The D word

‘What would you like for supper, darling?’ said a rather silky sounding man to his companion in my local supermarket the other evening.

Lucky wife, you might be thinking.  Or lucky girlfriend.  Lucky boyfriend, even.

Alas, none of the above applied.  The sad truth is the man was talking to his son, aged approximately 12.

Now I’m sorry.  Maybe it’s just me but I think a dad calling his son darling is plain weird.  Even when the son is a baby, it still sounds odd.

What about daughters?  Can dads call them darling?  Personally, I’d still say no.  Mums can get away with it more easily.  But even they’re pushing it.

Let’s be honest.  Isn’t the word darling just so smug?  Doesn’t it get your goat?  Shouldn’t it only ever be used, in fact, as a joke?

I say ban it from the English language.

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2 thoughts on “The D word

  1. I think ‘darling’ sounds either Cockney or camp. Couples often call each other ‘darling’ in novels, but it never rings true. I have been known to call my cats and dogs ‘darling’, but not within earshot of another human being…

  2. ‘… not within earshot of another human being.’ That’s the key, I realise now. I have to come clean. Since writing the post yesterday – and having subsequently become more aware of what I call my children – I’ve heard myself addressing my son as ‘darling’ not once but twice. That’s in less than 24 hours. So while I don’t exactly take it all back, I do amend my view. The D word is OK when used as a genuine term of endearment in private. It’s not OK when used loudly in public to show the world how splendid your life is.

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