Heads-Up, Darlin': Women Really Don't Like The Workplace Pet Names


A shocking new study has found that women don’t enjoy being called pet names at the office — and their least favorite is “love.”

The survey, conducted by onepoll.com and reported in the Daily Mail, found that three quarters of women thought using pet names at work was “unacceptable.” One in four (which seems a little low to me) also called the practice unprofessional. “Love” topped the list of most distasteful nicknames, followed by “darlin'” (which women found disrespectful), “babe” (patronizing), and “mate” (too personal). “Poppet,” coming in at number 9, is apparently “cringe-worthy and dated.” Says a spokesman for onepoll, “These results show that women clearly aren’t happy to be called by anything other than their name.” No shit!

It seems pretty obvious that calling your female coworkers names you would also use for your romantic partner or your children isn’t the best way to cultivate a professional environment. After all, many of these terms of endearment are diminutive (darlin’, babe) and while that can be cute when you’re in love — especially if you both use the term — few people want to be talked down to at work. One thing isn’t completely clear from the Mail coverage, though — do women react differently depending on gender of the pet-namer? For my part, I tend to bristle if a man with whom I’m not romantically involved calls me anything cutesy. But if a woman calls me “honey” or “sweetie,” I often find it charming. I still wouldn’t appreciate it at work (and since we all communicate over IM, that would just be bizarre), but in daily life, it’s clear that I have a double standard where pet names are concerned. Unfair? Maybe. One thing holds for both genders, though: nobody calls me “poppet.”

Love, The Pet Name That Women Hate [Daily Mail]

Image via elwynn/Shutterstock.com.

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