mate [=AE buddy?]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by kan3malato, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. kan3malato

    kan3malato Senior Member

    Thanks cannaderby.
    While we are at it, what is the equivalent of "mate" in the U.S.A.? maybe "buddy" or wahat?
    Thanks again
  2. texasweed

    texasweed Banned

    French-born/US English
    No, mate is rather adressed to someone of the same gender. I've only heard it said by one man adressing another man. It is used sometimes in the States, but not as often as "buddy" or "pal". IMO.
  3. maxiogee Banned

    In British English, and in Hiberno-English also, the emphasis placed on mate can be taken to be a threat.

    Small man in pub, to hulking drunk: "You can't sit their, that's my friend's seat. He's at the bar."
    Hulking drunk to small man: "Listen mate, I'll sit where I want to!"
    Small man: "Okay, we were leaving anyway!"
  4. zemirah Member

    English, Australia
    I have to disagree with texasweed. At least in Australia "mate" can be used by and to both genders. Could be different in the US.
  5. biocrite Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    English and Hindi
    Buddy or Pal are correct. Also, in older context, "Bud" was used.

    More often used was "dude" but the word's been dieing off as a trend. "Man" is still correct.

    It's common to say "Hey, man, that's not cool." Even when the audience is a woman. That's because "man" doesn't signify the audience, or other party in the conversation - but it's just sort of a filler upper of context.

  6. mjscott Senior Member

    I do agree that mate is not used much in the US.
  7. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    In the US, "mate" generally refers to your spouse, significant other of the opposite sex (or sometimes same sex if in a same-sex romantic context).

    We don't tend to use "mate" much in the sense of its meaning "buddy," "pal," as in Australia and parts of the British Isles and Ireland.

    It's certainly understood in that context, but not generally used, except perhaps by people who are ex-patriots of the places where it's more popular, or among those who have been somehow influenced by those cultures.
  8. invictaspirit Senior Member

    Kent, SE England
    English English
    Not quite true.

    In Britain, 'mate' is most common between men, but is also often heard between women and is less often heard, but still OK, between genders.

    Between men, you will also hear 'pal' and 'fella' in the UK...though these are far less common.

    I have never heard Americans use 'mate' in the GB/IRL/AUS/NZ way. 'Pal', 'bud/buddy' and 'dude' are more common.
  9. quitejaded

    quitejaded Senior Member

    English, USA (texas)
    I think the equiv of mate in the US would be friend or pal or buddy.

    If you said the word mate in the US, people would think you meant a boyfriend or a spouse.

    But you can say "classmates" or "teammates".

    I disagree. People still say dude and man, but I think dude is said more often than man, especially by younger people. A person in the southwester part of the US and maybe more of the south would more probably say "Hey, dude, that's not cool" rather than what you said (though usually 'dude' is addressing a male. If its used to address a girl, that is acceptable but sometimes someone might laugh and say "that's a girl").
  10. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Did you mean expatriates? :confused:
  11. quitejaded

    quitejaded Senior Member

    English, USA (texas)

    Whenever I hear the word "expatriate" I think it is spelled "ex-patriot". I don't actually READ the word often.
    Do you understand why we would think its ex-patriot?
  12. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Yes, I can see the logic behind it. :)
  13. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    You are right! I should have known that, having just completed an extensive study of the expatriate writers last semester!
  14. cannaderby Member

    English, USA
    Hi Kan3malato, in the context of your originial phrase "Thanks mate." Besides everything people in the previous posts suggested (buddy, dude etc), the most common phrase is still "Thanks guys." (guys is fine for both genders). :)
  15. dcx97 Senior Member

    Hindi - India
  16. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    It may be fine in this poster's social circles, but this is not universally true. Many women resent the use of "guys" for a group that includes them or other women. People who do not know the women in a group really well should be very, very careful about using "guys" to address or refer to them. There is always another term that will not offend any listeners.
  17. Chasint Senior Member

    English - England
    Almost any familiar term can be offensive. The deciding factor is who you are talking to and the tone of voice you use.

    "Oi mate/pal/friend, that's my chair you're sitting on." (offensive especially between strangers.)
  18. Trochfa

    Trochfa Senior Member

    English - England

    I've heard people take offence to it even when it's being used in a friendly manner. Mate = friend, and some people just don't like you being that familiar with them if they don't know you.

    A: Thanks mate!
    B: Who are you calling mate? :mad:

    Traditionally it's one of the things male friends call each other in England. In recent years I've heard women calling each other 'mate', but while growing up I don't think I ever heard them using it.

    I've never minded being called 'mate' by anyone, if their intention is obviously genuine, although it did come as a surprise the first time a woman called me 'mate' a few years ago.

    In post #15 the reason the person took such offence to the word is because the speaker was using it tinged with aggression:
    Mate. It’s not the insolence or the cheerless familiarity of it, so much as the hint of laddish menace.
    He was calling me ‘mate’. I felt the blood rush up through my chest

    In certain dialects, however, such as that found in the London/SE region, it has probably always been used more freely (e.g. Bradley Walsh on The Chase who always says it to quiz contestants, especially when they leave the show empty-handed.).
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  19. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    He'd have to have had a really bad day to say that after being thanked. :D
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  20. Trochfa

    Trochfa Senior Member

    English - England
    You'd think so wouldn't you? But believe it or not, I've heard that exact same exchange quite a few times over the course of the years, where the person being called 'mate' seemed quite happy until they'd been called it by someone they didn't know. The other response I've heard is 'I'm not your mate!' I've always been rather surprised when I've heard either reaction.

    I think that response is probably less than it used to be here, although I'm sure many older people still wouldn't like to be called it, especially by someone much younger than them. As an Australian, you'd probably get away with it much more easily here than we would because people would just accept that that's what you say! :D
  21. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    What we actually say is "Maaaate!". Maybe that's why we get away with it! :D
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  22. Trochfa

    Trochfa Senior Member

    English - England
    :thumbsup: :D
  23. dcx97 Senior Member

    Hindi - India

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