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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    I heard a bartender, he was the boss of the bar too, called his customer 'mate' as below in a British film. He meant what he could do for the customer.

    Yes, mate?
    Is it usual in the UK? I had thought a bartender should call his customers Sir.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 25-Sep-2008 at 18:01. Reason: called--> call

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    In an informal British bar or pub, it's not unusual for the bartender to refer to a customer as "mate." The US equivalent would be for the bartender to refer to a customer as "buddy," "pal," or even "bro." It sets a certain tone, giving the place a relaxed atomsphere in which to sit back and enjoy a few drinks. In a more formal restaurant, the bartender and staff would certainly address the customers as "Sir" or "Ma'am."

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    Hi Ouisch,

    Thank you very much for your help. The answer is very informative.

    I just looked 'buddy' up in my dictionary, and found 'buddy' usually refers to a man or boy.

    buddy
    Friend or comrade; chum. Used as a form of familiar address, especially for a man or boy:

    Watch it, buddy.
    I wonder whether it is appropriate to address a female customer 'mate', 'bro' or 'buddy'. If not, how to address them in an informal way? Pal?

    I felt kind of funny when a male forum member addressed me "mate" in the forum. I supposed he had thought I was a man. Is it appropriate for a man friendly call a woman mate?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 25-Sep-2008 at 18:15.


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    #4

    Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    Here, women could be "love", "ducks", "Miss", or just not addressed with anything. It's a minefield as some women object to being addressed in this way and bartenders are a bit cautious.

    On the net, where gender is not obvious, there is a bit of a tendency to think of people as male. Weird, since a high percentage are female.

  4. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    Hello Anglika,

    Thank you for your help. Could you possibly explain why 'ducks' can refer to a woman? And is it in plural if just a woman?

    In Chinese slang, a duck refers to a male sex worker.


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    #6

    Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    I think that every language has slang words for (young) girls like "ducks" or (in American Engl.) "chiks"(pl), "chick" (singular) or Spanish "chika". I'm sure you can think of one in Chinese..... As for the explanation why, I found that English word "ducky" (dukies) means: dear, darling, sweetheart. In 1897 it was also a slang word and meant "woman's breast" (it was found in Henry VIII letters!)...By the way, "mate" is also widely used in Australian English.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Smile Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Coli View Post
    I think that every language has slang words for (young) girls like "ducks" or (in American Engl.) "chiks"(pl), "chick" (singular) or Spanish "chika". I'm sure you can think of one in Chinese..... As for the explanation why, I found that English word "ducky" (dukies) means: dear, darling, sweetheart. In 1897 it was also a slang word and meant "woman's breast" (it was found in Henry VIII letters!)...By the way, "mate" is also widely used in Australian English.

    Hello Coli,

    Thank you for your answer.

  6. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    In AmE, it is more common to use generic colloquialisms when addressing men, which is why there so many variations (bud, buddy, bro, pal, man, chief, etc.) Addressing women, on the other hand, is a bit more sensitive. It's not unusual for female bartenders/wait staff in informal situations to address women customers as "sweetie" or "honey" or "dear", but if a male did this, it could give the wrong impression. It may sound more flirtatitious than friendly. So usually male wait staff will refer to female customers as "Miss." If they get to know a female as a regular customer he might then address her by her first name.

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #9

    Smile Re: Mate (addressing in UK bar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    In AmE, it is more common to use generic colloquialisms when addressing men, which is why there so many variations (bud, buddy, bro, pal, man, chief, etc.) Addressing women, on the other hand, is a bit more sensitive. It's not unusual for female bartenders/wait staff in informal situations to address women customers as "sweetie" or "honey" or "dear", but if a male did this, it could give the wrong impression. It may sound more flirtatitious than friendly. So usually male wait staff will refer to female customers as "Miss." If they get to know a female as a regular customer he might then address her by her first name.
    Hello Ouisch,

    Thank you for your help again.

    I just bought some suds from The Simpsons.

    Cheers, you guys!

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