How do you feel when a young man you don't know calls you a young lady? As in a clerk at a store who says "Hello young lady" or a salesman or even a greeter at church.
Take it for some odd lack of manners. They think it is cute, but didn't get the memo. I would be embarrassed for them. When they started per cent off for over 55, I asked one of the clerks why they never mention it. She said because more than once they have been wrong and better safe than wrong.
It doesn't bother me at all. Guys say that to women of all ages. I don't see it as being bad manners.
Doesn't really bother me (I'm 72) - there isn't any malicious intent in the comment. What DOES get to me is being called a "guy" as in "What can I get you guys to drink" or "Can I bring you guys anything else?" Guys? Really???? Why not simply omit the word - doesn't change the meaning one iota.
It's old school gallantry, I'm fine with it. Sometimes I hear 'little lady' as well. (I'm not little).
But when you look behind what they say, they are making an effort to say something nice, and I think that should be encouraged.
At least it is not one of the youngsters with a cell phone glued to his ear that doesn't even recognize one's existence let alone give any kind of greeting.
It doesn't bother me. I'd much prefer than to "honey", "babe", "sweetheart". I got all three the other day from a man in one conversation. I hate that.
Better than "ma'am" any day.
Thanks all. You crack me up too. Boy do I hate "honey" even when it comes from another woman.
I don't know why my original phrase bothered me, but it did, and does, but I'll try to get over it. My mom's handy man calls her young lady (mom is 83) and then he said it to me too. He says it in a way that is more like he is making a joke. But then the 16+ kid at CVS said it, I thought gee whiz, do I look that old?
I usually just laugh and take the opportunity to say something about my 8 grandchildren.
I'm not quite 50 yet, but I HATE being called "honey", and it frequently comes from sales people much younger that me. It REALLY urks me.
I consider "maam" good old southern hospitality and don't mind it at all.
"M'am" is extremely common where I live and work! I do not take offense at all. I don't know if I've ever heard "young lady" here. Maybe it is a regional thing.
"Honey" or "sweetie" I do not like. I am not your honey or sweetie.
I'd rather miss than ma'am.
I don't mind being called young lady.
I do refer to people, men and women as hon or sweetie because I often can't recall their name right away, so it's easier.
I don't mind being referred to as guys as I presume that's gender neutral...I seldom hear guys and gals which would technically be more inclusive.
I do bristle a little at being referred to as girl since I am over 18....
I try not to take offense and try to work from the presumption that people are well intended, and that everyone fights battles daily and needs someone to give them a break, esp about innocent things they say especially if their intention is friendly.
'Ma'am' is just another way of being polite in the south and is very common. I guess it's what you are used to, so I don't take offense to it at all. I don't hear 'young lady' much, but I do take offense to 'babe' or 'sweetheart', and honey.
I walked out of a car dealership (and I had intended to purchase) several years ago after about 5 of those from the sales person. Yes, it was a man. He called me later and asked me why I wasn't going to buy the car. I told him. Always wondered if he changed his habits of addressing female customers after that. Doubt it.
None of it bothers me as it's not intentionally malicious. Dear, honey, sweetie, ma'am, whatever! I don't care. Better than being ignored.
I agree with technicolor, I'm embarrassed for them. They think they're being charming and/or witty and they're wrong. To me it's saying "I think you're old and I think I can flatter you by calling you a young lady."
I much prefer ma'am. If I feel someone is calling me honey or sweetie as a derogatory term - like outsideplaying's ex salesman - then I will answer in kind, but mostly it doesn't phase me (ie. from a waitress, or someone like Annie who doesn't know or can't remember my name).
I'm not over 50 but wanted to comment on the reference to being referred to as "you guys." To me, that is a colloquial term that was always commonly used when I was growing up as a gender neutral term that means the same thing as "y'all"in the south or "youse" (or is it yous') that my relatives in Ohio always say.
I don't use that term when speaking with people I don't know but I hear it often in my peer group in conversation like "What are you guys doing for Memorial Day weekend?" which really is asking, what are my family and I or my husband and I doing? I know wait staff often ask that when taking orders but it's not meant to ignore the fact that a woman is part of the group. Kind of like....the students here at the Naval Academy are all called midshipmen, regardless of gender. Women have only been attending the Academy since the late 70s but they don't take offense to the term.
