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Little Minx

(214 Posts)
Thistledoo Tue 17-Jun-14 14:03:35

I was wondering if any other GNs have had a similar experience to the one I had on Sunday. My DS came to visit with grandchildren, little girl aged 23 months and boy aged four. As it was such a beautiful day we were all out in the garden, myself and DH chasing children around the lawn and generally having fun. DS was sitting watching, and playing on his mobile phone as usual. I was pretending to race DGD up the lawn say to her, I am gong to catch you...... I then caught her picked her up and swung her round saying as I did so, gottya you little minx. With that my DS rounded on me with some anger saying he didn't like me using that word. I questioned him as to why , and what did he think I meant. I was told this was very disrespectful and derogatory to his daughter. I was gobsmacked and upset to say the least, I was only playing and having fun with the toddler. I was so upset in fact that I left the garden and went into the kitchen to prepare the evening meal. They then left without saying goodbye. I can remember reading a comic strip way back in my youth with a character by that name. But DH looked up the true definition in the oxford dictionary and it really is a derogatory term so why is it used so widely. I was really upset and didn't sleep on Sunday night. I would really appreciate some comments about this difficult subject.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 17-Jun-14 14:11:44

God! That is very weird of them - to leave without saying goodbye over such a little thing! And your son's reaction to a harmless name was quite ridiculous. Nothing wrong with calling anyone a little minx in fun. Where did he get the idea it has bad connotations? hmm

I would have cried. And made them feel really bad. Or - more likely - I would have got really angry and expressed it bluntly.

I don't think we should pussy-foot round our kids. I know a lot of GN'rs will disagree with me there though.

kittylester Tue 17-Jun-14 14:13:21

Oh poor you Thistle. It seems a bit over the top to leave without saying goodbye. I remember Minnie the Minx, I think it was, so I wouldn't think anything about it either. It was obviously said in a loving way so I think your DS would have been better to say something along the lines of 'I'd rather you didn't say that to her Mum' and explained why. I don't think it's that bad anyway.

In fact, I've said on here that DGS2 is called Bertie the b****r because he is although we have stopped saying it now in case he repeats it!

I think you just have to apologise and explain that you were using it in one of the nicer ways (my dictionary says 'pert, sly or playful') and not let it become a big thing between you.


GrannyTwice Tue 17-Jun-14 14:16:19

I would have used the word before I read this and checked the meaning, I won't now! Words do move on in their acceptability and he has a right to ask you not to use this word to his daughter. BUT he should have said this to you calmly, in private and as for going home without saying goodbye? Very poor show! Can you ring him - explain you meant no harm, won't do it again but that you were upset by his childish reaction

GrannyTwice Tue 17-Jun-14 14:17:33

X posts Kitty

GrannyTwice Tue 17-Jun-14 14:18:37

And tell him to out his phone away next time he's visiting!

penguinpaperback Tue 17-Jun-14 14:21:58

That seems a very harsh, unkind reaction, over reaction in fact from your son Thistle.
I've just read the various definitions and like you I had no idea the word could be used in any other way than in a lighthearted way. Like Minnie the Minx, of course from comic days. But surely your son realises this too? Does he often look for an excuse to behave so badly?
How rude not to even say goodbye.
flowers For you.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 17-Jun-14 14:30:51

No matter what the current definitions of the word in dictionaries may be, it is usually used (with "little" in front) to mean cheeky or mishcheivous. Is he usually this up himself precious with his children?

merlotgran Tue 17-Jun-14 14:37:05

Your son was being unreasonable, Thistledoo and very rude to leave without saying goodbye.

I wouldn't have known what he was angry about either. hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 17-Jun-14 14:37:41

Minnie the Minx is still in the Beano comic. No way is she intended to be as your son seemed to think. Buy him a copy. Tell him it might loosen him up to have a laugh.

TriciaF Tue 17-Jun-14 14:40:40

Very upsetting, Thistle, I think I would have cried ,too. but maybe there's more to this than meets the eye. Was the children's mother there too? You don't mention her.

GillT57 Tue 17-Jun-14 14:43:23

It was unintentional and accidental, whereas sitting playing games on your 'phone in company is intentionally rude.

janeainsworth Tue 17-Jun-14 15:51:11

I would have felt awful too Thistledoo, because like you I would have used the word in all innocence. I was thinking today how easy it is to use words without knowing how the young use them, and how easy to make a faux pas.
Having said that, it is your son who should apologise to you for grossly overreacting and upsetting you like that.
Having said that, that is how family rifts can start, by expecting and demanding apologies, so what I would do in your place is apologise once again for having used an inappropriate word, but let him know how very upset you are, that you upset him.
I hope he sends you a lovely flowers by way of apology - you don't deserve such treatment.

HollyDaze Tue 17-Jun-14 16:07:59

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, 'minx' means 'a girl or young woman who knows how to control other people to her advantage'; the Oxford Dictionary appears to have never heard of the word; the Urban Dictionary it means Cheeky or mischievous girl.

As I felt puzzled, I also checked (if there was to be any likely offender, it would be internet usage/slang) and they also say that minx is a cheeky or mischievous girl.

