Fellas?

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "Fellas?" means in the following sentences:

Fellas?’ Aoife calls, ‘Johnno? The guests are all here. They’re in the chapel.’

- Lucy Foley, The Guest List, Chapter 27

This is a thriller novel published in 2020 in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifty guests gathered at some remote and deserted fictional islet called Inis an Amplóra off the coast of the island of Ireland to celebrate the wedding between Jules (a self-made woman running an online magazine called The Download) and Will (a celebrity appearing in a TV show program called Survive the Night). On the morning of the wedding day, the wedding planner Aoife notifies the best man Johnno and the groom Will that the guests are all in the chapel and it is about time they go to the chapel, too.

In this part, I am wondering what degree of casualness Aoife implies.
Aoife is described to be a very professional wedding planner, always calm and cool, and never overstepping the boundary between her and her clients.
But then she uses "fellas" to call the groom, the best man and the ushers, so I am confused.
Is she trying to be friendly with all of them? Surely "fellas" would be a more natural way than calling all of them "sir," but... I guess I am confused because I don't know how broad a range "fellas" can cover.
Can the word also be used to indicate one's clients? Or is it normally a word to indicate close friends only...?

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can only speak personally. As a man I would find it mildly insulting - especially in a professional setting. Why not use "Gentlemen"? I'm sure the equivalent would be "Ladies" if she were speaking to the bride and attendants.

    There is a general perception in English-speaking countries that the wedding has everything to do with the bride and not much to do with the groom. This way of referring to the men seems to accentuate that idea.
     
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    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I still see it as somewhat condescending in a professional situation. I can't imagine it being appropriate in a legal setting or a board meeting. May be it's an attempt to be friendly but I want to know; does she call the women Ladies, or does she call them Girls?
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English
    I can't imagine it being appropriate in a legal setting or a board meeting either.
    There is a rather large gap between the formality of "gentlemen", and the casualness of "fellas" - what's the intermediate term?
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear Chasint, Uncle Jack and cidertree,

    Thank you very much for the explanations!
    As a man I would find it mildly insulting - especially in a professional setting. Why not use "Gentlemen"?
    Yes, actually my first thought was that "gentlemen" would be more appropriate in this situation! Aoife is hired by them as their wedding planner, after all...

    does she call the women Ladies, or does she call them Girls?
    Actually, I searched through this novel but found no scene where Aoife calls the women specifically... It seems that this scene is the first and last one she calls the men specifically. In other scenes she just says "everyone," incorporating both men and women.

    So here, though that is not a formal way to address gentlemen, Aoife might have been just trying to be friendly.
    Agreed, I'd also have accepted "Lads?". :)

    Edit: but possibly not, "Guys?".
    And this seems interesting to me... "lads" being okay and "guys" not so okay. Probably "lads" can be more acceptable in a professional setting, I guess...? :D

    I sincerely appreciate your help. :thank you:
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Agreed, I'd also have accepted "Lads?". :)
    My Irish teacher (comes from Ireland, as well as teaching the Irish language) addresses his class as "lads" - even though we are all considerably older than him, and mostly ladies of a certain age.
    "Fellers" sounds less gender-specific to me.
     
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    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Fellas and lads are very common ways of addressing a group of men in Ireland when you are being friendly and informal. Gentlemen might come across as too formal. In the case of women, ladies is what you’d use. There isn’t an equivalent of lads / fellas for women. Girls wouldn’t be used as it’s how teachers address girls in school so it comes across as being a bit bossy/ patronizing.
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English
    My Irish teacher (comes from Ireland, as well as teaching the Irish language) addresses his class as "lads" - even though we are all considerably older than him, and mostly ladies of a certain age.
    "Fellers" sounds less gender-specific to me.
    I wouldn't use "lads", or "fellas", to address a mixed class. - "people" comes to mind.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear se16teddy, Tegs and cidertree,

    Thank you very much for the explanations.
    So "fellas" and "lads" can be both used to informally address a group of men in Ireland!
    I learned new things all thanks to you.
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It doesn't come across to me as at all out-of-place in 2020 (although I don't know if that's when the book is set in). A wedding is usually seen primarily as a social occasion.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear DonnyB and ewie,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    It doesn't come across to me as at all out-of-place in 2020 (although I don't know if that's when the book is set in).
    Yes, I think the novel is set in 2020! Although the specific year is not stated in the novel, this novel seems to be set in the current time, so I guess it is set around its publication year.
    So "guys" here would be inappropriate, because it would indicate both men and women, instead of indicating only men!
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I wouldn't have given 'fellas' as a term of address much thought as it strikes me as fairly normal. I can also imagine 'chaps' being used.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear natkretep,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    So "fellas" here could be a fairly normal form of address, just like "chaps"!
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    OK, I can't speak for an Irish context, but I've certainly been addressed as 'chaps' as part of a group in a British context, and I wasn't around in the 1920s.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear cidertree, Tegs, DonnyB, natkretep and kentix,

    Thank you very much for the explanations.
    It's interesting how the usage of "chaps" and "fellas" can differ in the Irish context!
    So "fellas" could be fine in the Irish context.
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     
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