Pomona, I get what you are saying about just omitting the word "guys" but it isn't that easy when it's a phrase you grew up saying, just like someone who says y'all or youse. It's not a conscious thought just a habit.
I have only been called young lady by men much older than I. I can't imagine any young men I know using that term.
Speech is very regional!
Where I'm from, "you guys" is totally age- and gender-neutral, though casual. A waiter could use the phrase in a casual restaurant, but not in a 'tablecloth' place.
"Young lady" sounds patronizing to me unless the speaker is 20 years older than I am. I'd greatly prefer "Ma'am" or "Miss" or nothing at all. For a group, "Girls" is OK only if spoken by another woman, but not for a man - and particularly not if he's in a superior position. I'd prefer "Ladies" or "Folks" for a mixed-gender group --
There's a woman at work who calls everyone "hon". It's fine, I know she doesn't mean it in a flirtatious way, although I wouldn't call someone other than my husband "sweetheart", "babe", etc. But like the salesman mentioned above, I do not like that. To me, that was said more flirtatious, or swarmy (LOL I love that word).
There's an older man at work who calls me "girl"! It doesn't bother me, because I know him and how he is, and frankly, I guess I'm glad he considers me girlish!
I don't mind being called young lady, and I'm way over 50. I think it's just being friendly.
DH calls waitresses "dear." I don't like it but I've never told him. (Not jealous, I just think it's an endearing term and not appropriate for strangers.)
tina I think you meant smarmy but I got where you were going!
None of the words or phrases bother me really as long as there is no intention to indicate familiarity when there is none. Intention is the subjective factor here but most of the time it's not an issue. I have a totally different list that gets my undies in a bunch - ma'am, miss, honey etc just isn't a deal breaker for me.
I'm 71 and pretty laid back, but I hate having anyone call me young lady. I agree with Sweeby that it's unbelievably patronizing. How dare you treat me as if I'm so old and out-of-it that I'll be flattered by an obvious lie. Call me Ma'am---that's what I am. Can you tell you hit a nerve?
Maybe I have a "don't mess with me" look about me but I don't get called anything. Could also be regional.
Wow, you touched a nerve. I HATE being called young lady. Its like calling a fat person Skinny or a big person Tiny. The intent is the opposite of what the person says -- they are drawing attention to the fact that you are old. I once heard someone call an old man who was all bent, had severe age spots and wrinkles galore as Handsome. Excuse me? Do you want to purposely draw attention to his decrepitude?
I don't mind ma'am in the right situation. It sure was a shock the first time someone called me that.
That's it exactly dedtired. When that young clerk said that to me, I fumed about it the rest of the day.
Speaking of regional speech patterns, did anyone take this quiz on the New York Times? You answer questions about how you say certain things and it pinpoints where you are from (like y'll, youse and you guys"
It got me, my husband, my dad & my mother in law all correct:
Fun dialect quiz:
I don't think it's appropriate for a younger person to call someone older than them, "young lady/man". If someone older does, it's fine.
I don't really let too many names bother me if the tone is right, though I do NOT want to be called Ms. I hate that. It sounds down right rude to me. I'll take Ma'am, anyday over Ms.
Another thing that bothers me are forms that ask your race. You don't see it anymore, but I used to check "other" and added "human" on the line.
This post was edited by jstell2008 on Fri, Sep 26, 14 at 20:26
In Tx you're Ma'am no matter what your age~I find it very respectful coming from young people. In Ca, you were lucky if you even got a thank you from a young clerk, sometimes older ones also. I'm old school and appreciate manners. Youn lady works just fine.
I agree with Pamona: I hate 'you guys'. ( I also do not say youse or youse guys and I am from Ohio.)
Saying that, I concur with Annie D. Everyone is just trying to get along with everyone and we shouldn't get our feathers ruffled over something that may not offend the next person.
Call me any pleasantry you want. It's better than being called, "You old b***h."
Aw, that reminds me of my dad. He always used to say that to women (yes, he was way older than they were). Betting he called Ded that at the Gladwyne library at some point. ;)
If the tone of voice is pleasant, I couldn't care less what I'm called.
