The allusive "Dear" :P

By DJ
@Daljinder (22865)
India
May 9, 2016 3:20am CST
I just have to ask it. I notice some people use this word to address whoever they are talking to. I also noticed that some people dislike being addressed as such and some actually hate it. LOL I want to know why is that? Yeah the cat is curious again. Can you share it with me why some of you use "dear"? Also why some of you despise being called "dear"? I had first assumed that it was something culture related. But now I am not sure.... (Photo by Pixabay)
21 people like this
24 responses
@WorDazza (12767)
• Manchester, England
9 May 16
In the UK the term 'dear' is quite often used in a condescending fashion by men when they address women who they feel are either beneath them or are maybe getting a little bit unnecessarily hysterical (in their misogynistic opinion!!!). As in "Calm down dear", as David Cameron once infamously directed toward a female MP in the House of Commons.
10 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@WorDazza Thank goodness! I don't use that term then. I wouldn't want to sound condescending to people from UK. Most of them are double my age. That would be so inappropriate and disrespecting to be condescending to them in my culture. Thanks for clarifying that!
5 people like this
• Pakistan
9 May 16
@WorDazza Oh dear!
4 people like this
@vandana7 (72823)
• India
10 May 16
2 people like this
@JolietJake (50835)
• United States
9 May 16
I hate it because to start with, I'm pretty sure I m not 'dear' to them when they haven't even talked to me before. Secondly, it sounds just a bit condescending...at least, it is in my culture. Thirdly, I have asked people before not to do it, and they ignore my request...which shows a basic lack of respect...which in turn shows they are using it condescendingly. Anything else, dear?
7 people like this
@thesids (22226)
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
noted
4 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@JolietJake I have noticed the condescending way some use it but not all do it. Anyways, if you have told them to stop using it, they should respect your wishes.
3 people like this
@vandana7 (72823)
• India
10 May 16
But nuns used it with us and it was not condescending... You know what I think..it is a shrewd way of hiding memory lapses...and hurting others. I mean they come across so many children, remembering everybody's name becomes difficult...especially if the student is new or teacher is new... So if they substitute it with dear, child, be a darling and do this...kind...it is like...the person feels addressed in some form of endearment, and the one who used the word is spared the embarrassment of not having remembered the name.
2 people like this
@Bluedoll (16928)
• Canada
9 May 16
Dear Sir, I was so happy with your product that I want to buy more. Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours Truly, A Happy Customer
5 people like this
@vandana7 (72823)
• India
10 May 16
May be that is offensive it is not sir, or madam..lol. Kidding...yeah....the letters asking/ thanking me for donations always start with Dear...
1 person likes this
@Bluedoll (16928)
• Canada
10 May 16
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
LOL
@owlwings (41914)
• Cambridge, England
9 May 16
It is certainly culture related. I notice that Indians both male and female, especially, use the word "dear" almost indiscriminately. In most Western cultures, a man would never address anyone as "dear" unless they were female and in a fairly close relationship (certain old friends, a family member or significant other). Used towards anyone else (for example, a child or a woman outside the 'very close friend' category, it is seen as either heavily patronising or strongly inappropriate. Women, especially mature women, are allowed a little more leeway and, depending on the tone of voice, may either not be considered patronising or (if emphasised) may be intentionally sarcastically patronising or intentionally insulting. There are parts of England where words like "dear", "love" (or "loov"), and occasionally "darling" and even "my lover" may be used even to complete strangers and by both men and women without any hint of affection or of being patronising. These are strictly 'dialect' usages, however. I don't know enough about American cultural uses of the word (or similar affectionate terms) but I think that, on the whole, they follow the above rules.
