adolescents. – J.R. Jun 16 '14 at 15:53
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    Any of the terms you mention are appropriate for describing this sort of love. But none of them are specifically about love between old people, which I think was the point of the question. (Whether they are useful to the original poster is up to him.) – Jay Jun 16 '14 at 18:25
  • @jay Read the first sentence of my post; I point that out. Giving some imperfect suggestions is considerably more helpful than just saying "there isn't one". – Esoteric Screen Name Jun 17 '14 at 0:14

I am not aware of any commonly-used term in English for this idea. You could certainly make up a word or phrase, but you would probably have to explain it.

I think there's a cultural thing here. In the U.S., at any rate, I don't think people generally view love between old people as something not serious.

  • Your 2nd paragraph applies to UK culture too. – i-CONICA Jun 16 '14 at 16:03

I think puppy love would apply for the elderly as well, or at least be understood.

Otherwise, if you want to be a little mean, you could use dinosaur love or fossil love, teeheehee.

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