My little flea
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 11:06pm
Chances are fairly good that you've heard of the French term of endearment "mon petit chou," meaning "my little cabbage." You've probably laughed at this weird phrase, sniggering "Why would I refer to someone as a fairly revolting vegetable?" — revolting being a matter of opinion, of course.
As it happens, the French have all manner of odd little nicknames, such as "mon trognon" (my fruit pip), "ma loutre" (my otter), and even "mon crotte" (my poop). But the ones in English are equally odd.
"Honey" is a very common term of endearment, but it is also nectar regurgitated by bees. Bee barf, basically. "Sugar pie," too, is used very often, but I'm sure would be absolutely disgusting if you were to actually eat one. Some people even call each other "b*tch" or "hoe," which can be offensive, but can also be a sign of your close relationship with that person in that it doesn't offend them.
History teacher Chris Butler sent all the students an e-mail last night, explaining that he was not going to call us "stupid kids" anymore because a parent had taken offense to the phrase and complained. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd much rather be called a "stupid kid" than excrement, bee barf, or a not very commonly used garden tool. Terms of endearment aren't necessarily nice; they don't necessarily make sense. In fact, they rarely do. But we use them anyway.
At Uni, students often have close relationships with teachers — it's not at all strange to see a student and teacher discussing something unrelated to school outside of class. I'm glad that we're able to communicate so freely, and I think teachers have well earned the right to come up with little nicknames for us.
Just like hearing Assistant Director Sue Kovacs' keys jingle and immediately getting up from my comfy seat on the table (oh no! I've given away my secret!), being called a "stupid kid" has just become a part of my life at Uni.
Don't take it as an offense, you little flea; take it in your stride!