4 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@owlwings I have observed and thought as such too. I was pretty much puzzled by why Indians (mostly) were using that term. I don't. Nor do my friends / relatives / colleagues offline or online (outside mylot). Maybe I am living in twilight zone.... But being serious, I think they use it with complete strangers to be nice (?) in conversations. They don't realize that they are doing the opposite of that. Whatever, only they know why they do it. Anyways I am so glad that I haven't used this term ever. Just imagining myself using it with Jabo makes me cringe. Thanks for the input! P. S. This is another question:- What about the term / endearment "Dear one"?
3 people like this
@owlwings (41914)
• Cambridge, England
9 May 16
@Daljinder 'Dear one' used when addressing someone means very much the same as 'dear' (and follows the same rules) but is much more conscious and specific. It is not heard nearly so often because of that and only by certain people as a personal mannerism or affectation. 'My dear', when pronounced as written is similarly specific but when shortened to "m'dear" and tagged on to the end of a sentence is a regional form which may be used to almost anyone, especially by someone who is giving you something as a service, e.g.: "Can you tell me the way to the Town Hall, please?" "Yes, m'dear. Just go down this street and it's on your left." It is much more used by (mature) women but sometimes by (older) men to females younger than them. Hardly ever by a male to a male! I am not sure about the Indian usage but, again, I think that it is cultural (there are, after all, many very different cultures in India!). Where I can guess at a person's mother tongue, it seems to me to be more commonly used by Hindi/Urdu speakers and I assume that there is an equivalent usage in those languages.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@owlwings Thank you for the explanation. It is highly appreciated!
2 people like this
@toniganzon (57220)
• Philippines
9 May 16
I don't want to be called dear by another man. I think it's a term of endearment and it should only be used to someone we hold DEAR. lol But for women who are much older than me, I'm not bothered when they call me dear. Coming from them it's like coming from someone who cares for me like she would care for her own child. This is just my personal opinion and i get annoyed when a young man who's way much younger than me calls me DEAR!
4 people like this
@thesids (22226)
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
noted This is just my personal opinion and i get annoyed when a young man who's way much younger than me calls me DEAR! For curiosity and informational purposes only - What about similar age or older ones?
1 person likes this
@toniganzon (57220)
• Philippines
9 May 16
@thesids You can all me dear anytime of the day Sid. And like i told you, you have a special place in my heart and i know that i have a special place in yours. I do call you dear sometimes, right? I think i addressed you like this: My dearest Sid... or My dear Sid.
3 people like this
@thesids (22226)
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
@toniganzon Sure, I do agree and cannot say no... we have been friends for years now and definitely you are dearer to me too
3 people like this
@MGjhaud (22304)
• Philippines
9 May 16
i dont get offended or anything like that but i dont call them dear in return though.
4 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@MGjhaud Same. I feel awkward using that term. Even with close friends. It sounds alien / foreign coming from me... LOL
1 person likes this
@thesids (22226)
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
I use that word here many a times. I have a small set of friends who mean more to me. And they are as dear to me as my relatives. I have always felt home/family with them. So I use this word for them. I have found some lotters opposing that when someone uses that word for them - I take a note of it and the chance of me using Dear for them is very thin (even thinner than me). Yea, I know it is cultural thing - and those who have objections to it and at times seem rudely saying it out, fail to understand that people here are from different cultures. As such, though I have no issues (and my world does not end), I find them distinguishing people on cultural basis. Another thing just for clarification of my last paragraph (I know many will misinterpret it)- there are times, when I see their mentioning this fact out positively, but sometimes, it does not go all that good, and it (the use of dear and feeling bad with it) could be ignored. So the entire last paragraph hold good for these set of people.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@thesids I have never seen you use this term here with any of your friends...
3 people like this
@thesids (22226)
• Bhubaneswar, India
9 May 16
@Daljinder You should start stalking me in that case
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@thesids Oh jeez! How many should I be stalking? I should get paid for stalking all those people. It's a difficult job, ya know. Takes a lot of expertise and cool sneaking skills!
1 person likes this
@allknowing (85919)
• India
10 May 16
I agree with every bit of what @JJ has expressed. There is someone here who uses it generously.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@allknowing And then there was someone who wouldn't stop using it even though JJ asked him three separate times to stop using it for him. Are we talking about the same dude? http?