It's when a young person offers me their seat on a bus or train that bothers this old broad. 58 yrs and fit.
I feel a tad miffed to be called young lady, since it's apparent that I'm not a young lady, am I supposed to find it funny and giggle..... ?
I don't say anything and my blood pressure doesn't move a bit , but if I never heard it again, I'd be really happy.
it's a bit condescending when you think about it.
beaglesdoitbetter - did the quiz and yep got me. Well, the Canadian side of the pertinent area.
beagles, I've taken those quizzes before that were spot on, but this one put me in Alabama instead of Texas. Hmmm, don't know which questions it could have been, as in Ben Franklin.
Aw, I hope he did, Cyn. I loved the older retired guys who came into the library when I actually was a young lady. They were always sweet.
Like all good Philadelphians, I say you guys.
Not in my 50s yet, but not too far off. I've heard all the above terms and the only one that really bothers me is "babe". I'm sorry but to me that is a very impolite thing to call anything and has no endearing qualities to me at all. May have to do with that I'm in a male dominated field and have many male friends and have more heard that term as a "that is a hot woman" and not in an endearing way.
I've been called m'am since I moved to Texas in my early 20's so don't think much of that one.
Beagles, that test is amazing! It nailed me down to the city I lived in longest as an adult.
Wow, that's a fun quiz Beagles. I liked watching where each answer put me.
If a young man called me young lady I'd think his sense of humor was not on the same page as mine but would just ignore.
The only thing that really bothers me is when young cashiers call me by my first name as on my grocery points card. Being well over 50 I grew up in the era when adults one did not know were never called by their first names. However, I do recognize that times have changed and they are likely told to do it so it's best ignored. For my own peace of mind I ignore a lot!
I was quite surprised recently when the older mechanic checking my tires recently called me Lady as it's not a northern term. Since I've dealt with him before and he's always friendly and helpful I took it as being well-meant.
We went to a restaurant with DH's aunt, a very proper sort.
She was called 'Hon' by the waiter who was probably about 20.
She stood up from her chair and turned to face him.
She said, "What is your name, young man?"
He said. "...Jim...?"
She said, "Jim, my name is Mrs. Thomas, and I am 78 years old. It is not appropriate for you to call me or any other female 'Hon' unless she is your girlfriend or your wife."
He quickly apologized.
It was a little awkward, but I think it might be a good thing for him to remember.
I know that I don't like being called 'Hon' either, by anyone. So patronizing!
If someone calls me "young lady", I think he is clumsily trying to flatter me. And I'm thinking, like hhireno, that he thinks I'm old and he's going to make my day by calling me that. When really I'm thinking- guess what, I'm fine with my age, and I don't need the likes of you to try to make me feel better by pretending you think I'm young-looking!
Nancybee summed up my thoughts perfectly.
Melsouth, tell your husband's aunt to avoid Baltimore, because calling women Hon is part of the lexicon there. They even have a festival.
Nancybee nailed it and I love Melsouth's DH's Aunt's response-I bet he never forgets that!
I dislike all the diminutives strangers call each other. It's obnoxious and patronizing IMO, regardless of the speaker's intent. People cannot address me like that with the impunity they apparently expect for being a friendly buffoon.
Gosh, maybe that is how I should respond to questions like, "and where does the young lady want to sit"?
Oh, anywhere is fine, friendly buffoon. or
I'll let the happy ignoramus seat me at the end, thank you.
Oh and yes, you guys...another Philadelphian phrase that I still use-like the football team-the Iggles. :)
Hey you guys! I thought of you today. I went to our local market for some take out food (Cyn, it used to be The Delaware Market House), and the young kid at the checkout was about to walk away when he saw me and said "let me help this young lady first." I shoulda clocked him.
I was once at the deli counter and a young man behind the counter said to his coworker, "how come you get all the good looking customers." I got a kick out of it.
I don't like honey or sweety, terms of endearment are just not appropriate.
There is a male cashier (probably in his 30s) at the small cafeteria at work who will say "young lady" to women who are older than him. He's an absolute sweetheart, so it's difficult to take it personally. I give him a pass.
As a former Marylander, I have no problem with "Hon."
