One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘sometimes I think she had a secret lover’
boyfriend, girlfriend, man friend, woman friend, lady friend, lady-love, beau, loved one, beloved, love, darling, sweetheart
mistress, paramour, other man, other woman
partner, significant other
informal bit on the side, bit of fluff, toy boy, fancy man, fancy woman, sugar daddy, bird, fella
British informal boyf, girlf
archaic swain, concubine, doxy, leman, courtesan
2‘he was a great lover of country sports’
devotee, admirer, fan, enthusiast, aficionado, follower, supporter, fanatic, addict, hound
informal buff, freak, nut
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