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 hear:
“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 out of respect. Therefore, I want to propose the theory that the use of “bud” is related to social relationships. As an anthropologist, there are often subtle differences in the common language of a society, differences that typically align with one’s relationship with another. I consider “bud” to be highly informal, since I have never heard someone of a more professional status 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 perspective and relationships.
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. The rules and guidelines surrounding it’s use are quite loose and its meaning is in the eye of the beholder.
Please post a comment, I would love to hear other perspectives on the use of “bud.”