Pet Peeve: Pet Names

Few things annoy me more than when a total stranger calls me a pet name—sweetie, darling, honey, baby (I hate that one most of all), and the like. It drives me nuts! Those terms are reserved for family, friends, friends of the family, or caretakers (my doctor, my dentist, etc). Period. No one else. When my dad calls me “baby,” I feel loved—when a random cashier calls me “baby,” I feel like they’re actually calling me a baby. Another term for a pet name is a diminutive, or a word that lessens a person. With someone you know, it’s cute, sweet, and somewhat flattering. With a stranger, it’s just rude. If you know anything about Japanese, it’s the equivalent of calling everyone you meet by their first name followed by chan (ちゃん). You’ll have a lot of enemies by the end of the day.


2 thoughts on “Pet Peeve: Pet Names

  1. Being called pet names by total strangers annoys me too. That really make me feel uncomfortable. If the person doesn’t know my name, then I’m fine with sweetie (because being called “girl” or “you” annoys me more), but that’s the only one. It really creeps me out when someone who I don’t know calls me by a pet name when they know my actual name.

    Example: When I started school, I was completely new to it and got lost a lot the first few days. The first day I came, I stood in the gym by myself because I didn’t know who my teacher was (and I was too shy to ask). One of the teachers came up to me and said, “Sweetie, who’s your gym teacher?” He didn’t know my name, so I had no problem. But I told him my name so he wouldn’t call me that again if I ran into him some other time.

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