2 people like this
@allknowing (85919)
• India
10 May 16
@Daljinder Normally names are not mentioned here.
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@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@allknowing Yup not in a bad way. And not to make snide remarks...
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
10 May 16
My grandma used to call me that when I was a child-so I think it feels like your talking down to someone. I don't get angry by it but it's not my favorite term either.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@LovingMyBabies Condescending you mean. That is what many of the responses said too. I guess this term shouldn't be used then. Good thing I never had. It would have been too embarrassing for me to read these responses then.
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
10 May 16
@Daljinder Yeah like someone is beneath you-no one is beneath anyone in this world so it is offensive for sure.
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@yugocean (9450)
• India
10 May 16
Nah ji, I don't dear all, dear sir etc. But yes people do it, it is not for describing any love or likeness. I'll use dearest instead if I have to. Thanks dear, no est always
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@yugocean That "Nah ji" meant "No". The newbies I have noticed (who are mostly Indians) have been using it. It's weird actually because I have never heard or seen anyone around me use it.
2 people like this
@yugocean (9450)
• India
11 May 16
@Daljinder Ok Dear, I mean this type of dear is common to use for relatives in Bharat, but during my orkut days, those community members were freely using the word Dear.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (58991)
• United Kingdom
10 May 16
Who would have thought that such a little word could have so many different interpretations? I've read the comments and @Owlwings has said everything I would have said regarding its use in England. I would never address someone as 'dear' myself, but I certainly don't get in a tiswas when someone uses it to me. It all depends on the context though, and I'm glad that you haven't thought of using it to me! That would seem inappropriate.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
11 May 16
@JaboUK WorDazza and Owlwings cleared out things regarding the word "dear" in reference to UK. I am never using that. I never did that before but after reading that better safe than sorry.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35420)
• United States
9 May 16
I only use Dear on certain occasions and on letters.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@Marcyaz yup dear is almost unavoidable on letters.
@JESSY3236 (10744)
• United States
9 May 16
I'm not offended if anyone calls me dear. But I do if someone calls me young because I'm not young anymore.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@JESSY3236 Same here! Well not about young though.....
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (72823)
• India
10 May 16
Dad has sprinkled ample dear, darling, sweetheart, and such things. I often ask him dad do you love me...and there are yes dear, and yes darling kind of responses..so..I don't know how he got it, but I have not seen anybody else using it. I am presuming he noticed it at a place he stayed as paying guest. Nuns have always used dear, darling, child, sweetheart with us. I use the same with little kiddos and those for whom I have similar feelings.. I left "child" when one person in office objected to it. I learned bro on the way...and sweetie as well as sweetie pie are from Saphy.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@vandana7 I hadn't met anyone using dear, darling, etc.... That's why I was puzzled when I observed Indian folks doing it here. Not even friends on facebook do it...
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@vandana7 (72823)
• India
10 May 16
@Daljinder .. You are my darling is something dad says quite often..my pet, my darling, my moppet. Actually, he has been using it since I was a kid...8 or 9 - so I never gave it a second thought...
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@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@vandana7 Honestly no one in my family use English. Hindi and Punjabi are common.
1 person likes this
10 May 16
Hi dear
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@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@Adilzargar The whole point of discussion being to know why the term "dear" is offensive to others. You should read the other responses to know why they don't like to be addressed with "dear". Will save you any future troubles.
1 person likes this
10 May 16
@Daljinder I was told not to get into any kinda discussions today by a fellow member. so I have restricted myself to (HI, HELLO, DEAR, BY)
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@Adilzargar Wow! Who said that? Okay, wait don't tell me. It's not allowed here to talk about any member in bad light. Anyways, just ignore them and go to discussions you want to participate.
