Ooh Baby, Baby…

There is an ad on TV right now for McDonald’s where a young, attractive, thin couple are eating items from the Dollar Menu – why they insist on using young, thin, healthy looking people in an advertisement for clearly fattening, unhealthy food is a rant for another day – but anyway,  the girl has a bunch of humiliating pet names for the guy.

Have you seen it, “Chipmunk”?

Today I was in line at the DMV and I heard a woman refer to her husband as “Baby”.

As in, “Hey Baby, can I have the lighter for a sec?” after which she took said lighter and went outside for a smoke.

Apparently 15 minutes in a line was too much for her to bear without sucking on a cancer stick.

Again…a rant for another day.

I wanted to ask the guy, in her absence of course, how he felt about being referred to as Baby, but I try not to make a habit of chatting up strange men, lest my journalistic curiosity be misconstrued.

That and I’m pretty sure I knew the answer.  What guy would like it? How un-masculine is it to be called Baby?!

As a woman, even I hate being referred to as Baby, Babe or the like.  A baby is “an extremely young child; infant, or one who is infantile in behavior” according to Webster’s.

“Don’t be such a baby” is not a complimentary thing to hear no matter one’s gender, am I right?

I know what you’re going to say…a baby is also something one nurtures or takes special interest in, e.g. “This architectural project is my baby”.

The construction worker who cat calls at a woman passing by  and addresses her as Baby may very well be expressing his wish that he was “her daddy”….but not in a nurturing, or attentive way if you catch my drift.

This is the part where you call me nit-picky, or over sensitive, or a bitch.

Whatever…sticks and stones.

No, I don’t go feminist Nazi when I am called Baby – I don’t even say a word – but I do dislike it and consider it more of a statement on how that person views me than I consider it endearment. Thankfully nobody calls me that these days.

I think what people call you, when they aren’t using your given name, can be very telling.

Let’s look at some generic pet names for women frequently used in my region of the US  & let’s examine their meanings:

1. Honey (Honey-bun, Honey-bunny, Hun,  etc) = sweet

2. Angel (Angel-face, Angel-eyes, etc) = heavenly, beautiful, kind

3. Dumpling = how can this mean anything other than fat & doughy??

4. Cutie (Cutie pie, Cutiekins, Cutie-patootie, etc) = pretty, dainty, charming

5. Boo = I confess I don’t get this one, even a little…

6. Pookie = Garfield’s teddy bear. If your man calls you this without any prompting from you, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but he’s gay

7. Princess = noble, ladylike, held in high esteem. Can also hint that he’s got you on a pedestal, which is never a good thing

8. Puddin’ = probably sweet, but somehow smacks of chubby to me…

9. Pussy Cat (or Kitten) = a sex object, (or it may mean you’re dating Tom Jones, but it probably just means your boyfriend is all about your vag)

10. Mama = don’t even get me started. This term should only be used in reference to one’s mother, NOT someone a man has sex with

11. Snuggle Bunny = yes I have heard a man call a woman that in public, but I’m pretty sure his testicles had long since been removed

12. Sugar (Sugar-pie-honey-bunch)= again with the sweet reference

13. Tootsie (Toots) = I’m not sure…resembles Dustin Hoffman in drag maybe? Just kidding…for some reason it means a young woman. If a man over 40 calls you this, fret not

14. Baby (Babe, Babes, Baby-cakes) = I think we’ve beaten that horse sufficiently

15. Doll (Dolly, Dollface, Babydoll) = pretty, attractive, petite. The dark side is that it could also swing towards a toy or object but again, if he’s over 40 he’s just being retro & he likes you

16. Buttercup = why do you build me up…just kidding. Pretty, dainty, but it also happens to be a poisonous flower. Just sayin’

17. Dear (my Dear, Dearie, Dearest) =greatly valued, cherished

18. Sunshine = bright, warm, cheerful

19. Pumpkin (Pun’kin) =I don’t get how this one can be a term of affection either, since pumpkins are ROUND and used on a scary holiday…

20. Sweetie = alright…they’re sweet…we get it

21. Love ( Lover, Lovey-dovey, Lovee) = self-explanatory. Or you remind him of Mrs. Howell

22. Pooh = hopefully a reference to a ‘very special bear’ and not to, like, excrement or anything

23. Girlie = thank you Captain Obvious

24. Darling (Darlin’) = beloved, favorite, similar to Dear

25. Pet = this one means your boyfriend is so lame he can’t even come up with a pet name for you, so he just shortens “pet name” to one word and goes with that.  Run my friend.  Run fast, run far.

Of course, buzz-kill that I am, being called any or all of the above can simply mean this:

“girl whose name I can’t remember”

Sadly, the one that gets used the most around here is Baby.

I get it…I really do. They mean it as something endearing regardless of the fact that it implies you are infantile and poop your pants.  It is yet another symptom of the fact that people don’t think about what they say.

Or why, for that matter.

My special someone, Henry, calls me “Gorilla My Dreams”. Because I have inordinately hairy arms for a woman.  Over the years, this has been shortened to “Magilla“. Because, at the end of the day, there is no denying I am indeed a ‘trouble-prone ape’.

What pet names do you and your significant use?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steve
    May 04, 2011 @ 19:58:22

    Hairy arms… I think I love you!

  2. caribbean princess
    May 04, 2011 @ 20:47:27

    Ahhhh DH and I have pet names but if I told you I would have to kill you so it shall remain a secret! hehe. They don’t fit any of the ones you described though.

  3. kanalt
    May 07, 2011 @ 13:12:27

    So I read some of these to DH. I call him Pookie, but only when I’m being snarky. I don’t call him this on a regular basis. His question is this: If a guy calls a woman this and it means he’s gay, what does it mean that I call him that? A lesbian?
    He tends to call me sweetie a lot and I call him honey. No wonder no one comes to visit us – they’ll be sick with all the sweetness around here. 😉

  4. thezeitgeistofzoe
    May 08, 2011 @ 15:40:06

    Heh…he wishes ; )

  5. kanalt
    May 09, 2011 @ 00:18:51

    My thoughts exactly. =)

  6. AspireToBe
    May 09, 2011 @ 17:11:18

    Hi, Zoe! I just thought this post was hilarious – good call, dumpling is not a term of endearment – EVER! Haha! My DH & I are not very imaginative – honey, dear, darling. However, after watching several episodes of ‘Bones’ (a tv show), a lot of ‘sweetie’ comes out of me (one of the characters on the show, Angela, calls everybody that) until I detox from the show. Better than dumpling or pooh, I’m thinking!

    p.s. I’m having a lot of fun reading this blog! 🙂

  7. thezeitgeistofzoe
    May 09, 2011 @ 19:00:36

    I’m sorry…no detoxing from Bones is permitted. EVER.

  8. Steve Morton
    May 10, 2011 @ 09:28:16

    We have a pet name for our son… ‘Person’ or ‘Little Person’ except he’s hardly little any more, taller than me! It stems from before he was born, a big bump in Mums tummy!!

    Me I’m generally ‘Dearest’ I suppose. It’s funny I tend to forget what we call each other!


  9. Jotje
    May 10, 2011 @ 11:46:21

    Well, I’d have to translate here, but I guess we call each other Honey and Sweetie. By exception, b/c generally we call ourselves by our first names, which seems kind of practical.
    However …. petnames for my kids? Don’t get me started, because I’m really overdoing it in this area. The poor little ones are called (again translated): Bunny, Puppy, Little Flower, Sweetie, Cutie, Cutest, Cuddley, Princess or Girlie (obviously only the girls), Boy (again: obviously only the boy) …

    Come to think of it: I really need to get a grip …!

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