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Assistant vs Helper vs Coadjutor vs Aid vs Aide vs Aide-de-camp

Assistant, Helper, Coadjutor, Aid, Aide and Aide-de-camp all denote persons who take over part of the duties of another, especially in a subordinate capacity.

Assistant is applicable to a person who meets this description, regardless of the status of his work.

  • a baker's assistant
  • a bishop's assistant
  • a superintendent's assistant 

Helper often implies apprenticeship in a trade or the status of an unskilled laborer.

  • a bricklayer's helper
  • a mother's helper often performs the duties of a nursemaid

Coadjutor usually implies equivalence except in authority; it may be used either of a co-worker or a volunteer assistant.

  • in working so complex a mechanism as the government of the empire he must have willing coadjutors
  • at St. James I met with a kind and cordial coadjutor in my biblical labors in the bookseller of the place
  • decided to share the government of the Roman world with a coadjutor
    —R. M. French

In a specific use it names or is applied to a bishop who serves as an assistant to the bishop having jurisdiction over a diocese. Especially in Roman Catholic and Protestant Episcopal use it implies the right of succession.

Aid and aide are often interchangeable synonyms of assistant.

  • a laboratory aid
  • aides and orderlies . . . assist the professional nurses
    Nursing Worldy

Aide frequently but aid rarely denotes a special and often highly qualified assistant able to act as an adviser to his principal.

  • questioned the use of presidential aides in foreign affairs
  • with their chief aides they will discuss the problems of the interregnum
    Y. Times

Aide and aide-de-camp designate a military or naval officer who personally attends a general or a sovereign, a president or a governor, often as an escort but sometimes with definitely prescribed duties.