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(72 Posts)
DaisyD Thu 16-Jun-11 10:37:38

As for me I hate being called "dear". What does "dear" look like? I am a very lively 60 year old. Admittedly, I am small, possibly even dumpy!! and my hair is white but I have all my marbles at the moment. Am I being unreasonable? Am I turning into a grumpy old woman? "Dear" seems so very patronising.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 10:47:13

Don't off the cuff endearments like that vary with region? I've never lived in an area where Dear is common so I've never been called it. I have been called Love, Duck, Pet, My Darlin', hey you! and a few other things. It never occurred to me to feel patronised! I thought people were just trying to be friendly and pleasant.

MrsJamJam Thu 16-Jun-11 10:49:31

Now you've got me trying to think up a suitably withering retort to be used on anyone who calls me 'dear'. Anyone got any good ideas?

Notsogrand Thu 16-Jun-11 10:49:38

During the past week or so I have been addressed by people who don't know me, as dear, pet, love and even doll.
I once knew a very old and elegant lady who used to say 'I don't care what they call me as long as they don't call me late for dinner'

DaisyD Thu 16-Jun-11 10:51:27

Yes,Baggy, I have been called all those things too and I take them as being friendly. It's just "dear" that gets to me.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 10:54:45

Oh well, too bad, Daisy! Or do I mean Oh dear! wink

em Thu 16-Jun-11 10:57:59

Worst ever is when a tradesman is explaining in words of one syllable and an intensely patronising tone. Don't know where it springs from and it may be used only by local MCP's but try respoding to ' to let you understand m'dear' without blowing a gasket!!!
Otherwise, inoffensive local term is 'hen' !!

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 11:07:49

I'm in a hen region as well, em, but I get called Pal and Mate instead. Maybe there is a certain look that encourages Dear and some people have it while others don't. Just an idea. Don't bite my head off, anyone! wink

Elegran Thu 16-Jun-11 11:26:36

MrsJamJam, - I have asked someone what they would call my husband if they were talking to him - the answer (which they didn't seem willing to admit) is of course "sir" - however old and battered he looks. In fact, the older we get, the more likely people are to call him sir, and the less likely they are to call me madam. Not that I am a right madam, of course.

And Daisy - I agree, many of the terms of endearment are OK - duck, hen, flower, petal - but "dear" is so so patronising. I associate it with brisk young assistants in a care home for the helpless elderly, who all have perfectly good names if the staff could be bothered remembering them - or remembering that someone has never liked porridge " Eat up your breakfast, dear, it is getting cold".

absentgrana Thu 16-Jun-11 11:57:30

My late father-in-law always called me pet, but he was the only man in the world who could get away with it, although having moved to the North-east 18 months ago, I do hear the term used quite often. I was very amused and quite flattered at being addressed as bonny lass a short while ago – having never been particularly bonny even when when I was a lass.

Hedgehog92 Thu 16-Jun-11 12:42:07

The term in parts of the West Country is 'my lover'. True.

DaisyD Thu 16-Jun-11 14:17:16

Now then, I approve of "bonny lass" !

supernana Thu 16-Jun-11 14:24:46

"Bonny lass" [spoken in a lovely Scottish accent] is the perfect way to address English woman, living in Scotland...and very happy to be so.

Cressida Thu 16-Jun-11 14:59:52

I haven't minded being called 'my lover' 'petal' 'flower' 'duck' 'dear' or 'hen' but it does annoy me when I phone one particular takeway shop and a man with a foreign accent calls me 'Lady'

granmouse Thu 16-Jun-11 20:45:39

I like it! All of it with a special plce for a North eastern 'bonny lass' from my youth.

harrigran Thu 16-Jun-11 23:13:46

Bonny lass is an endearment in the north east but men better be careful when a man calls another man bonny lad !

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 06:57:06

If a nomeclature is kindly meant, and they usually are, it's stupid to get up tight about it. There are plenty of other ways to show that you are not in any way inferior.

Libradi Fri 17-Jun-11 08:24:28

It depends on who is saying it, a sales assistant at our local Tesco's who is probably about 20 years younger than me repeatedly called me 'Dear' on my last shop and I did find it irritating, if it was someone older it wouldn't have bothered me at all.

Littlelegs Fri 17-Jun-11 08:34:04

I think it depends on the tone of voice the person uses some people have a jolly tone - you would not take offence. However if it is patronising tone that is totally different. In Northamptonshire where I live now the term used is "sweetheart" or "me ducks".

dorsetpennt Fri 17-Jun-11 08:58:18

Sorry I don't like being called 'dear' etc by someone I don't know. In our local Iceland one of the cashiers calls her customers 'my sweetie darling dear' which is way over the top. One customer told her off by saying 'unless you know me as a member of your family I'd rather you didn't refer to me in that manner'. It fell on deaf ears.

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 09:09:36

Being a check-out cashier must be a deadly job. Maybe it's a way of saying: Please talk to me or I'll go nuts! Put yourself in their shoes and see how it feels. I expect I'd get a few irritating habits if I had such an irritating job. I do wish people would stop moaning about something so trivial. If you think someone is trying to pratronise you just give them a de-patronising glare or say: Don't be patronising.

Elegran Fri 17-Jun-11 10:58:47

Or smile sweetly and say "yes Mummy"

susiecb Fri 17-Jun-11 11:04:24

I dont like dear I must say but we have recently moved to the east Midlands where everyone calls you 'ma duck' and it sounds lovely to me.

What I would like is for shop assistants to stop saying ' are you alright there' instead of 'can I help you'.My response now is something ike 'Yes thank you I am fine today how are you', or sometimes if I am feeling very grumpy ' no I've got a headache.'

purpleandredhat Fri 17-Jun-11 12:54:20

I hate being called dear or love or any of those patronising belittling names. I have a sister who NEVER gets called anything like that and I have actually heard her called Madam by taxi drivers. So double the pain.

I tend to either fester resentfully or if I am feeling particularly belligerant return the compliment - I find 'sweetie' makes the point well enough.

baggythecrust! Sat 18-Jun-11 16:29:22

What if, for argument's sake, a woman older than you (any one of you who object) called you 'dear'? I said before that nobody ever calls me dear, but I've just remembered that, actually, one of my female neighbours does. She is older than me, though not by much. We have grandchildren of exactly the same age. Surely you wouldn't say she is being patronising? Anyway, she isn't. In which case, the 'name' dear is not intrinsically patronising. The point I'm trying to make is that a good many things can be said in a patronising way but since so many people object to dear, it must have connotations that I'm unaware of.