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My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.

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I would need more context but as a native speaker of AmE, I cannot readily imagine when that would make sense in a non-offensive usage. –  virmaior Mar 1 at 7:00
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Offense has to be in the eye (ear) of the speaker or the person being spoken about. It is not really possible to guess from outside the immediate context. –  felix Mar 1 at 8:26
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Either offensive, or a slip of the tongue, or you misunderstood what she said, or she really believed that your friend was a girl. –  nxx Mar 1 at 12:31
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It could be all sorts of things. It just doesn't make sense to me for a woman to call a man "good girl", it would be a strange as an insult. The term "good girl" sounds to me like what one says to a dog that has done well. Because she could have been saying (accidentally out loud) that she herself had been a 'good girl' and that the generous tip showed that. THis is all speculative. Things could have been misheard, slips of the tongue may have been made, too many levels of earnestness or sarcasm possible. –  Mitch Mar 1 at 14:44
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Don't take offense if you are not an American. On the other hand, don't start using this yourself. –  GEdgar Mar 1 at 15:15

2 Answers 2

As an American, I honestly wouldn't know how to take it either.

OTOH, diner waitresses are kind of a special breed. Where most places the server tries to be part of the background, in a diner often the server is expected to be very personal. While most restaurants try to give a pleasant homogenous experience, in a diner one can expect to get a lot more local cultural flair. If there's a local accent or attitude, a diner waitress will often be playing it up to the extreme. For instance, people of both genders often get called things like "sweetie" or "honey", which is actually kind of condescending. They are expected to be snarky and have an attitude. There are even some places where part of the draw is how rude they are to you.

So it could be some localish quirk she was playing up. Something that a non-American might not have thought twice about. For instance, perhaps you had what sounded to her like a disagreement over the size or person to provide the tip, and the person who paid it seemed to have lost. In that case, it might have been intended as a crack about the treatment the "good girl" received from his dining partner. Its tough to say without being there.

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It was just a slip of the tongue from.

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Or perhaps it was an ironic commentary. Or perhaps it was an error based upon the androgyny of the dinner companion. Or … –  David M Mar 2 at 13:12
    
... perhaps it was a private joke between the two, or perhaps she was aware that the "male" customer was a pre-operative transsexual, or perhaps ... –  Pitarou Mar 2 at 23:06

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