@VivaLaDani13 (38000)
• Perth, Australia
13 Jul 16
@Daljinder ok so this is my take on the whole thing. I don't like being called "Dear." I can tolerate it, but I don't like it. Especially if it's a man calling me that. It's because I have heard that guys tend to call girls / women pet names because they think it gets them closer to them. Some cases, yes, I've known girls who adore being called such names because they think the dude is being sweet but really, I am cautious of that crap! I don't mind being called "Dear" by a woman but if a dude calls me it, I want to vomit! In fact the other thing worse than being called "Dear", is "Hun." If some dude calls me hun, I will cringe and gag! My body will literally want to cave into itself NO it wants to turn inside out because I am THAT grossed out by it!
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
13 Jul 16
@VivaLaDani13 Oh boy! That's a pretty strong reaction. It is understandable though. You are right about some guys thinking that they get to feel closer to girls when they use pet names. I do mind that.
1 person likes this
• Perth, Australia
13 Jul 16
@Daljinder lol yeah this is just one of the things that gets under my skin immensely! Glad you see what I mean.
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@pgiblett (6548)
• Canada
10 May 16
If you go back to the days of letter writing, we would start the letter "Dear Mrs Fox" or "Dear Nannie" I believe the term "dear" came into use because of that. In many respects it became an easy word to use, almost familiar because of it's origin in letters, and was adopter by the shopkeeper - "what can I get you dear?" To me the worst part is the use of "dearie" especially if said by a man to a man, which sounds very odd indeed. What people should use is "sir" or "madam" in order to be gender appropriate and get away from generalisms. I saw recently a customer talking to a store employee and using their name, Kevin, because it was on their nametag.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
11 May 16
@pgiblett What I am understanding from all the responses is that coming form an elderly lady or a man, it is somewhat fine. Stressing on somewhat here. Man to man is a complete no-no. Man using it on a younger female is completely inappropriate. LOL "dear" is out of my interactions here. Not that it ever was present. Oh yeah one more thing, it is fine too if used with someone you know well too.
1 person likes this
@pgiblett (6548)
• Canada
12 May 16
@Daljinder You are approximately right, but whenever I hear the term my teeth grind. I would never call anyone I knew very well "dear" I think it would be disrespectful, but that said many husbands cal their wives "dear", I think "darling" a little more respectful, but that word also has its misuses.
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (34104)
• Philippines
10 May 16
I don't mind being called one i have been called monkey by my siblings so...that will be sweet.for me
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@Luck15 Dear is definitely better than monkey then. lol My brothers call me Kitty
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (34104)
• Philippines
10 May 16
@Daljinder kitty is much better. Hahaha Aren't my siblings sweet?
2 people like this
@rebelann (58722)
• El Paso, Texas
9 May 16
Oh, that is a word I try to stay away from unless I am writing a letter or something. There are far too many ways that word is used and so often it's used out of context which can be annoying. As for it being cultural?? Well, maybe it is, I'm not sure, thankfully I rarely hear it used around these parts but here there are those who call everyone "Honey" talk about annoying, that really is. I commend you for your efforts at understanding English but honestly I don't think those of us who speak it daily understand all of it.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
10 May 16
@rebelann Oh yeah! It's unavoidable in letters or in official emails. "Honey" has been my nickname since birth among family. So I am used to that by now.. I am trying to learn and understand more. There are still words, slangs, phrases that are new to me.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (58722)
• El Paso, Texas
10 May 16
Heck @Daljinder there are plenty that are new to me as well. American English has so many variations to the same word that it can be really different between how they speak in LA versus Maine or Vermont.
1 person likes this
@Sweetsona (300)
• India
9 May 16
If i find someone's reply cute and sweet. I use this word
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22865)
• India
9 May 16
@Sweetsona I think you should read other responses here and know that the term is not acceptable in all cultures. It would help avoid any possible stumble.
2 people like this
• India
9 May 16
@Daljinder oh ok.. Now i am feeling embarassed as i use it sometimes. But i will be careful for future. Thanks for informing
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