Thursday, December 08, 2005

No My First Name Ain't Baby

By Guest Blogger Shelia M. Goss

Never thought almost 20 years later, I would be singing lyrics to an old Janet Jackson song, "No, my first name ain't baby," but I am.

Why do men take it upon themselves to call women, "baby" during the course of a conversation?

Is it used as a term of endearment or does it go deeper than that?

Several years ago, a male friend, who we'll call "John," did something that surprised me. I observed him speak with several women over a span of a few hours. Each time they called, instead of saying their name, his initial greeting was "Hi Baby."

After the umpteenth call, I decided to ask him, "Why do you call those women Baby instead of using their names?"

His response surprised me. "It gives me time to either pick up on their voice or have them tell me who they are," he responded.

All I could say was, "Oh I see."

John taught me that evening to pay close attention to when a man uses the word "baby."

When I hear it now, I don't take the man too seriously. I find myself crinkling up whenever I hear it.

Does the word "baby" irritate you like it irritates me? Some men use the term so much that it becomes a habit. I've heard so many men use it out of habit that they probably aren't aware of how annoying it can be.

I tried to get over the annoyance when I met this new guy and he used it. Well that is, until I heard him use it when talking to a cashier, a mutual stranger, at the store. Afterwards, hearing him call me "baby" didn't hold that same warm fuzzy feeling it once did.

Men, please beware and don't use the word to every Sue, Jill, and Jane you come across. And women the next time a man says it to you, why not let him know that, "No my first name ain't baby, it's…"

It could be worse; they could be calling us another B word.

Shelia M Goss is a freelance writer and the Essence Bestselling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Violets are True and My Three Beaus.





  1. I am with you gurl. Preach sistah!

    I hate that word sweetie too.

    Men forget that we have to go through our daily lives being called Mommy, or misses, or our childhood name from our family, that when someone actually calls us by our real name we love it.

    Say my name say my name, brotha!

  2. Sylvia, how could I forget the word "Sweetie"...definately another word overused.

  3. Sylvia

    Here In Philly either you are BOO or BABY I did ask my brother why do you call all your female friends BOO or BABY he said because I forget all their names so I call every one BABY or BOO so if you don,t say Dawn you are not talking to me ,I have 6 brother I know how they play the game the funny thing each woman things she is special because he calls her BABY or BOO I just laugh because he calls all 7 the same thing he is a dog

  4. lol Dawn. It pays to have brothers or male friends that keep it real with you.

  5. You guys are so funny. What about HON? Can't even use the whole word. I get that from a lot of white men. Hey Hon! YUCK!

  6. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Men aren't too bright. You can't expect them to remember your name and come up with game at the same time.

  7. Yes Nikki, that's the white man's favorite word. I want to shout, "I got your Hon."

  8. I hear ya Shelia. Guess I've never paid much attention to it, but after reading this, I bet it'll catch my attention now when I hear them use it...

    Love & Peace,

  9. Vanessa, once you take notice, you'll lose count :)

  10. You all are TOO funny! I dated a guy who always called me "sweetie". I really began to wonder if he remembered my name. LOL But I never heard him call anyone else that. And with 6 brothers, I've heard all the "logic" behind why they use "Boo", "Baby", etc. But nothing beats hearing a brother address you by your given name. Let me know that YOU know, nahmean?

  11. Interesting blog.. I don't mind being called 'Baby' in a seductive way.. tee hee.. Great read!


  12. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Cool guestbook, interesting information... Keep it UP

  13. Anonymous8:56 AM

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