I agree that kiddo is used between friends. I've been called kiddo by people my age. However, in American English, I know at least one person who called her daughter "kiddo" when she was really just a kid.maxiogee said:Kiddo (when used in a friendly way) would usually be used between friends - not between adults and children.
You call a customer "sir" or "madam"! Let's not be ageist here!bushbaby4891 said:oooooooooohhhhhhhhh ok! How would you call a kid if you are talking to him/her? For instance: if you are a shopkeeper and one of your customers is a child?[/B]
What a dose of culture shock you'd get in the American Southland, first time you ventured into a respectable, even fancy establishment and heard a shopkeeper refer to a little girl, in her mother's presence, as "sugar!"maxiogee said:You call a customer "sir" or "madam"! Let's not be ageist here!
Does the shopkeeper really need to use any 'title' in addressing the child? (It's a child, not a 'kid' please.)
The only risk you take in phrasing it this way is appearing to be too formal, and that's almost no risk at all, is it?daviesri said:"May I help you?" should suffice.
As I said earlier, "May I help you young man/lady?" should work fine also.
Eitherbushbaby4891 said:Ok but if I ask to a woman "May I help you madam"...what can I ask to a kid if he/she come to my shop? And why souldn't I say kid instead of child??
I understand your question better now.bushbaby4891 said:Ok but if I ask to a woman "May I help you madam"...what can I ask to a kid if he/she come to my shop? [...]
In Southern AE, this is an innocuous term, and serves the same purpose as "young lady." It's a matter of idiom and tradition.panjandrum said:Wise adults do not use such terms when speaking to children they do not know very, very well.
If you want to start of on the right foot with a child, assume that you are talking to a real person and don't use pigeon-hole terms.
True, but I'm wistfully imagining walking into bushbaby's shop in Rome with WMPG (six-year-old girl) ...foxfirebrand said:In Southern AE, this is an innocuous term, and serves the same purpose as "young lady." It's a matter of idiom and tradition.
Thank you, Cagey.I don't think 'kiddo' is used very often these days, but when it is used, it may be used to address or refer to kids.
As you know, it was once used to address or refer to young women, but that has gone out of fashion.
Thank you, sdgraham.
Thank you, Florentia52.I have a friend -- ten or so years younger than me -- who calls me "kiddo." We're both over fifty. I find it patronizing and irritating.
Thank you, DonnyB.My mother sometimes used to use it with me, more or less in jest, and I very occasionally hear it/use it amongst friends.
Going back to the original question, I wouldn't use it to a child I didn't know.