Tag Archives: children

Why do American parents call their kids “buddy?”

I am stuck in meetings all day, but I do have an anthropological question for you to feast on.

This weekend there were lots of people out to enjoy the glorious fall weather in my little town. And on several occasions, I heard parents call their kids "buddy."

"That’s weird," I thought to myself.  Nobody ever called me buddy as a kid.  (As I recall my Dad called me "Chief."  Quite odd all on its own.)

So the question is:

When did this start?

What does it mean?

Why THIS term of endearment…when there are so many to choose from?  I think we can be certain the English parents wouldn’t dream of using this term.  And there was a time when American parents didn’t dream of it either.

And what does it tells us about changing practices in American child rearing?

And what does THAT tells us about the changing state of American culture?

I guess that’s five questions.

Please, start your engines.

post script:

This post was supposed to go up yesterday.  But I must have done something wrong with the WordPress "publish on" feature.  The image I know is odd.  It’s a partial picture of a scooter I found parked in a garage in New York City last night, proof I guess that this naming convention goes beyond kids even to inanimate objects.