No My First Name Ain’t Baby

Does your man refuse to talk?I never thought 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.


11 comments on “No My First Name Ain’t Baby

  1. I used to know somebody who called everybody “Baby.” We used to call him “William Baby” when he wasn’t around. Sometimes he would slip and call another guy that, which didn’t go over well. I believe he was completely straight, may he rest in peace, but it was just a speech habit, similar to the equally irritating but not offensive way some people pepper their speech with, “you know?”

    Personally, I don’t think this is an appropriate term for a man to call a stranger, unless the stranger is wearing diapers.

  2. I fee the same way about those brothers that call every sista “queen” too… Men who use any of these “endearments” with every single woman they know and meet reak of “I don’t really take the time to know these women.” And if that’s the case no matter how sweet “baby” might sound, or regal and pro-black “queen” might seem, he might just as well be saying “chicken,” or any of the negative words. Like Beyonce and the girls said “Say my name, say my name…” LOL. I can’t take you seriously if you don’t take me seriously and a part of that is taking the time to know me enough to say my darn name when you’re speaking to me… 😉 Girl, can you tell you picked on of my pet peeves to talk about today. LOL. Great post.


  3. I tend to use it as a term of endearment. Such as “Babygirl, I like the new look of your blog.”

    But I do know some dudes who used it entirely out of context.

  4. Gwyneth/Don….all we want is for a man to remember our names…lol…but seriously, some men go overboard with “baby,” “queen” and “babygirl”…but being in LA, also hear the word “boo” a lot.

  5. LOL. Shelia, I was gonna come back and post earlier today about how much I also detest men who call every body and they momma “boo.” But I figured I had already ranted too much on your blog today. But since you brought it up… 🙂 I can’t stand it. I keep wanting to say, I am not your dang boo, bro. Urgh! Okay rant over for now… 😉

  6. lol…im probably one of the only guys in my circle that prefer to call women ma’am. It’s less intrusive and shows respect.

    funny how the trend of calling each other “ma and pa” is growing daily!

    good post ma’am. lol!

  7. LOL – calm down Shelia. For me, it depends on the guy and the situation. I mean a swarmy looking dude who calls every woman “Baby”, “Queen”, “Boo” is annoying and makes him suspect. I dated a guy years ago who called me by a nickname that I later found he also used with his “other” girlfriend…what’s the chance of f-ing up if you call us both by the same “term of endearment”? *smh*

    Imagine my surprise when I found myself ALWAYS saying “Baby” in convo with a ‘person of interest’. It was sooo out of character for me. That’s when I knew I was in. Deep. LOL

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