Am I looking in the wrong dictionaries confused

Had my son reacted that way regarding a 23 month old little girl, I would have been seriously angry with him that he would think I would use a derogatory term for my own granddaughters - he wouldn't have left without saying goodbye, he'd have left with a flea in his ear for being so rude.

I also wouldn't tolerate him messing with his phone either - completely unacceptable behaviour when visiting, he might just as well say out loud that he'd bored!

You have absolutely nothing to feel bad about Thistledoo - you have used the word the way most of us would use it; you can't be held responsible for people who don't understand word usage.

Ana Tue 17-Jun-14 16:16:19

I agree with everyone who says your son overreacted, Thistledoo - surely he knows his own mother better than that!

HollyDaze, I've just googled 'minx' and the first thing that came up was:
noun: minx; plural noun: minxes
an impudent, cunning, or boldly flirtatious girl or young woman.
"you saucy little minx!"
tease, seductress, coquette, trollop, slut, Lolita, loose woman, hussy

I think it's the synonyms which could be termed 'offensive', but who on earth uses the word in that way? confused

Marelli Tue 17-Jun-14 16:18:14

I think he needs to get over himself, Thistledoo. How unkind of him - when you and the little one were having such a fun time, too. How on earth did he know that 'minx'may have an alternative meaning, anyway? Was he Googling the word while you were playing? I think you deserve an apology - not the other way round.

Charleygirl Tue 17-Jun-14 16:19:57

Thistledoo I checked "minx" on Wordweb and discovered p***k teaser. You would never have used the word minx if you had half an idea that is one of its meanings.

Your son was way over the top acting the way that he did. I would have been livid and I agree with everybody else re the use of his phone in company.

Minx is a word that I use quite frequently if playing with children or describing my cat's antics.

GrannyTwice Tue 17-Jun-14 16:27:51

I think it's important to keep the distinction between his right to object to the use of the word and how he behaved about it. If you keep that distinction clear, hopefully you can all move on.

HollyDaze Tue 17-Jun-14 16:28:25

Ana - it may be the use of the word 'saucy' that gives a different interpretation. None of the dictionaries I checked had anything untoward (I'm now wondering if my son has put some kind of filter on this laptop to stop me from wandering onto, erm, dodgy sites lol)

Charleygirl - from what I can see, Wordweb is owned by CNET which is an American company and they may well use the word differently to us (i.e. bum bag/fanny pack - we would never use the latter!)

HollyDaze Tue 17-Jun-14 16:33:00


I think you deserve an apology

I agree. There was no love lost between my mum and I but I wouldn't have been disrespectful to her and especially without checking the facts first.

Why can't people just ask for things to be clarified instead of flying off the handle? Maybe we really are turning into Angry Britain sad

Thistledoo Tue 17-Jun-14 16:37:45

Thank you all for your supportive posts, I am very cross that my DS thought his mother would have meant his toddler daughter was in anyway flirtatious or any of the other terms stated on google. I am cross with him and will not apologise for something so trivial, but having said that I will just let it go for the sake of peace and harmony.
DIL was not present, he had sole charge for the afternoon as she was doing something else.
Jings, I might just go out an look for the comic Beano and give it to him with a marker t Minnie the Minx. What a good idea. Second thoughts maybe it might rub salt in it.
I often called my children, and grandchildren, things like. Rascal, tinker,
scaliwag, turkey bean, bandits. I suppose we are not allowed to use these terms anymore either as they all have derogatory meanings.

whenim64 Tue 17-Jun-14 16:42:38

Thistle maybe he should acknowledge that his over-reaction was unjustified as, coming from you, it wasn't meant to be inappropriate. The term used to mean mischievous, but now seems to be used to mean a sexual tease, along with (hate this one) 'whit-woo - sexy!' when telling little girls they look nice.

There was a better way to update you on how this word is used these days, and in return you could bring him up to scratch about it being rude to play on the mobile when in company.

I hope you're ok now - how upsetting to get a reaction like that and then be unable to sleep because of it. flowers

Ana Tue 17-Jun-14 16:46:16

This has just reminded me of the time I called my teenage daughter a 'slut' because she hadn't cleaned her bedroom for weeks - I never heard the end of that!!! shock

granjura Tue 17-Jun-14 16:53:02

Agree with all that has been said. But this is so hard, isn't it, as if you make a fuss and ask for an apology it will make the situation much worse.
I'd phone and try to stay very calm and cheerful (I know, so hard) and sy you are sorry as you of course were not aware he would see it as a criticism, etc- but you were just having fun with the kids. Don't remonstrate about the phone though- it would be like a red rag to a bull, I suppose. If you can't phone,maybe send a card? We sometimes have to walk on eggs and make ourselves very little to appease situations, even when we know we are NOT in the wrong. I've many times taken 'the blame' and eaten humble pie- as I want my grand-children to always be close.

Lona Tue 17-Jun-14 16:56:05

We've been using these words for a lot longer than young people, maybe they should apologise for dragging the meanings into the gutter.