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Thread: What do you call people?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    What do you call people?

    I'm curious what forms of personal address Cyburbians use every day, especially those that are locally or culturally inspired.

    I was raised in the New Orleans area. It was common when I was growing up to call a male "chief" or "podna" (partner).

    In New Orleans, you might call a woman "dawlin". Both men and woman call women "dawlin". Inside the environs of the Crescent City, it is fine, but elsewhere it seems overly familiar and even pejorative. I don't call women "dawlin."

    I still do use "chief" most every day, especially at work, despite having been gone from the area for more than 20 years.

    Once it backfired on me when I was talking to a fellow while I was in Juneau. "Chief" slipped out in the conversation, and this stranger, who was Native American, thought I was being flippant. I explained that I meant no offense, and it was just a cultural idiosyncrasy of mine.

    My use of "ya'll" is pointed out by others from time to time.

    Are there forms of address that "ya'll" use, especially if you live far from where their use is common, that seem idiosyncratic?
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    good thread!

    My Dad always called random people "Mac" - as in "hey Mac, got the time" and it was generally accepted at the time in the 70's but now if I used that, it might be seen as facetious

    I use the word "folks" alot or "you folks" - I get sick of saying you or the community

    I do say Maa'm to a stranger or sir to ask the proverbial time question

    to friends I may say a generic bud or buddy as part of a salutation

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I frequently use 'chief' or sometimes 'Cochise' (if I know them better). 'Hombre' is another appelation often used by me in connection with male friends. I don't do the 'dawlin' or 'dearie' thing with females. About the closest thing is where I'll sometimes append '[something] chick' in connection with the topic at hand e.g. "Hey planning chick, did that application come in today" or "Hey smart chick, is inertia divided by mass equal to velocity squared over Sigma?"

    Male children (and dogs) are often referred to as 'Bud'

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Joe Mama
    Angie Daddy











    seriously, "sir" and "maam" are used frequently in my case
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    My wife finds "Hun", "Dear", and "Darling" offensive, like they are talking to her as a 6 year-old.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    people

    Being originally fro the Pittsburgh area, I occasionally call people "yunz" but usually when I'm back in the area.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    When I'm talking to strangers in public or in a professional setting, it's typically "sir" or "ma'am" or nothing at all. I don't understand why people find it acceptable to use other terms, unless you're they're friend or relative. Like the people who work at drive-thrus calling me bro, bud, boss, or chief. I'm not your drinking buddy, so don't act like it. Just because I may happen to be in my 20s, doesn't mean that those terms fly in a business transaction with me. Or older women calling me dear. I'm not your son and you're not my mother, so don't act like it.

    Of course, I never make a big deal about it. I just ignore it, and go about my day. I have bigger things to worry about than wasting my time correcting people.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    You guys sure to do encounter a lot of married French women and knights...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    "Hey, you!"



    If I'm addressing a stranger, I'm more likely to use something respectful like "sir" or "ma'am" - or nothing at all. I like lp's father's "mac" - very '60s and '70s!

    I can deal with being called "ma'am," but I find it really weird when someone calls me Mrs. [insert last name]. Isn't that my mother-in-law?! I don't even want little kids to call me Mrs... just use my first name, please.

    I'm not a fan of "hun" and "dear," either. Oddly enough, I find that older women (er, older than me ) are the biggest offenders.

    AIB Maister: I once had a co-worker who thought he was being smart by calling me "chica"... not so.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Living in the south but being from NJ - I get to say y'allz guyz. Not really. I've picked up y'all, though. And sir and ma'am. I'm finding myself slipping into calling younger females "sweetie" as in "Thanks, sweetie" to the waitress.

    Sometimes, "Pal" to a guy. I tend to call people "Jerry" as in "That's what you think, Jerry." or "I think your leg's broken, Jerry." or "You're Jerry, Jerry" although only if if I know them....for at least 10 minutes.

