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    #1

    Hi Buddy

    Every now and then, I come across macho strangers who reply to a simple "Hi" greeting with a "Hi Buddy", in a condescending tone.

    In AmE, how to politely let such strangers know that you don't like being addressed as "Buddy", and still carry on with a conversation without making a big deal out of it?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Hi Buddy

    I'm having trouble fitting all of these things together. "Buddy" seems like a pretty inoffensive phrase and I can't imagine why it would be said in a condescending tone. If it seems like the people you meet are being condescending, I would suggest that it's possible you are hearing a tone that is not intended.

    Why do you call them "macho strangers"? What is so macho about them?

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    #3

    Re: Hi Buddy

    You could say "Please call me ..." and tell them your name. That's probably the least rude way to respond.

    What situations are you in and why do you think it is condescending?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Hi Buddy

    And then there's the idea that some people are private individuals and don't like having conversations with strangers.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Hi Buddy

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    And then there's the idea that some people are private individuals and don't like having conversations with strangers.
    True, but then the OP said that these random strangers reply to "Hi" with "Hi buddy", so the OP is the one initiating the conversation.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Hi Buddy

    Right. So if he says "hi" and someone is thinking "Um... who are you and why do you want to talk to me?" there might be some reason for a response that creates distance, either in word or tone or both.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Hi Buddy

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Right. So if he says "hi" and someone is thinking "Um... who are you and why do you want to talk to me?" there might be some reason for a response that creates distance, either in word or tone or both.
    Ah, I see. I misunderstood. I thought you meant the OP wasn't interested in conversing with strangers. I would have to say though that if I were the stranger involved and I didn't want to converse with the OP after the OP said "Hi", I certainly wouldn't reply with "Hi, buddy" in any tone. Unless I'm missing a meaning, "buddy" is a fairly friendly greeting and I would expect anyone I said it to to continue conversing.

    If a total stranger said "Hi" to me in the street or in a hallway and I didn't want to talk to them, I would perhaps nod, or say "Hi" very quietly but keep walking, or I would say nothing, look straight ahead and walk faster! Still, I'm British and we generally assume that any stranger who starts talking to us out of the blue is a nutcase!

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    #8

    Re: Hi Buddy

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Ah, I see. I misunderstood. I thought you meant the OP wasn't interested in conversing with strangers. I would have to say though that if I were the stranger involved and I didn't want to converse with the OP after the OP said "Hi", I certainly wouldn't reply with "Hi, buddy" in any tone. Unless I'm missing a meaning, "buddy" is a fairly friendly greeting and I would expect anyone I said it to to continue conversing.

    If a total stranger said "Hi" to me in the street or in a hallway and I didn't want to talk to them, I would perhaps nod, or say "Hi" very quietly but keep walking, or I would say nothing, look straight ahead and walk faster! Still, I'm British and we generally assume that any stranger who starts talking to us out of the blue is a nutcase!
    emsr2d2, Thanks for taking the time to read my question. In general, I am cordial and welcome talking with others.

    When I said strangers, I meant new people that I come across in a particular context, not total passing by strangers on the street.

    If I am in a shopping mall, and lets say a salesman approaches me or I approach someone for assistance, the conversation would start off with any of the following:

    1) Hi there, is there anything I can help you with ...
    2) Hi, how are you ...
    3) How may I help you ...
    3) Excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute....
    4) Hello sir, would you be interested in looking at this product.....
    5) Hello, how do I get to flower shop....
    6) Hi, I am looking for a ...

    But once in a while I come across macho (sorry, I don't have a better description) men, that start off the conversation with - Hi Buddy, .... or Haaaay Buddy, ... or add Buddy at the end of sentences. I find this unacceptable since I have seen it used among familiar friends not with new people. I have never heard Buddy being used by professional people as those from banks, hospitals, government offices, restaurants, or most service sectors. Strangely, I never heard it from any new people over the phone either.

    I was hoping to get suggestions on what would be a quick way to let the other person in these brief encounters know that you are no "buddy" of theirs, without making it a big deal.

    Thanks.

  6. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Hi Buddy

    NOT A TEACHER

    Is "Hi, buddy" really something one should feel offended about?
    The OALD says:

    2 (also bud) (both North American English, informal) used to speak to a man you do not know

    • ‘Where to, buddy?’ the driver asked.
    From the above, I infer that "Hi, buddy" is not meant to be offensive or anyhow insulting in the fairly informal situations that the OP described. But then again, I do not live in the U.S. and don't know the customary ways of addressing people in those situations.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  7. david11's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Hi Buddy

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    If a total stranger said "Hi" to me in the street or in a hallway and I didn't want to talk to them, I would perhaps nod, or say "Hi" very quietly but keep walking, or I would say nothing, look straight ahead and walk faster! Still, I'm British and we generally assume that any stranger who starts talking to us out of the blue is a nutcase!
    Why did you use still here? The preceding sentence does not contradict with the following sentence.

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