Terms of Endearment

I just had an occasion for a person to use a short form of my name and ending it in ie, and it felt like a hug. It gave me a feeling of being known and liked. I think you may know what I mean. People also can do the same thing in the wrong situation and you can feel like a violation. Terms of endearment, I guess you have to be careful to use them appropriately.

Can I make it clearer? A long time ago, I was introduced to a friend of a friend and he used a shortened version of my name and again, it felt like he accepted me as a friend. Why did the shortened version of my name feel warm and cozy instead of pushy, was because he always treated me with respect otherwise.

Also, many people would stop and stumble with my name and act as though it was difficult, which it wasn't. Terms of endearment, in personal encounters, is to be used carefully.

I would just like to hear what others think on this subject. I seem to know that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

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Published in People & Events


  1. katelin

    I absolutely know what you mean… as I’ve had friends call me “Katie” ..and indeed, it does relay a kind, cozy, friendly connection. “Terms of Endearment” is a perfect way to describe it. There is also another name for it.. “Hypocorism.” 🙂
    The way it is used certainly depends on the situation ..formal or informal.. or can also be used in some cases to be intentionally unfriendly, such as in a condescending way. Also, in some other countries and cultures.. to alter a person’s name would be very offensive. Yes, in America it could also be a offensive, depending upon perhaps the named person’s upbringing and personal feelings… they may have expectations of always being addressed by their given name. So, even if the intention is good- to shorten or alter someone’s name, it’s sometimes difficult to know how it may be received. Certainly there are situations when the actual name a person regularly uses, should always be respected. In a business setting, the actual name which the business associate uses should be the only way to go. Or say perhaps.. meeting the potential in-laws.. or other various situations.. it’s not always proper to alter a person’s name.

  2. roseinbloom Post author

    Katelin, thank you for your comment and everything you say sounds right. I love new words but Hypocorism sounds like a deficiency or a malady and I don’t think I will be saying to someone, “it is okay to use a hypocorism of my name” unless I want to correct the person. In the chat rooms we shorten peoples’s names a lot, but I usually try to use the full name with new people and I should always ask them what would you like me to use because we don’t have time to use a great long username. First thing that happened when I joined senior chatters is that one person told me, “we will call you bloom because we already have four other roses”. It sounded fine and I liked bloom and still do.
    There are formal fules and traditions in formal situations, but I do think, in all situations, it pays to use a person’s name carefully.

  3. starlette

    Hello Rose…….I dont mind my username being shortened, but I dont like my real name being shortened…….I also dont like people taking the liberty of calling me by my Christian name when they dont know me……… or asked if they may……..I remember from a child always calling my friends parents Mr or Mrs, and continued to do so all through my life until they died,……things are a lot more informal these days……..but some dont mind and some do……..

  4. roseinbloom Post author

    Starlette,Thank you for your comment. Again, you are entirely right to feel as you do. I have had similar upbringing and times are changing with the young, but we also have the right to be the way we are. I do think that talking to young people is a better thing than parents who were more like drill sergeants. Here in the southern US a lot of people teach more courtesy than in some other places. Having children think they are in charge or control their parents is not good parenting.
    I usually just say what I would like to be called in most situations.

  5. rose1943

    Whenever anyone calls me Rosie I feel warm fuzzies inside. My daughter gave me the nickname ‘Bubbles’ many years ago….so I’m Grama Bubbles and Bubbles to most. Ro is okay to me also, my sons friends and my sister use that. I am also called Flicka by one of my friends. The only ones to call me Rosemarie was my mother and father. I can’t think of any versions of my name that give me cold pricklies. My daughter’s first boyfriend called me Electric Bugaloo and I liked that as well.
    My husband’s mother didn’t want me to call her mom. Saying we have only one mother, so I obeyed and called her Mrs. A. His dad liked me to call him dad, and so I did.
    Nice blog. It’s fun.

  6. Rockflower

    Rose, when I first came to North America I found it somewhat startling to have everyone use my Christian name sometimes when I had never spoked with the person before. I’m used to it now and it does not bother me. I think things have changed greatly in UK too and they are much relaxed to what they used to be. I agree it is a fact that some people can be immediately familiar and it is warm and friendly. Then someone else doing the same might make you tighten up and you don’t like it. It must have to do with the chemistry, body language or something because it is an instant reaction. Perhaps some people are just being warm and friendly,meeting you on equal terms, while someone else has an agenda behind their ‘friendliness’ , it is kind of fake not totally sincere and you subconsciously detect it. Another thing fascinates me……you meet a complete stranger and in a couple of seconds you have started to form an opinion. The brain has taken in a multitude of tiny signals unconsciously given off and received. We are creatures full of ‘electric’ or energy fields and pathways that keep us alive. Perhaps when we get that feeling of …… clicking with, in tune with, rapport, harmony, affinity, closeness, simpatico and sometimes we actually say…..on the same wave length. Is it our cellular energies are actually in harmony? I t works the other way too, One place I lived there was the husband of a woman I knew…….if I had been a dog the fur on my back would have stood up straight every time I saw him. He never said any thing out of order, never did any thing or even hinted anything. Yet the very sight of him made me on edge and I avoided him. So far as I know he lived a regular kind of life. There was another guy who had an office in the same building as I. If I passed him in the hall and then entered my office, I’d shrug my shoulders like a dog just out of water. I just felt him to be real creepy…….he again never said more than good morning. A couple of years on I learnt my antenna had been working well and warning me. So as always we should listen to what our brain is trying to tell us.

    1. roseinbloom Post author

      Good point Rockflower, about listening to your feelings. I won’t say you cannot be wrong, but listen and wait till you feel comfortable which may be never.

  7. shoes64

    Isn’t it interesting how the way people use our name makes us feel? When I was in my twenties and working hard to build a career in a male dominated industry and a very sexist society in the seventies,, I used to insist on my full name of Sandra as I felt Sandy garnered less respect and seemed less professional sounding. Now I don’t mind so much, but I only have one person who calls me Sandy and I have never introduced myself that way.

    I tend to be led by how people are introduced and go with their full name if I don’t know – they soon say ‘Please call me xx’ if they like a shorter version. Must be that respect thing again!

    That said I hate it when I hear my xhildren’s Names shortened. I spent a long time choosing what I thought were beautiful names for them and it just grates when I hear the shorter nicknames. They really don’t care!

    Must be getting old…..

  8. roseinbloom Post author

    shoes64, I understand everything you say. I hope you use your children’s names some and affectionately. It help children and people relate to their name. We are all getting old, but we have a right to hold onto some things, the your own name and the name of our children and what they are called by our friends and family should be our choice.
    Some things that serve us well should not change. I am with you on this, Sandra.