lass vs lad

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whatsherface

New Member
Czech
Hi everybody,
I have been told that the male version for lass (->lad) is not commonly used. How do then people who are dating called each other? Those honeys and darlings and sweethearts sound way too sweat to my ears (and a bit as a cliche). Does someone know the answer, please?
(Yes, I have started to be called "lass" recently and don't know how to reply to it as English is not my native languge.)
Thanks
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum whatsherface.

    I suspect there are regional differences in the vast English-speaking world, but we don't use either of those terms in the U.S. where "honey and darling and sweetheart" are common as well as "love."

    (I'm sure you mean "too sweet" and not "too sweat ;))
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Welcome to the forum, whatsherface. We will need more background about the situations in which the words are being used. "Lad" is very commonly used in the UK in certain contexts, so we need to know which context you think it is not common. The reverse is true of lass: it is generally less common than lad, except possibly in some regional variations of English.

    Please provide some full sentences in which you are hearing these words used (or where you think they would not be used).
     

    whatsherface

    New Member
    Czech
    Thank you very much for your replies.
    Yes, I meant sweet, not sweat. :)
    As I said, I started dating recently, so it is my boyfriend who is calling me lass(the sentence then is "Hi lass" :) ). I know this is something we should (and most probably can and will) discuss together, or will get to, as "how will we actually call each other". But I though I might ask this question here as I know what the .. lets say tender words in English are but I don't know if they are really being used, or how intense they are. Meaning if "love" you will call someone who you date for a longer time period.. Again, I know it is something personal, individual and different in every case.
    Out of curiousity I posted the question.. :)
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    "Lass" as used as a way of addressing someone is familiar or friendly, but not necessarily a term of endearment as such, unless the speaker chooses to use it as one.

    It tends to be associated with the north of England, where (usually) younger people may be addressed as "lass" or "lad" even by people who they have just met, or hardly know.

    I think "lass" can be used with a stronger sense of endearment in respect to the opposite sex, and I think I agree with you that "lad" is less likely to be used in this way.
     

    ><FISH'>

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Lass" is just an informal way to say "girl". Generally you wouldn't call someone a "lass" unless they were under the age of 20 or so. "Lad" might be a bit more general, 25- I'd say.

    In the context of relationships, it's highly common in my part of England (North East) for people to refer to their girlfriend as "our lass" - This exclusively means "my girlfriend". This is intensely informal and whenever I hear someone say it, it sounds to me like they're being very casual and dismissive of their partner. You do not refer to your partner this way if you are very attached to them. The same is not so much true of "lad". Generally a female would say "our <name of boyfriend>" as opposed to "our lad". This does obviously require some degree of familiarity. Females also will say "our <name of male>" to refer to family members, so don't assume that "our X" always refers to their boyfriend.
    EDIT: The above relates to talking about your partner, not to.

    As for calling your girlfriend directly "lass", I'm sure it's endearing in some places (maybe Ireland?) but to me it sounds a bit weird, since the word "lass" is just so informal to the point of being rude. It's mostly a word you'd use to refer to someone casually, as opposed to saying it in their presence, or directly to them.
     
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