Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Question Of Etiquette

When talking to friends and family about another man, I use the term "bloke". As in "There's a bloke on the train who gets right on my tits." Or "He's a nice bloke." Or "The bloke's a wanker."

But things are different in a work situation. I can't say "The bloke from the bank rang back about direct debits."

I can't say "guy" because I'm 47 and English.

I can't say "man" because I'd sound like a child.

So I end up saying "chap". I sound like a Royal.

I don't like it and I'd never say "He's a jolly nice chap," but what else do I call these people?


  1. Use his name. Or if you don't know his name, make one up. Try Vivian. There aren't enough Vivians.

  2. Fellow won't work either.
    You could try feller; I use this quite a bit but be warned - it comes with a trans-Pennine accent so you end up sounding like the little boy in the barn in film of 'Whistle Down the Wind' - when he looks at Alan Bates and says: "It isn't Jesus, it's just a feller."
    I'd give Vivian a go.

  3. Asshole? In a general, loving and non-judgmental way, of course.

  4. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Geezer. Or John, as in, "Hello, John, got new motor." Or go all public school and call him Stig.

    You'll be delighted to learn that your blog appeared among my "Top Sites" in the new Safari 4 public beta. You must be very proud.

    Word verification is "tener" - quick, buy lottery ticket now.

  5. I use bloke all the time as in 'My bloke' or that bloke off 'Being Human'.
    If it's a work situation you should say 'person'.

  6. Tim - Vivian just reminds me of that twat Ade Edmondson.

    Arabella - I like feller. But it's not me.

    Vicus/MJ/Billy - That's what the bloke on the phone was thinking about me.

    Bob - But I don't work in the City. Sure it wasn't "Top Shites"?

    Kaz - This isn't the local authority! Where I work men are men and women laugh at them.

  7. Cunt? Total cunt? Idiot? Nincompoop? Oh dear I don't know what came over me there.

    Why can't you say guy or bloke if you are 47?

  8. I think I'd say 'bloke from the bank'... or 'somebody from the bank'?
    Or perhaps ask 'who's speaking please?' - this might help you.

  9. Romo - "Guy" sounds alright if you're Scottish but if you're English you just sound like Tony Blair. I say "Bloke" to workmates but not to bosses. I'd feel like Tim Nice But Dim.

    Scarlet - "Somebody" sounds like I haven't got a clue who he is. Which in most cases I haven't. I always get names and always forget them. I'll have to start writing them on my hand.

  10. I tend to find 'idiot' works well for me - especially if they're from the bank.

  11. Maybe. Not too abusive and covers almost everybody.

  12. Yes! Do you find that you can write down their name, but then not have heard anything else they've said OR not listen to their name and have some idea of what they want, but not both together - or is that just me?

  13. I make copious notes but they're never to hand when I'm asked what's been happening.