Is "bub" an insult?


You don’t hear it around here, but if you did, it would be in this context-i.e. someone pre-empting an overt insult and substituting “bub” in a condescending, dismissive tone.

I’d have to call it about a 4-5 because of the almost unvarying context. Appalachian Virginia.

Here’s the rest of the hierarchy, IMO, keeping in mind interactions between strangers or mere acquaintances…

-tipping point where respect becomes unctuosity-
-tipping point where unctuosity becomes condescension-
6-Boy (sans racial implications)
-tipping point where condescension becomes outright derision-
9-Bitch (exchanged between males)
-tipping point where derision becomes hatred-
Rank 10 is comprised by racial/ethnic/sexual/homosexual slurs.

The word ‘pal’ is omitted because the last confirmed utterance of same occurred sometime in the late 1960’s.

Whether or not “bub” is an insult or not depends on whether a put down is implied or inferred in the context of the two parties involved.

I think it’s a little confrontational, but in the scheme of things, pretty mild. Maybe a 3, if 0 is not at all confrontational.

I’m trying to think of times that people would use it in a NON confrontational way … and I can’t think of very many (with the exception of people who use Bub and/or Bubba as a personal nickname).

If you were in the parking lot of Home Depot, and a stranger stopped to help you lift a large bag of topsoil into the trunk, I can imagine someone saying “Thanks a lot, man.” Or “Thanks a lot, buddy.” But not “Thanks a lot, bub.” That would sound so weird to me.

I’m from New York.

Chicago, and I’d put it on a par with “Buster.” Not an insult, but a bit confrontational.

I also call babies “bubs”…“Oh, what a cute little bub!”

This. I can make “Hello, how are you” sound like anything from a friendly greeting to a foreshadowing of imminient ass-whooping, depending on how I deliver the line. Same applies to pretty much any phrase.

I see no reason to take offense at a pleasantly delivered “bub” “buddy” “pal” “man” “dude” etc in most public situations.

I think it all depends on the tone and context of what is being said.

You know my ex-wife who is a bartender has a regular customer. Anytime she says something he doesn’t agree with or she says something that gets his panties in a twist, he’ll respond with something like “Well excuse me mam!, but blah, blah, blah…”

Now is “mam” an insult? Of course not. But the way this guy says it; he sounds like he’s really saying “bitch”.

Add me to the mildly confrontational.
It’s kind of a “I can’t be bothered to learn your name, but you just annoyed me”.
So maybe a 2 or 3.


It’s not bad. Maybe a 1-3, depending on the tone of voice.
Northern Virginia.

[hijack]How about ‘my friends’? :D[/hijack]

Words have the meanings we give them. You can call your friends motherfuckers and mean it as a term of endearment, or you can call an enemy buddy and mean it as an insult.

That being said, the only time I’ve ever heard “bub” is when Wolverine uses it, and he definitely means it aggressively.

I want proof. Do it for “Sir, I have a check for $10,000,000 to deliver to you.”

My age is showing again. I remember the 60’s TV series My Three Sons.. William Frawley played Steve Douglas’ (Fred MacMurray) father-in-law and the boys’ grandfather. He was affectionately known as “Bub”.

Not to be confused with Uncle Charley, who came along later.

In Australia and NZ it means baby. So never used as an insult that I’ve ever heard.

[snarl, punching left palm with right fist] Sir, I have a check for $10,000,000 to deliver to you[/snarl, punching left palm with right fist]

Bub to me has always been short for “Bubba”.

It’s got a certain aggressive connotation for it. I for one do not like being called “Bubba”. So same for Bub.

If you’re not Wolverine, don’t say Bub.

Then again, I hate the word “buddy” a lot more said by strangers- it just grates on my ears.

-Southern VA

If it’s followed by a snick I’d be pretty scared.

Hey Me too!

In fact I stole his name for my username. But then, he’s a dog.
I agree with you that the tone of voice has more meaning than the word itself.

Speak for yourself! Around here I get called Bubba all the time :smiley:

I’d say about a 2. it’s like calling someone a moron, but with the added benefit of making you look like a moron yourself.

It’s friendo, but less so.

Unless you have retractable, razor-sharp adamantium claw. By universal accord, persons possessing such may say it however often they wish.