It seems natural and appropriate for an older man to call a non-relative boy/young man “son” to convey endearment. Although I’m not sure, I think it’s unofficially reserved for men’s use only (the older person is male).

However, if he younger person was female, “daughter” seems awkward.

Is there a analogous term of endearment for young females? If so, it is reserved for older women’s use? Or is “daughter” used?


1 Answer 1


"Lass" or "Lassie" are commonly used in dialects in the north of England and Scotland to address girls and young women in a friendly way, although they are sometimes considered sexist so I'd be wary of using them. (Daily Telegraph)

I don't think there's a term of endearment or form of address common across all English-speaking regions, but terms of endearment still tend to be quite local or region-specific.

  • I'm going with "Lass", rather than the doubly-diminutive "Lassie" (term understood in Australia too, at least by the older half of the population)
    – Bohemian
    Nov 30, 2018 at 5:46

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