Does it bother you when aquantances call you "hon"?

I run into this fairly often–people who work in stores or offices calling me “hon”. I never thought much of it, until my sister complained about how it drives her crazy. In most cases, I don’t care either way. {When I taught, though, it annoyed me to no end when another–older, male, obnoxious–teacher called me by nicknames like that; I never heard anyone use the word “dear” in such a condescending manner.)
I now deliver papers to a place where the desk guy is very nice and old enough to be my father. He regularly refers to me as “Sugar” (very occasionally, “Babe”) and I actually find it kind of endearing. Go figure.

What’s your response when this happens?

I wouldn’t say it “bothers” me. I get a lot of women calling me “sweetie” or “honey” or “sugar”. Figuratively, I roll my eyes. Literally, I doubt their sincerity. Then I realize that this is what some older women seem to regard as their Southern heritage or something. It’s clear they mean nothing by it.

Can I weigh in from the male perspective?

I absolutely hate when clerks call me “Big Guy.” It’s a similar attitude - not condescending, but the faux male bonding thing irritates me.

Nope, doesn’t bother me.

I will tolerate (as in, completely ignore and never complain or say anything about) being called almost anything by the elderly, since I guess if you make it that far, you’ve earned the right to call young whippersnappers whatever you want. I miss having grandparents, so that kind of colours my perspective in that regard as well.

Anyone else though, except people who I know well enough to feel comfortable with them making up pet names for me (this has included teachers and businesses where I went on a regular basis), I HATE it. Did I mention I HATE it?

Women around my mom’s age can get away with it most of the time, because it feels more like they’re taking a motherly tone, but when men do it, I politely as possible ask them not to do that again. They do it again, I get pissed and don’t speak to them any more and/or leave. I don’t go around calling men I don’t know stuff like honey, sugar, sweetcheeks, dear, whatever, and it always seems condescending and somewhat patronizing when they do it. Usually they’ll just say sorry, and that’s the end of it, but every once in a while some asshole will make a big deal out of it or keep doing it even after I ask them to stop. I’m not talking about 70-year old Mr. Johnson at the hardware store or something, but usually it will be some middle-aged guy in an airport or shopping mall or public place like that. Thankfully since I rarely go out without either my boyfriend or one of my other guy friends anymore, this coincidentally almost never happens. Since it usually happens while I’m by myself, and from strangers, maybe that’s why it skeeves me out so much.

My old boss’s wife used to call me “Doll.” That drove me batshit.

I can’t even remember the last time someone called me “Hon,” so apparently either it doesn’t happen, or I don’t notice it – either way, not a problem.

For the record, I myself call a lot of people (male and female, including underlings, not terribly close friends, etc.), “my dear,” and often call close, male, platonic friends “sweetie.” I also call both sets of people “kiddo.” I have no idea whether any of them are bothered by this or not.

Whew! I had misread the title and was going to add that I often get very worried when appliances talk to me, regardless of whether or not they use a too familiar address.

I grit my teeth when strangers such as store clerks call me “Hon” or “Dear” or “Sweetie.” I had always assumed that this would stop once I reached a certain age, but I was wrong.

However, if someone who knows me wants to throw cornball endearments into his or her speech, that’s different. My late father-in-law used to call me “Hon,” and I loved it. As long as I have some sort of personal relationship with someone, I enjoy whatever they call me, as long as the intent is affectionate.

A rheumatologist once called me “pussycat face,” and that bothered me a little. I was tempted to call him “angel drawers,” but I resisted the temptation. Never trifle with a man who has a syringe full of cortisone in his hand.

Doesn’t bother me any. My best friend and I joined an EQ guild together and one of the officers has the habit of calling everyone ‘hon’. Bothers the crap out of my friend but I couldn’t care less. We call each other ‘doll’ and ‘dearie’ and ‘dahlink’ after all. (yeah, I know it’s different 'cause we know each other.) On the other hand, being called ‘ma’am’ bothers the shit out of me. I’m 24 dammit! I’m not a ‘ma’am’!

It wouldn’t bother me if they didn’t keep misspelling it.


I’m from New Jersey, and I frequent diners. All diner waitresses call you “hon,” and I’ve learned to live with it. I have no problem when someone uses a nickname like that, unless, of course, it’s an obviously drunk homeless guy with no teeth, or something.

Sober, normally-dented homeless guys can, naturally, call me whatever they want. :wink:

What bothers me is being called “ma’am”. I don’t think I’m old enough for a “ma’am.” And not too long ago, I dropped my scarf in the mall, and some teenager came up and said “Hey lady, you dropped this.” I have never felt so old.

Well, if the kid didn’t address you in a Jerry Lewis whine, don’t feel so old.


I don’t run into it frequently. What I don’t like is when some women use it, or “darling”, and I can’t figure out if its meant in a romantic sense.
If a guy (such as a clerk) call me “big guy”, i reply with “the girlfriend been tellin stories again, huh?”. That gets some interesting reactions.

I fucking hate it. I have a name, use it. The worst is when my peers do it. It’s not cute and it’s not funny. I wouldn’t even let a boyfriend call me something like that.

Nope, doesn’t bother me at all.

I fucking hate it. I have a name, use it. The worst is when my peers do it. It’s not cute and it’s not funny. I wouldn’t even let a boyfriend call me something like that.

Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I think it’s sweet.

It doesn’t really bother me.

I live in Baltimore - EVERYONE calls me “Hon”. I am sure that Divine is spinning in his grave thinking that people don’t like to be called hon.

[sub] ahem…I…do that…sometimes.[/sub]

I’m sorry! I never do it with strangers. I only ever do it with people close to me. If I care about you, chances are, I’ll stick a “hon” or a “sweetie” in there when I’m talking to you, especially if I’m a) worried about you: “are you over that ebola yet, hon?” or b) asking very nicely if you’ll do something for me: “sweetie, would you hand me that mastodon?”

I slipped once and called a student “hon”. Didn’t even realize it until she whispered to her friend in a very pleased voice that I’d done that.

But, believe me, if a person were to snarl at me and declare they couldn’t stand being called “hon” or “sweetie”, I’d back the hell off…[sub]and start calling them snookums.[/sub]