admirer, worshipper [noun] [de aanbidder, de aanbidders]

"Aanbidder" is derived from the verb "aanbidden": to admire, or to worship. Literally "aanbidden" means "to pray at/to" derived from praying to a statue while kneeling.
It is however also commonly used when you adore somebody. In the context of the latter, "aanbidder" translates to "admirer", which of course is the translation of choice for this week 🙂 However, it is not romantic by definition!

– "Het lijkt mij leuk om een stille aanbidder te hebben! Hé, misschien heb ik er wel een…"
("I think it would be nice to have a secret admirer! Hey, perhaps I have one…" Literally: "It seems nice to me to have…")

– "Morgen is het Valentijnsdag. Ik zal wel geen kaartjes van stille aanbidders ontvangen… :-("
("Tomorrow it’s Valentine’s day. I will probably receive no cards from secret admirers… :-(" The use of "wel geen" is a bit confusing, since "wel" is the opposite of "geen". However, "wel" can also mean "probably" which is the case in this construction.)

Quite a few expressions related to "aanbidden" exist. Here are a few:

– "Iemand op handen dragen": to like someone very much. Literally "to carry someone on hands" as in liking somebody so much that you lift him/her with your hands (like what sometimes happens in sports).

– "Weglopen met iemand": to like someone very much. Literally: "to walk away with someone", as in liking somebody so much that you just want to walk away with that person!

– "Iemand op een voetstuk plaatsen": to put somebody on a pedestal.

Related words:
– "Adoreren": to adore.
– "Vereren": to worship, adore. Also used in relation to God.
– "Verafgoden": idolize.