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my darling, lovey, me duck

August 18, 2016

I’ve just come back from a short camping holiday in Devon, where I was consistently addressed as ‘my darling’ by (female) shop assistants and bar staff. I have to say I quite like this. And when I was in Hull recently I was called “lovey” all the time. In the Midlands, they say “me duck”. We don’t have any equivalent in London and I find that rather a pity. I wonder if readers know of other regional terms of endearment that are used as everyday forms of address?

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  1. Simon Carter permalink

    “Hen” is common in Scotland and sometimes “Doll”. In the South West people sometimes call each other “my lover”. Londoners (at least the older ones) still use “love”. The term “tart” is believed to come from a barrowboys contraction of sweetheart so was originally not the derogatory term than it became.

  2. Simon Carter permalink

    There is also the Geordie “pet” and “hinny”. A more recent development is the use of “geezer” as a form of address which originated as the 15th century word “guiser” meaning actor.

  3. Jean Kapcia permalink

    ‘Duck’ without the possessive (from duke) is in frequent use in the Potteries, as is ‘shug’ (sugar). ‘Bab’ is common in Birmingham and the Black Country., though sometimes Black Country ‘wench’ is used. Growing up in NE Wales, I used to hear ‘shil’ (from ‘shilling’ perhaps?) but haven’t heard it since.

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