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Is it natural for a man to call a woman "honey"? It seems to me that the word is mostly used by a woman to call a man, in an intimate relationship.

But I wonder if it is strange or not for male to use the word.

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    I think most endearments are gender-neutral, actually.
    – Hellion
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:48
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    The term is reasonably neutral, gender-wise. A woman can more easily get away with using the term to refer to a man, vs vice-versa -- it's less apt to be interpreted as a sexual come-on -- so the woman -> man reference is probably more common. (I know I've had waitresses call me "honey".)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 18:09
  • (I don't know about current practices, but in my parents' generation it was common for "honey" to be the term of endearment a husband used for his wife.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 18:11
  • For a boss to call an employee "honey" or "sweetie" might be considered, in the United States, to be contributing to a hostile work environment (regardless of gender).
    – Xanne
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 3:15

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The first examples that come to my mind of a male addressing a woman as "honey" come from song lyrics. These don't show whether addressing a man or a woman as "honey" is more common, but they do show that addressing a woman is not unheard of.

In The Archies' Sugar Sugar, the second and third lines are "Honey/ you are my candy girl."

In The Four Tops' I Can't Help Myself, a man addresses his love as "Sugar Pie, Honey-Bunch."

Bobby Goldsboro's Honey addresses a woman with "She was always young at heart.. Honey, I miss you."

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