Pet Names: Let’s Discuss

Part of me wishes I could be the person who uses pet names. The person who throws “babe” and “hon” and “baby” around like they’re bread crumbs and she’s a crazy lady feeding pigeons in Central Park. But it literally pains me to say them. Any time I try to work up the courage and choke out the words, I throw up a little bit in my mouth.

But I don’t really mind when other people use pet names. I kind of weirdly admire it, and sometimes even like it when they use them on me. As with everything, my emotions are mixed on the subject. I suppose the root of my ambivalence is that I don’t completely understand the point of pet names. I guess people want a term of endearment with which to refer to their significant other, but in that event, why not come up with something unique instead of relying on one of the tired, few, overused terms? And when used in non-romantic contexts, is the point just to make people feel special?

I do find myself wanting to strangle couples when I witness them in a “babe” volley:

“Babe, can you get the door?”

“Sure thing, babe.”

“Aww, thanks babe.”

“Babe, of course babe.”

“Babe I don’t know what I would do without you babe.”

“Likewise, babe.”

“No seriously babe, I forgot how to be a person.”

“Aww babe! I’m unhealthily codependent on you, too!”

“Like I don’t even remember my name, babe.”

“Neither do I, babe, but I’m sure it’s something neat.”

“Oh babe, I could never lose you. Literally–I have you on a leash.”

“Aww babe that’s so sweet. I don’t know what I would do without you either–I forgot how to wipe my own ass.”

And so on.

First of all, why “babe”? Who decided it’s sexy to refer to your romantic partner, the person you stick your genitals in and/or whose genitals you have stuck in you, as the thing that one births? Isn’t that a little bit incestuous? And secondly, come up with something more original if you must have a nickname for your lover. I feel like there are only 7 pet names in circulation, really: babe, baby, boo, honey, hon, sweetheart, sweetie. There are 7 billion people on the planet. What does that say about humans, that we have a 1/1,000,000,000 ratio of pet names to people? It says that our genius Greek ancestors who literally invented everything would be fucking disgraced, is what it says.

Actually come to think of it, I’m not sure I find even ‘unique’ pet names acceptable. Like, no one gives a fuck that you call your girlfriend “Kitten Kisses.” Keep it to yourself. Oh, you want to call your boyfriend “Beebster”? Not in my house. You refer to your husband as “Big Daddy”? Congratulations, you get off on fucking your father. You just can’t bear to be without your “Bunnykins”? Here’s what I think about that:

The more I think about it, I guess there are a few more than 7 pet names: doll, chica, lady, dear, mama. Oh god–this just keeps getting worse.

And when people use pet names outside of dating, it strikes me as boringly disingenuous. Like, at first I’m flattered when my dentist’s secretary calls me “sweetie,” but then I quickly shift to being offended. Like, does she think I think she thinks I’m special? Don’t patronize me–I know I’m just another notch on her floss. Frankly, it’s insulting. And when my friends call me “babe” or “doll,” I just want to say, “Listen, your attempt at making me feel especially considered by you has backfired marvelously, because I know you call everyone that, and I know you’re just trying to instill some false sense of bonding when really, you’re screwing my boyfriend behind my back, so please, just have the decency to call me by my name when you’re psychologically manipulating me with your sociopathy.” Ok so maybe I need to get new friends, but you get the point.

And just back to the romance point quickly–you KNOW that you aren’t the first and won’t be the last person your partner has called your designated pet name. Which makes it that much more fake! You should probably just break up now.

Ok, good talk. I feel like I learned a lot. You’re welcome.

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15 thoughts on “Pet Names: Let’s Discuss

  1. DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? says:

    Oh shit! Lol I think I may have called you “Doll” in a comment a few days back. Whoops! Shall I call you “Cuntasaurus Rex” instead? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mindy says:

    I think we’ve accidentally created a “Cunt squad” and I think that we really need to rethink that name. Also, I love pet names! The best one I’ve ever heard (and it is REAL) was used by a girl I went to high school with. It was “bogus boo.” Iggy Azalea is her doppleganger if that helps to paint a better image.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? says:

    Haha I would never call you that DOLL! I usually randomly call people by terms of endearment if I like them, OR I make up awful names like Douchetard or Cuntasaurus Rex if they piss me off. I had a friend I started calling Poozle one day and I have no idea why, it just became my name for her. I loved her to pieces too! I often call my son Nugget – his name is Sebastian, so I am not sure why I call him that lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bensbitterblog says:

    I’ve gotta say that I do have a pet name for my wife and she does for me, but I’d prefer not to say it. It’s pretty bad and no one ever understands. Anyways, other than that one, we don’t use any other and thing all those main one suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stella's Mommy says:

    So when I read your title I thought you meant pet names like the actual names of your domestic pets and I was like, hell yeah, because I happen to have the two best named dogs on the planet (Phyllis and Gail). When I realized you were talking about THIS kind of pet name, I got sad because it now occurs to me that I should have named my dogs Bae and Babe for the ultimate ironic pet names. I wonder if it’s too late to change them?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Scott Morrell says:

    I too hate pet names. They are contrived and sometimes condescending if not sincere…like coming from a waitress after ordering a hamburger deluxe and her saying “How are the fries, hun?”

    When I speak with my girlfriend, I never use a pet name. During sex, I do use some other words that I will not mention on this board but can assure you are original!

    Liked by 1 person

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