    I had a waitress at a truck stop call me "baby". I think she calls everyone "baby". Although I'm approaching the age where that could constitute foreplay. The food wasn't great but she got a good tip. God, I am so easy.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
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  11. #11
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tobinn View post
    ..... I've picked up y'all, though.....
    Since moving to Florida, I have pick up the "ya'll" (but I don't know where to place the apostrophe when I'm writing it). The first time I heard someone say "all ya'll" I just about fell out of my chair. I also refer to folks as "sir" and "ma'am" (including ZG and based on her reaction, she doesn't like it much when I call her "ma'am").
    Annoyingly insensitive

  12. #12
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I suppose "boy" is still out of style these days.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Tom R View post
    Being originally fro the Pittsburgh area, I occasionally call people "yunz" but usually when I'm back in the area.
    I never really used "yunz" or "yinz", but most people proudly wear the titile "yinzer" when referring to themselves.

    I say "Ya'll" to friends (my Southern roots) and refer to groups of people as "folks".

    I'll address people that I don't know as "sir" or "ma'am". If I'm trying to get the attention fo a child, I'll call out "Hey, kid!" I don't use that one too often.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Although my mother was (gasp!) a Yankee, our dad trained us to use "Sir" and "Ma'am". I am proud to say that I have NEVER used the most ubiquitous of female Southern expressions, which is to refer to practically anyone as "Sugar". Although I might start if it would irritate RJ.

    I will say that I have helped coach RJ into spouting a believable y'all. He's done well there.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I live in two worlds. The world of clients I serve have to be addressed in a particular way otherwise I'm viewed as the rich white lady that doesn't know jack and is out of touch with their reality. The other word which deals with bureaucrats and policy makers calls for the ma'am-sir/Mr.-Ms. treatment unless I know them personally.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    dude
    Chica

    As in What's up dude?

    or Hey there Chica
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    I use a lot of the previously mentioned words to refer to individuals. But on a related note, one of my biggest pet peeves is when a group or couple is referred to as "guys" unless it really is guys. I absolutely cannot stand when my wife and I are at a restaurant and the server asks "how are you guys doing? A couple and a group of women are not "guys'. It just drives me crazy. Anybody else feel this way or am I just turning into a cranky old man?
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  18. #18
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    or am I just turning into a cranky old man?
    this
    .......
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Or you could just use someone's given name. I typically only use generalized terms among friends or family, and even then, only with those that I'm on the same wavelength.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Yinz

    Quote Originally posted by kms View post
    I never really used "yunz" or "yinz", but most people proudly wear the titile "yinzer" when referring to themselves.

    I say "Ya'll" to friends (my Southern roots) and refer to groups of people as "folks".

    I'll address people that I don't know as "sir" or "ma'am". If I'm trying to get the attention fo a child, I'll call out "Hey, kid!" I don't use that one too often.
    Herz a lot more: http://english.cmu.edu/pittsburghspeech/dictionary.html

  21. #21
    I use sir or ma'am. For groups, I use either folks or y'all. I've picked it up since moving to the south and my love pointing that out to me. I've also picked up the Southern Mr or Miss followed by the person's first name i.e., Mr. Dan or Miss Nancy.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    The first time I heard someone say "all ya'll" I just about fell out of my chair.
    haha, yup definitely a southern sayin'

    I use the term 'miss' and their first name for women older than I, particularly other southern women. For example the Town Clerk and our front desk person are always 'Miss Judy or Miss Dottie' I use it endearly. I also like the term folks, I used it often in my days of waiting tables.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  23. #23
    When living in:

    Boston - You Guys

    NYC - Youse guys

    The South - Y'all

    The left Coast - Can't think of any for there, kind of a melting pot

    The Midwest - (Southern Illinois) Youen's

    Anywhere - Ma'am, sir

  24. #24
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    When I'm talking to strangers in public or in a professional setting, it's typically "sir" or "ma'am" or nothing at all.
    I use those a lot too. I only use 'brother' or 'sister' if I know the person well and I am in agreement with thier comment and he or she is in my age co-hort. "You got that Sister!"; or "Heard that Brother!"
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    My wife finds "Hun", "Dear", and "Darling" offensive, like they are talking to her as a 6 year-old.
    My wife always hated that, too.

    I always use "Sir", "Ma'am", or "Miss", personally.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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