Kiddo

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bushbaby4891

Senior Member
italian
Hi, I was wondering if "kiddo" is a cute experession that I can use in a friendly way with kids of it it is a bad expression to underline that they are too young.
Thank you guys and sorry for my strange question!
 
  • maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Kiddo (when used in a friendly way) would usually be used between friends - not between adults and children.
     

    bushbaby4891

    Senior Member
    italian
    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?
     

    marget

    Senior Member
    maxiogee said:
    Kiddo (when used in a friendly way) would usually be used between friends - not between adults and children.
    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.
     

    swyves

    Senior Member
    UK English, Living in Peru
    When I was a kid I generally found it patronising to be referred to in a way that pointed out that I was such. I'd go with a general friendly term like "buddy" (US) or "mate" (UK)
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Kiddo" will be seen by some as an insult and others will not be bothered by it.

    As a kid I was never offended when called "young man". "Young lady" for girls.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    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]
    You call a customer "sir" or "madam"! Let's not be ageist here! :D

    Does the shopkeeper really need to use any 'title' in addressing the child? (It's a child, not a 'kid' please.)
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    maxiogee said:
    You call a customer "sir" or "madam"! Let's not be ageist here! :D

    Does the shopkeeper really need to use any 'title' in addressing the child? (It's a child, not a 'kid' please.)
    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!"
    .
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    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.
     

    bushbaby4891

    Senior Member
    italian
    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??
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    daviesri said:
    "May I help you?" should suffice.

    As I said earlier, "May I help you young man/lady?" should work fine also.
    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? :)

    It would be very charming, I think, to hear someone say to a child, "May I help you, young lady?" to a little girl, especially with an Italian accent. I think you would definitely earn some brownie points with the parent. :)

    If your shop has a very casual atmosphere it might sound a little stiff. That's all.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    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? And why souldn't I say kid instead of child??
    Either
    young man
    or
    young woman

    both work well, but as I said earlier, I wouldn't use anything. I used to work in a video-rental shop and all customers were treated equally - they were all spending the same currency.

    A child would object to being called "kid" as a kid is always younger than you are. To a four-year-old a three-year-old is a kid. Used outside a family/friendship relationship, "kid" is not a term of endearment.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    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? [...]
    I understand your question better now.
    If you greet the child customer with the same courtesy and in the same style as you greet your adult customers, I think you are much more likely to make a sale:)
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    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.
    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

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    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.
    .
    True, but I'm wistfully imagining walking into bushbaby's shop in Rome with WMPG (six-year-old girl) ...
    OK, bushbaby, you want to have the full attention of WMPG and her grandfather's credit card?
    Drop the kiddo, answer her Italian greeting in Italian, and switch to English:)
     

    bushbaby4891

    Senior Member
    italian
    Noooooooooo I think somebody missunderstood me...my first question was about the real meaning of "kiddo"..not because I wanted to use while I'm working....actually I know that it sounds unformal so I won't use it in that context..! And it's not because I want to gain as much as possible but just because sometimes kids come to the shop without their parents and I don't know exactly how talk to them...so your advices are very important for me..actually I don't really find that kids are cute so I'm a bit upset when they come without their parents!!
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    In the UK we are very egalitarian and equally rude to young and old. "What would you like?" is likely to be the question asked to anyone from your grandmother down through the child to the glint in the postman's eye. We don't tend to add name tags "sir", "young man", etc.
     

    dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    This question has been added to a previous thread.
    Please read from the top. Cagey, moderator


    Hi, everyone.

    I read a book "magic tree house" and in the book, a magician told two kids "You can relax now, kiddos.".
    I was wondering if "kiddo" is usually used to kids.
    Would you let me know about that?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    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.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    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.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    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.
     

    dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    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, Florentia52.

    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.
    Thank you, DonnyB.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:
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