Sometimes all you have to do is ask a simple question and you will receive a very intricate answer that tells you what you wanted to know plus so much more. That’s the case with women and what they wish guys called them instead of ‘babe’. If we had the budget to hire Steve Harvey and the time to gather Thought Catalog readers to form two teams to play Family Feud, we’d be in for a treat.
The topic would be:
NAME THE NICKNAME GIRLS WISH GUYS USED INSTEAD OF ‘BABE’
(Spoiler alert: I already did the research so I’ll outline the Top 4 most popular responses the way it would’ve come up on Family Feud.)
1. A CREATIVE/ UNIQUE/ WEIRD/ FUNNY/ PERSONALIZED NICKNAME
2. THE GIRL’S NAME (OR ANY FORM OF IT)
3. OTHER TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (DOLL/CUTIE/HONEY/LOVE)
4. ANYTHING OTHER THAN ‘BABE’
Since Steve Harvey isn’t involved and you’re just stuck with me, I also found out what the 18 girls preferred to be called other than ‘babe’, as well as their feelings towards the nickname.
CREATIVE/ UNIQUE/ WEIRD/ FUNNY/ PERSONALIZED NICKNAMES
1. ‘Tapatio’, ‘Tapa’, ‘Potato’, ‘Tappy Feet’, ‘Ciabatta’ or ‘Ixtapa’
I actually think couples that call each other ‘babe’ constantly are gross and unimaginative! My boyfriend and I have all kinds of absurd nicknames for each other, but those come from years of shared memories and jokes… This is totally silly but he calls me ‘Tapatio’ (like the hot sauce). Ever since we met. In fact, he introduced me to all his friends that way so now most of the people in our social circle refer to me (in a dead serious way) as ‘Tapa’. And then came the riffs on ‘Tapatio’… ‘Potato’, ‘Tappy Feet’, ‘Ciabatta’, ‘Ixtapa’. These things just come from years of riffing on riffs.
– Stephanie V., 27
2. ‘A Personalized Nickname’
I don’t like ‘babe’. I feel like it’s general and not warm or intimate. Everybody uses it for different situations and it’s overused. I’m into personalized nicknames.
– Keren T., 34
3. ‘Nightmare of hair’, ‘Nightmare’ or ‘Limonchik’
The first time this one boyfriend called me ‘babe’, I stuck my tongue out and waved a ‘hang loose’ sign because I felt like we were living inside a surfer movie. At first it felt like a cliché. But then we started doing the whole routine and it became our own. My current partner calls me silly, specific things… Like ‘nightmare of hair’ (a reference to this beautiful, odd movie called Wizard People Dear Readers) or ‘nightmare’ for short. Or ‘limonchik’, Russian for ‘little lemon’. Some people might get offended when they’re called ‘babe’. Then again, some might be offended by ‘nightmare’… if they don’t know the background, if it isn’t their own.
– Kristina T., 25
4. ‘Weird Nicknames’
My boyfriend and I use weird nicknames that make us laugh, feel unique and close to each other, but rarely do we call each other by our first names.
– Alicia S., 29
Everyone calls everyone ‘babe’. So, I smoothly integrated ‘babyschka’ into the name and now my boyfriend calls me that. It’s basically ‘babe’ as Americans would say, but I infused a Russian flavor to make it sweeter. Then I saw my Russian friend who is dating an American guy and he calls her ‘babyschka’ too, so I was upset since I thought it was unique to me.
– Katya K., 32
6. ‘Big D’, ‘D Money’ or ‘Disaster D’
’Babe’ is a bit overused and unoriginal. I would prefer something funny rather than affectionate when we first started dating.
– Danielle H., 28
It was an inside joke from a road trip and just stuck.
– Hannah E., 27
THE GIRL’S NAME (OR ANY FORM OF IT)
8. ‘My Name’
I hate the name ‘babe’. I think it’s a cop out for guys to avoid calling you by your first name, especially when you first start dating and there may still be other girls in the picture. It’s too generic for me. I’m not a fan of many pet names. I would much prefer being called my name. However, once I’m dating someone for a longer period of time I can look past ‘babe’. It doesn’t bother me as much. It definitely shouldn’t be used in the first phase of dating someone though.
– Liz S., 22
9. ‘Shortened Version of My Name’
I don’t like anything too sugary or over the top, so I’m going to be boring and just say maybe a shortened version of my name or something with a private joke reference is always kind of cute.
– Julia M., 26
10. ‘A Variation Of My Name’
I don’t like ‘babe’. It’s cute, but not when you’re trying to get to know someone. Call them by their own name or shorten their name. That’s cute, too.
– Irma F., 46
11. ‘My Last Name’ or ‘Jewdge’
My first boyfriend invented the name ‘Jewdge’ and my family members still call me that. And I dated this guy who called me by my last name.
– Julie S., 25
12. ‘Call Me My Regular Name’
I don’t like it. No nicknames. Call me my regular name.
– Jackie S., 27
OTHER TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (DOLL/CUTIE/HONEY/LOVE)
I think ‘babe’ is used a lot to get girls to shut up and end a fight, which is annoying.
– Alaina C., 27
14. ‘Cutie’ or ‘Love’
I really like when my boyfriend calls me ‘cutie’. Everyone calls each other ‘babe’ so that’s sort of generic. It’s much more endearing when he’s like ‘hey cutie’ or ‘hey love’ rather than just the common ‘hey babe’.
– Maria Z., 20
15. ‘Love’ or ‘YO GIRLFRIEND’
I really like ‘love’ actually as a nickname. Tom calls me that. I adore getting texts that say, ‘Hi Love, how’s your day?’ When we were dating, I saw a guy scream at his girlfriend, ‘YO GIRLFRIEND WAIT UP!’ I burst out laughing, so Tom started saying it to be funny… and then it kind of stuck for a few years. So, I would do it back to him. I actually called him ‘boyfriend’ in front of a few of my running teammates and literally whenever he would come cheer us on at races they would never say his name, they’d all go, ‘Hi Boyfriend.’
– Sammie N., 27
16. ‘Baby’, ‘Honey’ or ‘A Special Nickname’
I don’t mind ‘babe’, but I definitely prefer other terms of endearment such as ‘baby’, ‘honey’, or a special nickname my significant other has made up for me. Something about ‘babe’ rubs me the wrong way. It’s a bit more short than sweet. ‘Babe’ seems more of an adjective like ‘she’s a babe’ instead of a term used specifically for me. Also, it’s a pig in the city. What girl is into THAT?
– Lee Lee E., 27
ANYTHING OTHER THAN ‘BABE’
17. ‘Anything But Babe’
It’s creepy when guys start calling me ‘babe’ very early on. Like if I had a sleepover with someone and boom they call me ‘babe’ in the morning, that’s creepy.
– Erin B., 38
18. ‘Not Babe’
I think it’s off-putting when guys say ‘babe’ to women they are not dating. Whether intentional or not, it can have a belittling effect, especially if you don’t know each other well enough.
– Annie S., 23
I’ve also discovered that when it comes to calling girls ‘babe’ there are certain guidelines in place. If you’ve been dating the girl for a year or more, you can probably get away with using ‘babe’ as a term of endearment and there will be meaning behind it since you are comfortable with each other and your relationship. If you’re casually dating, you really better think twice before you call her ‘babe’ for the first time since there’s no going back after that and her reaction may not be quite what you’re expecting. And if you don’t know a girl well (or at all), you shouldn’t call her ‘babe’ under any circumstances unless you want a dirty look, physical harm, or a drink in your face.