Babes. It is a word I hate more than any other. (Except Vengaboys, but that’s a proper noun and doesn’t really count.)

It is a diminutive of a diminutive of a diminutive. Calling someone “baby” is bad enough, but the reduction to “babe” and, in a final attempt at endearment, “babes” makes my toes curl to the point of drawing blood in the balls of my feet. What baffles me is why people stop at the third diminution. What about “babesy”, for instance? Or “babesette”?

I have a message for people who use “babes”:

Life is not a Purple Ronnie cartoon.

8 Responses to “Babel”

  1. SatchelMonkey Says:

    Phrases I hate:

    1. Hey you (girls use it as a greeting)

    2. It was the **** from Hell.

    3. I felt it in my heart of hearts

    4. Girls calling people ‘mate’

    5. What are you like? (chirruped usually)

    6. Referring to one’s partner as ‘this one’ eg Let’s get this one home

    7. The misuse of the world literally. “He was literally laughing his head off.”

    8. The double negative (“You don’t know nuffink” – you’re quite right)

    9. The misuse of the phrase ‘may be’ in journalism. “Paul McCartney may be an ex-Beatle, but he…” He IS. There is NO doubt.

    10. Referring to something as ‘random’ which is plainly not. “God, that night was so random.”

    I also hate that baby wave thing that people who have spent far too long around babies do. Kill them all.

  2. krkbaker Says:

    I once worked in a restaurant where everyone called everyone babe and it was confusing. kim

  3. pouletnoir Says:

    krk – was it a pork restaurant?

    satchelmonkey – I’m wary of agreeing too heartily for fear of turning into Lynne Truss, but the use of “random” to mean “obscure” is grossly irritating. Those who do so may well be witches. To be on the safe side, they should be burnt.

  4. Tom L Says:

    I find “Hon” (as in “Honey”, not “Honorable”) particularly nauseating.

  5. pouletnoir Says:

    Indeed. Unless the person’s girlfriend is German (cf Milton Jones, circa 1999).

  6. rivergirlie Says:

    grammatical stalinist i may be, but i give automatic dispensation to anyone who calls me ‘babe’, ‘babes’ or even ‘bab’ – which is our regional variant – for the following, very sad reason:

  7. Old Goat Says:

    Ya, ‘babes’ is Soooooooooooo early naughties. I mean, who doesn’t use ‘love chunks’ now? Really. What are you like?

  8. Henry North London Says:

    How about Babette?

    You might ruin her feast

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