Terms of Endearment in Britain

Something about the sometimes unsettling use of terms of endearment in Britain

You may be called by many different names, when visiting different parts of Britain. Don’t be offended, this is quite normal. Complete strangers you come into contact with may call you dear, dearie, duck, flower, love, chick, chuck, sweetie, treacle, mate, guv, son, ma’am, madam, miss, or sir.

Often it doesn’t matter what sex or age you are or that of the person speaking to you.

For example, I remember whenever I took a bus in Sheffield, a city in the north of England, the driver would always refer to me as dear, “That’ll be £ 2.50, dear”. This was despite the fact that I was a bearded male in my thirties and all the drivers I encountered were male. At first, I confess I found this a little unsettling but quickly discovered that it appeared to be a universal add on to any sentence – not personally directed or pointed in any way!

The use of these terms of endearment vary depending on where you are in Britain.

terms of endearment

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