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How do you casually address a child in the Midwestern dialect?

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closed as off-topic by SF., hildred, Standback Feb 5 at 9:40

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"Hey, kid." Reads more like a stranger trying to get a child's attention. Perhaps "Hi, kiddo."? –  CLockeWork Jan 24 at 16:25
    
Can you add an actual question to the end of this? –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 24 at 19:09
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Seems to me this question would be more appropriate for English Language & Usage –  Travis Christian Jan 24 at 21:42
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So I live in Nebraska, but I need to know who is addressing the child? Parent, other family member, friend's parents? Also current time frame or older? –  James Jan 27 at 14:41
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I'm afraid we don't handle research/detail questions on Writers.SE. See: meta.writers.stackexchange.com/questions/20 . You might find the LJ community Little Details to be helpful, or you could search for a resource dealing specifically with your topic. –  Standback Feb 5 at 9:40

2 Answers 2

I'm a male in my mid-forties -- born, bred, and still living in Minnesota. I believe that qualifies as "Midwestern".

When addressing young girls, I typically use one of "sweety", "hon", "honey", "sweet", or their name or nickname (if I know either). Not infrequently I'll use a combination (e.g., "Haley sweet - could you please pick up those wrappers and throw them away?").

When addressing you buys other than my son, I'll typically use one of "bud", "dude", "buddy", their nickname, or their name (assuming I know either). Occasionally, if they're very young, I'll use "sweety" or "hon" with boys, as well.

With the exception of "dude", I hear these same terms frequently from other adults here in Minnesota, as well as in Wisconsin and North Dakota.

My son is a special case. In addition to the terms I use for addressing other young boys, I'll also use the more sugary terms I use with girls, as well as some of the special nicknames he's picked up over the years. I'm careful not to use the "sweeter" terms around other kids, of course.

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If the child is a boy, "son" or "junior" is common here in the south. I can't think of much for girls other than the pet names you mentioned.

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