Those dangerous terms of endearment
by Ken Carpenter
There are times in a man’s life when he feels the urge to suck up to those he holds dear. Occasionally he will do so by calling his significant other by something other than her given name. Honey, sweetie, sugar, baby or any of a countless number of abominations of these words are often used.
Adding a pie, cake, muffin or pudding to another sweetly connected term often makes a combination that a lover will tolerate if they don’t throw up. The problem is, many men fancy themselves as creative geniuses; many of the rest just plain have words come out of their mouth that were better off staying there.
For instance, the innocent sounding, if borderline disgusting, “love muffin” might appeal to a lady’s ear (The rest will be suspicious, do not use it). Sadly, some men might be tempted to get cutesy and turn it into “my little lard muffin”, a dangerous turn of phrase.
Ignoring the fact that little and lard usually don’t fit together, the clueless male who used this would suffer the fate reserved for those who break the first commandment of “The terms of endearment codes”: do not use words or phrases that could be interpreted as a less than complimentary remark concerning the size or shape of a body or a body part, or you will sleep on the couch.
So, while “pumpkin” is often used as a sweet term of affection, “pumpkin bottom” or “pumpkin lips” would no doubt be taken as an insult, even if it were accurate. Accuracy should never be taken into account when choosing a term of endearment.
Times change through the ages, and what is wrong now may not have been long ago. The first human who could speak intelligibly as he sat across the campfire from a comely, if on the large browed side, woman, probably had a different set of standards. As a whole possum, fur and all, blackened on the fire, he may have gotten lucky by murmuring, “Ahhh, my little possum gut, shall we amble into the cave for a while?”
Try that now if you are ready for a set of dentures.
The French, as might be expected, have their own standards for terms of endearment. “My little cabbage” seems to be quite popular with them, though I would be afraid to use it.
“So, are you saying I have gas?” might be the reply you get.
Animal names are a favorite of the French. My flea, my hen, my quail, my rabbit and even my pig appear to be acceptable. I must suggest that you do not use “my pig” unless you have a death wish though.
The southern USA is also on another plane from what we expect to hear in North Idaho. While spending only 30 minutes eating breakfast in a Waffle House in Milton, Florida last June, I was addressed as sweetie, hon, honey, sugah, deah and dahlin. Oddly enough, it seemed totally natural coming from my smiling server, but I did at least consider skipping the syrup on my waffle.
I found a blog on the Internet that dealt with terms of endearment, and was flabbergasted at some of the names people call their beloveds. One woman proudly declared that her husband calls her “skunk biscuits”. No other details were provided.
Not having eaten her biscuits I will reserve judgment, but I do have to say one thing; that guy better sleep with one eye open.