Someone, who shall remain nameless, just said “thanks, bud!”. While I know this is a common phrase used informally amongst acquaintances, I have always cringed when someone has directed it at me. Maybe it was an old supervisor that called everyone “bud,” but never really developed the relationships worthy of such a reference. Following this experience, I came to believe the reference to someone as “bud” is simply a lazy, un-caring habit that does nothing to build relationships.
What would you rather here:
“Thanks, (your name)!” [i.e. "Thanks, Aric!"]
Which is more personal and gives you warm fuzzy feelings? The second one in my mind comes across as professional and inspires relationship building. The second one is more powerful, the first is lazy. Bottom line, the second shows a level of respect that “bud” will never give you.
After conducting a google search for “someone called me bud,” there is a clear split on the opinion of its use. As much as I found internet users talking about how much they find it disrespectful, I found an equal group saying how ridiculous it is that people are having the discussion about “bud” being disrespectful when it is an accepted phrase.
Let’s go one step further. In the corporate environment that I work in, I have never heard anyone refer to another person as “bud.” We use first names our of respect. Therefore, I think the use of “bud” is class related. As an anthropologist, there are often subtle differences in the common language of a society, differences that typically align with social class. I consider “bud” to be lower class and informal, since I have never heard someone of a higher class use it. This also explains the differences I found in the Google search. Unfortunately, this is just a theory as I would have to conduct more research and interview those that responded online to determine their class status.
Whether or not you use the word “bud” in conversation is up to you. The point of this post was to make the reader aware that the use “bud” isn’t always an acceptable term. If someone you talk to asks you not to use that word in your interactions with them, please be respectful and accommodate their wishes.