During my orientation for my current job, my manager talked about how we shouldn't use terms of endearment towards the customers. No sweetie or sugar etc, because people can find it to be diminutive or condescending. It got me thinking about it, and you know what? It's never bothered me when someone calls me hon, and in a weird way, I kind of like it. Only from older women though, not men. (Except, I think some older men can call you hon without it being creepy.)
One lady at my work calls people all sorts of pet names. It cracks me up, because hers are pretty unconventional. She calls a lot of people "dear heart" and if she really likes you, she calls you her "sugar lump." I'm pumped on it. (That's probably because I'm a sugar lump and not a dear heart.)
But it got me thinking about whether or not I ever do that. I didn't think I called people by any pet names. (People I don't know, that is. I call my boyfriend babe, and every once in a while I'll call him a couple others, mostly as a joke e.g. "boyface" and if I feel like being really obnoxious: "peach pit.") But I decided I would make a conscious effort to notice whether or not I ever said any terms of endearment. Turns out, I do. Not to adults, but to kids. I hadn't even realized it. But I noticed that I almost always call little boys "buddy" when I'm talking to them, and little girls are either "honey" or "sweetie." I wonder how long I've been doing that.
But now the question is, are people getting offended if I call their kids that? Would you get offended if someone was calling your kid buddy or honey?