What does Voluntold mean?

Made to volunteer forcefully

Ever been in a situation when someone puts you forward for a task without asking you first? That’s where the slang term ‘Voluntold’ comes into play. It’s a clever blend of ‘volunteer’ and ‘told’. It’s like volunteering, but without the volunteering part because someone else did it for you, usually without your consent.

People started using ‘Voluntold’ around the early 2000s. It’s often linked with situations where there’s a power imbalance. One person, usually the one with more authority, feels they can make decisions for another. But it’s not all about threats or coercion, it’s more like a subtle expectation that the other person will agree.

You might experience being ‘Voluntold’ in different scenarios. Your supervisor at work might ‘voluntell’ you to handle extra tasks. Or maybe your school teacher ‘voluntells’ you to assist a classmate. Even in sports, your coach might ‘voluntell’ you into another training session.

And it’s not only limited to formal situations. Even in personal relationships, you might get ‘voluntold’. Like when your husband ‘voluntells’ you to help his sister move her belongings to her new apartment. It’s like you have been volunteered, but you weren’t exactly asked.

Example for using ‘Voluntold’ in a conversation

Hey, guess what? My boss voluntold me to work on Saturday! 😩

Oh no, that’s not fair! How come?

Apparently, we have a big project coming up and he thinks we need to put in extra hours. Ugh!

That’s so frustrating! I can’t believe he just voluntold you without asking if you’re available.