Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Don't call me baby!


We all know society's gone to the dogs, but apart from 'mate' or 'love', people don't really call each other anything in lieu of a name very much anymore do they, and a lot of people object to event that.

Not me. I want more of it. But I want to revive the things I heard in my childhood. I mean, when was the last time you heard a station porter call a sixtysomething woman 'duchess'? Or hear someone who didn't know how to act around a black bus driver call him 'captain'? I could be wrong, but it seems to be a practice that's dying out.

Can you imagine calling your any of your friends 'squire'? It makes you sound like you own a Romford timber yard. It's ludicrous to even think it. But it's a shame, as things like that always make me chuckle. I'd be thrilled if the man in the garage called me that.

Let's start a revival. I want shop assistants in their twenties to call me 'flower'. I want to hear barmaids calling customers 'duckie'. I want dads to call their daughters 'princess' and husbands to call their wives 'queen'. I want more 'hens', more 'pets'.

It's gentle, it's friendly, it's affectionate.

Any more I've missed out?

19 comments:

Ishouldbeworking said...

A chugger in the street called me 'Angel' last week. He didn't get any money out of me though.

I sometimes feel ashamed about all the bus drivers I snapped at in the 80s because they'd called me 'love'.

Five-Centres said...

Ah, but it was the Eighties, which pretty much killed off the whole matiness thing, sadly, because it was no longer PC to call women love. We live and learn.

Matthew Rudd said...

I use 'squire' and 'pet' quite a lot, and have never been chastised for either. I agree with you, I think such expressions add to the very fabric of interaction.

An ex of mine used to call me 'poppet'. I wasn't amazingly keen on that, but she was a real sort and I didn't want to ruin my chances...

Clair said...

I love those old-fashioned endearments. But I don't want to be called 'love' by anyone younger than me.

Simon said...

I've always seen this as a north/south divide thing. Lots of 'pet's, 'hinny's and 'love's up north, royal alusions down south, with an interlacing of 'duck's in the midlands to bind us together.

Can't think when anyone last called me anything though.

Graham Kibble-White said...

Guv'nor is always nice, Guv even better. I don't like Boss, though.

Not sure about the current F-C aesthetic, by the way. The photo under the logo? Sorry, squire...

Five-Centres said...

Just for you, guv, I've changed it. And it does look much better.

Red Squirrel said...

I remember how taken aback I was as a student in Leeds the first time a (male) bus driver called me "love". In fact, not just the first time – never could get used to it.
I suppose I did have long hair back then – maybe they got confused...

Mondo said...

I work with someone who calls people 'John' what ever their name.

And was it just Southend/London, but as a child I remember my parents (and aunts, uncles, family friends) calling their 'in-law' parents mum or dad. Now it’s all first name terms - when did that habit die out?

One of my first times up north I got called 'duck' by the lady at the petrol station. Loved it.

Mondo said...

Oh and I worked with a bloke from the west counrty who called everyone 'but' - as in 'a'roit but' that was quite nice too.

Five-Centres said...

I remember a taxi driver in Leeds calling me love. I thought I'd misheard him, but apparently that's what they do up there.

And my dad called my mum's mother 'mum', but as you say this has completely died out.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Having grown up in a region where everyone was "pet" or "love" or (if you were my Newcastle relations) "hinny" or (if you were my grandma) "bonny lad/lass", I'm actually quite glad this sort of thing is dying out.

I'm in favour of referring to FC as "guv", though!

TimT said...

My local butcher has a stock of odd greetings he uses; in the past I’ve been hailed as ‘young gun’ and ‘number one’. I can’t say I’m keen.

Five-Centres said...

I quite like it when a greengrocer greets with you with 'yes, good-looking'. But then who wouldn't?

I like number one and young gun.

TimT said...

In that case, I’ll try to remember to hail you appropriately next time I see you.

As for modern terms, I have a colleague who calls everyone ‘dude’ (pronounced ‘dood’). This may be just about permissible coming from Californian surfer types, but when it’s a 30something Mancunian doing it, you just want to punch him.

Five-Centres said...

I agree, TT> I can't even bring myself to say it. Same goes for 'buddy'. It's so not British.

Who said...

I'm 38 on Saturday and my Dad stills calls me flowerpot.

Michael said...

I am surprised to find that in egalitarian matey Australia they still call you 'sir' in the shops.

ally. said...

i've taken to using 'dear' an awful lot as in 'excuse me dear' and 'thankyou dear' and oh whatever i can stick it on the end of really. it's my little old lady being a bit overkeen
x

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