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Thread: Patronising? love it or loathe it?

  1. #1

    Default Patronising? love it or loathe it?

    I have seen several threads on various web sites discussing people’s feelings about being called ‘Sweetie’, ‘Hun’ etc. in shops, restaurants and other public places.

    In general it seems that the habit varies by location and these, for example, would be commonly-used terms in the South in the US. So, a few people said that they felt patronized but most thought it was fine if it was just a common form of speech.

    I am curious, though, if those of us who identify as *B would feel differently? In the UK people often use the word ‘Love’. It’s OK but I get it all the time so I almost don’t notice but I would love to be called ‘Sweetie’.

    I also noticed the other day how patronizing my dentist was. First the hygienist with ‘you’re doing very well’ and then the dental assistant with ‘we’ll just pop that on you’ as she put the bib on. I’m sure some people would hate it but I was lapping it up. Almost looking forward to my next trip to the dentist now.

    Just wondering how others feel?

  2. #2


    It depends on the type and degree of the patronisation. If it was just friendly, like your example at the dentist, I wouldn't mind. But if it's talking down to me, like I'm an idiot or a 5 year-old, I hate it.
    Last edited by Supersam1223; 07-Feb-2012 at 20:56. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3


    I do not not not like being talked down to as if I am (to quote SuperSam) "an idiot or a 5 year-old". As to being called 'hun' or 'sweetie' or something similar, I'm not real fond of that either, especially if the person using the term is obviously younger. I think those terms are more appropriate for someone with whom one is in a relationship, and I'm likely to tell the user just that!

    That said, when I was in Newfoundland a few years ago the term "my dear" was used by the vast majority of service people. (At least those with whom I was in contact.) I actually didn't mind that so much, as it was obviously a regional thing.

  4. #4


    hi yogi as a man in the big world its normaly "mate" or "bud" is it very different to love? i remember my mother going mad at bus conducters saying "i am not your lover!!!!!" as for the dentist yes i was treated rather like a baby! bib ect. and didn't even notice. cant wait to go again.xx

  5. #5


    I'll just say that I highly doubt the intention is ever to actually patronise you.

    So anyway, I don't have a problem with it at all. Really, what does it matter, they are just trying to be friendly. That effort alone has to be worth something even if you don't appreciate the terms.

  6. #6


    "I'm not your buddy, pal!"
    "I'm not your pal, friend!"

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by erevu View Post
    "I'm not your buddy, pal!"
    "I'm not your pal, friend!"
    lol you're awesome erevu!

    As for the question, when my mother, or my friends call me "buddy" or "sweetie" I love it.
    when my father or sister say similar things I want to stangle them...
    It really depends on the person...

  8. #8


    With me, it really depends who's saying it and how it's being said, but (depending on the situation) I occasionaly feel very mild irritation and think it's condescending... but most of the time I just feel really cute... Except for the time I drove up north and stopped in a Yorkshire petrol station and met a huge, butch, oily, dirty (male) lorry driver who beamed at me and said, "Hello, love!". That felt kind of weird...

    I just got a new dentist and had a scale & polish. Even thought it's much less painful than having a tooth drilled, I obviously looked worried and jumped when she touched my gums (what can I say, I'm a wimp!). She wrapped her arm round my head, held me close to her chest, and said in a really soft, soothing voice, "It's okay darling, don't worry... It's nearly all over...". As an AB, I instantly melted and felt about 2 years old! But I'm pretty sure 99% of people would find that terribly patronising... I kind of wonder if she could somehow tell...?

  9. #9


    I about want to punch most people who do it to me but when my girlfriend does it lol Damn...smh I am alllll over it. :")

  10. #10


    Personally I would like it if it were a relationship partner who I was intimate with, but I would not enjoy being patronized by my friends or family. Personally as a strongheaded person (at least in public) I don't like to be talked down to. I think that there is a very close line between friendly patronizing and belittling.

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