Inexplicably Insulting Nicknames, In Order -The Toast

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Feel free to add your own to the list. The important distinction here is that none of these can be intentionally condescending – none of your Shortstops, your Kiddos, your Sweethearts, nothing obviously diminutive or that calls out the uneven nature of your relationship. (Overt insults are also right out.) These must be friendly, even innocuous on the surface, and yet elicit a baffling, incomprehensible sense of indignation in the recipient.

  • Guy (“Listen, guy“)
  • Pal (“Hang on there, pal“)
  • Friend (“And another thing, friend.”)
  • Chum (“Sure thing, chum.”)
  • Buddy (“You’ve got another thing coming, buddy.”)
  • Partner (“Wait a second, partner.”)
  • Fella (“Hang on, fella.”)
  • Dude (“Sure thing, my dude.”)

What is it about the deployment of friendly monikers in an unfriendly situation that feels like a silent assassination? Thanks for your help, friends.

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