"Sweetie" is not sweet to my ears

In Australia, my aunt's male friend who is old enough to be my father addressed me as "Love". Fortunately over the dinner the previous night, my aunt had told me that when she arrive in Australia almost 50 years ago, she felt uncomfortable when men who called her "Love" but she later realised that it was normal for people there to address one another this way.

In Singapore, I don't think it's normal for a man to address a woman as "Love", "Darling", "Sweetie", etc if he didn't have some sort of interest in her. It's not that I'm not open-minded; it's just not in our culture. It's the same reason why we don't kiss and hug when we greet and bid one another farewell. If a man from Australia addresses me that way in Singapore, I would not think too much of it as he is not familiar with our culture. But Singaporean or Asian man addressing me that way is inappropriate - unless I am in a relationship with him. I have a name. I prefer people to address me by my name.


Rock Hard said...

In a local context, men use these endearing terms to address above average looking ladies and not so attractive ones like,
1)Lang Nui (lovely lass)
2)Xiao Jie (Little Missy)
3)Mei Nue (woman with exceptional beauty)
4)chantek (beautiful)
5)Miss (a polite term to a young female)

In return, the local females also devise ways to call good looking and not so good looking men like,
1)Lang Jai (handsome lad)
2)Yen Ai (good looking one)
3)Yen Tau Kia (Charmer)
4)Ah Tee (young man)

When is a good time to use such endearing names on the opposite sex?
Ans 1: When you cannot remember their names.

Ans 2: You are in a service industry and you wanna give the customer a more personal feel to your services.

Ans 3: While approaching someone for assistance and you realize you cannot pronounce his/her name cos it's too arty farty to read it. Eg, Icelandic names.
Try pronouncing the recent volcano name that stops all European air traffic for weeks. The Eyjafjallajökull Volcano.

Ans 4: Want some favour to be done for yourself, by calling him/her in such endearing ways, it could lead to advantage and disadvantage and it all depends on how sincere the caller's tone sounds like.

I used english endearing names as Sweetie, Sweetheart, Dear and Darling myself to females who are not intimate with me. The trick is, you must carry a sincere friendly expression rather then having a lascivious grin on your smirky face.

Sweetie or sweetheart is usually when I call little girls from 8 and below.

Dear is for female teens, eg,"Hello Dear, how's your exam paper doing today?"

Darling is for late teens to late twenties. Very Subjective though. Usually is someone I can relate to.

As for the 30s and above, if I cannot remember their names, I never try calling them Aunties like the bunch of insensitive young immature punks out there.
I call them "Miss".
Eg,"Gd Morning Miss, can I have a cup of coffee with milk please?"

Of cos, nothing beats addressing the person by their names.
It's the best ways to get noticed in a positive manners.

David said...


Interesting post and vocab lesson from RH.

Some older men, (greater than 719 months old) still use such terms. They get away with such use if they are not being lecherous.

More than a few men into late 60 and 70s have been convicted of being sexual predators over here.

I use such terms only with the little girls in our family.


Junjie said...

I prefer to go more formal. I usually address ladies I don't know as 'ladies' if they are in a group and as 'Madam' if I already know them.

Yeah, I am weird this way! :) But the 'ladies' term of address is always good for getting a giggle out of teenage school girls.

Yu-Kym said...

I agree that sincere friendly expression is important to avoid being thought of as a pervert. But what if it's on SMS or email?

Junjie, doesn't Madam sound kind of old? You use that on older women?

Rock Hard said...

I dun think Madam sounds old if use it like,
"excuse me Madam, would you please move your ass over, I like to sit with this lady here."