I've been calling my kids/grands honey for years and it's just natural that' it would be carried over and used on anyone, and everyone. Calling young men honey has gotten me a smile or two, as though I could be flirting, but I still do it. I *do* try not to call older women honey, since it can seem condescending, especially if she's low on self esteem to begin with. I don't have self confidence issues, and I don't particularly like having another woman my age refer to me as honey or sweetie, either. Two of my DD's are following suite~like mother, like daugher. Older men eat it up! lol
I don't care if a woman calls me Hon. It just seems friendly to me. All the female checkers at my supermarket call me Hon. However, it strikes me as demeaning when a man of any age calls me Hon.
About the same when the man at Costco on the way out calls me, ''Sweetie.' Next time he does it, I am going to say, 'Good-bye, dirty old man.'''
None of it bothers me, in fact I think it's sweet. I've never had the impression it was said with anything but good intentions. Just yesterday a woman motioned for me to go ahead of her referring to me as "sweetie". I couldn't help but smile.
I don't mind being called Miss if I'm alone, I don't often wear a wedding ring. But when I'm with my family, obviously married (as tonight when we went out to eat), it rather irks me to be repeatedly referred to as Miss - it's NOT the female equivalent of Sir (which my DH gets)! I prefer Ma'am.
The waitress tonight was also referring to DD as Sweetie which is our family nickname for her too, she's still a preteen so that's OK but I think she will resent it (coming from strangers) as she gets older.
Though I sometimes slip and call younger people (not preteens, but even teens and 20's) Hon or honey, esp. if they have been extremely helpful or patient, or if I've been helping *them* with something. I hope they see it as a mom (or even grandma) thing and not that I'm flirting with or patronizing them! Yes, I lived quite a while in the DC area...
I understand the awkward friendliness behind being called young lady, but, still, it only serves to call out the fact that I am NOT a young lady. Wonder if I can tactfully point that out to the next time?
I prefer ma'am. I also prefer being addressed by strangers as Mrs. M. instead by my first name. A bank teller yesterday kept calling me by my first name as if we knew each other, and I kept wishing she were a little more formal in her dealings with me. Not sure why this bugs me so much. Maybe it's because I start out treating people a little formally & with dignity until we know each other well enough to "loosen up" and feel uncomfortable when others don't follow that pattern.
Young lady doesnÃ¢ÂÂt bother me that much. However sometimes I just feel like winding people up. If I hear Ã¢ÂÂhow are you young lady?Ã¢ÂÂ I say: if IÃ¢ÂÂm a young lady you must be a tot, can I call you toddler? I say it in such a nice way that it confuses them. You can literally see their mind trying to make sense of it. You canÃ¢ÂÂt do that if you are in a hurry though because it sort of freezes them up as the wheels s-l-o-w-l-y turn.
What I really dislike is sweetie or honey. They get the fish eye for that.
Ha! I love that responce jterrilynn!
awm03, I was brought up to call adults by Mr./Mrs. so it's been very hard for me to change even in my middle ages. I have learned if someone calls me by my first name to check their name tag and call them by theirs. It's not really all that bad once you get used to it. Though I have to admit it bothered me allot at first.
That brings up another point, people who call you ''Mrs.'' when you are not married.
I'm talking about calling someone Mrs. or Mr. that is/was a friend's parent and adding their last name. Like Hello Mr. and Mrs. Smith, how are you today? Or my kids teachers. Once I worked in the public school as a teachers assistant I called them by their first name when not around my children or other students.
Am finding cashiers in stores more often using your name, they are the ones I am referring to regarding the assumed Mrs.
Ah yes, that happens to me too, but I am a Mrs.
I live in an Army town and get mam all the time. It doesn't bother me. What is interesting to me is during the last year people are calling other women "Miss Lori", as an example. Always with a first name. I am getting this on a routine basis in a wide range of environments now and heard someone call my daughter this at her work. I asked her if everyone was doing this and she said it is the common greeting now. Not a singular, not connected to married, unmarried, young or old. Miss being a kindness with respect.
I remember this greeting when visiting our southern states. It doesn't bother me at all. Feels like a kindness. Is anyone else hearing this greeting as common?
"Better than "ma'am" any day."
Oh Dear. I say that all the time.
I think ma'am is fine, it is common here in Texas.
I think intent is important. Almost any phrase can be used in a kindly manner, but also, almost any phrase can be used in a demeaning way.
Often, a personality defect runs deep enough that one can't readily affect the demeanor of the demeaner, but in today's world of internet communication, word gets around and sometimes, karma works.
I agree in a similar vein, I find it very sexist that Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show is referred to as "Dr. Nancy" without her last name.
Having met her, she is a very down to earth person, she MAY have requested that to make herself seem more approachable.
I find it very sexist that Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show is referred to as "Dr. Nancy" without her last name.
Nah, Dr. Phil.
technicolor said- " What is interesting to me is during the last year people are calling other women "Miss Lori", as an example. Always with a first name. I am getting this on a routine basis in a wide range of environments now and heard someone call my daughter this at her work. I asked her if everyone was doing this and she said it is the common greeting now. Not a singular, not connected to married, unmarried, young or old. Miss being a kindness with respect."
Just a note, this is very common in the South. I grew up being taught to do this and my children do as well. (Although, most elderly people are address by Mrs. or Mr. Last Name.) I still address people that I'm not on very familiar terms with as Ms. First Name or Mr. First Name. You just don't go around calling people you don't really know by their first name alone. :)
Like sweet_tea (love that name), I taught my children to call some adults Miss Lori or whatever their first name was. It's meant to show respect. My kids usually use that phrasing with people who are family friends or people we have a close or familiar relationship with.
I have a last name that a lot of people stumble over, so I get 'Miss XXX' a lot, even though I am 66 and married. I don't get all upset over it, but I would much prefer someone ask me HOW to pronounce our name (it's two syllables and pretty easy once you hear it), or try and be corrected (most people come pretty close).
But I agree - Kids calling me 'Miss XX' if we are familiar is just fine, along with ma'm. Yes-sir-ree-bob.
I don't like to be called "Dear". I think it's condescending.
My DD and I just had a conversation about this - her 5th grade teacher told them that being called "Miss X" or "Mrs. Y" makes some people feel older (she didn't mention what Mrs. B prefers but think it's "Mrs. B..." since that's what DD called her when she mentioned this conversation). I said "well, you're 10 yrs old, they ARE older" and she said "no, like it makes them feel really old." I told her it was a sign of respect, and that I expected her to call anyone older than she was Miss/Mrs./Mr. as appropriate, unless they asked her to call them something else. I granted that if it was a teenager, it was probably more appropriate to use the first name, but it depended on how they were introduced and what the situation was - a teenaged camp counselor introduced as "Miss X" (first or last name) should be addressed as such until they requested otherwise, but a friend of DS's we see at a meet could be addressed by his first name.
I don't really like my kids calling adults by their first names, I do like them to call them "Miss Lori" (or whatever) if we are close enough to be on a first-name basis but not relatives so can't call them aunt or uncle. It's a little weird with my cousins - my uncle's boys are about the age of my kids, I'm their cousin so "Aunt" didn't seem right (though my kids call their parents aunt and uncle, since they're technically their great-aunt and uncle). They call a friend of their dad's "Uncle Bob" but they call me and DH by our first names (and my kids have fallen into the habit of calling Bob "Uncle Bob" too though we're not close). But my cousin's kids call me by my first name, and my kids call my cousins by theirs, it didn't seem right to call each other "aunt" or "uncle" and "cousin" is awkward. Though it does get confusing with multiple generations of "Mikes" - my uncle Mike is "Uncle Mike" to my kids, but my grown cousin Mike is "Mike" and my other cousin (younger than my DS) is "Michael" or "Mike N."
What do you prefer kids call adult family members who aren't aunts or uncles?
It bugs the life out of me! I'm 47, but that's close enough. Ma'am doesn't bother me cause I live where everyone says ma'am and sir all the time, young and old. My boss made me quit saying it to him. "Robin?" "Sir?". He jokingly said one day, "You're supposed to say 'WHAT!'". Sometimes I do, but just for fun. Hon, sugar, sweetheart don't bother me at all... when it's from women. A man? Sometimes it bothers me. Kiddo is my bone-to-pick-nickname. It bothers me quite a lot. I hear that one from several places. UGH!