17 votes

What is a good gender-neutral pet name for my daughter?

Shortly after my son was born I started calling him "Buddy." I love it and he answers to it like a name now. My daughter is two and she calls him Buddy, which I think is the most adorable thing ever.

I'd like to do this with my daughter, but I'm not really a fan of things like "honey" or "sweetheart," though I do wind up calling her sweetheart pretty frequently.

Buddy is like friend, which is what I'm going for, but that's taken already. What else could I use?

19 comments

  1. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Kiddo is the first thing that comes to mind. She might outgrow it faster than Buddy, though. As a bonus, if it sticks you could watch the Kill Bill movies with her (when she's much older) and have...

    Kiddo is the first thing that comes to mind. She might outgrow it faster than Buddy, though.

    As a bonus, if it sticks you could watch the Kill Bill movies with her (when she's much older) and have a bonding moment over the use of Kiddo in that.

    14 votes
    1. Ephemere
      Link Parent
      You read my mind. I call my daughters ‘kiddo’ all the time, generally quite conscious of the film.

      You read my mind. I call my daughters ‘kiddo’ all the time, generally quite conscious of the film.

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    NaraVara
    Link
    I'm not sure this is easy to do without knowing your daughter's personality. I feel like nicknames are something that people usually pick up organically either by doing something, having a strong...

    I'm not sure this is easy to do without knowing your daughter's personality. I feel like nicknames are something that people usually pick up organically either by doing something, having a strong personality trait that sticks, or by kids not being able to pronounce their actual name. Like, my wife blanked on our new puppies name and randomly would up blurting out "Bebbo!" (Which sounds absolutely nothing like "Frankie," his actual name). But we've ended up referring to him as Bebbo or Beb ever since.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      ChuckS
      Link Parent
      Nothing in particular that either of them are doing, but I've been looking for a name like "friend" (Buddy) to call them. Nothing that sounds childish or anything.

      Nothing in particular that either of them are doing, but I've been looking for a name like "friend" (Buddy) to call them. Nothing that sounds childish or anything.

      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        You could be a turbo-nerd and call her "Mellon." It sounds like "melon," which is cute by itself, but the true Tolkien nerds will know. . .

        You could be a turbo-nerd and call her "Mellon." It sounds like "melon," which is cute by itself, but the true Tolkien nerds will know. . .

        4 votes
  3. [4]
    cfabbro
    Link
    My nickname for my nephew is "monkey", and I used to call my cousin's daughter "bubbles" when she was younger... neither of which has any real gender implications. And I think pretty much any...

    My nickname for my nephew is "monkey", and I used to call my cousin's daughter "bubbles" when she was younger... neither of which has any real gender implications. And I think pretty much any animal or "thing/object" based nicknames similar to those could probably work for either gender as well. Incidentally, I personally prefer using those sort of nicknames, that reference someone's specific personality/behavior, more than the generic ones like "kiddo" and whatnot, since it feels more personal.

    p.s. Is it weird that I have always taken "buddy" to be male gendered even though it's not really explicitly so?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      ChuckS
      Link Parent
      I like those! Animal names would probably be great. That's a great thing for me to consider, something that's reflective of her personality. Thanks! And I'm not sure what it is about Buddy that...

      I like those! Animal names would probably be great. That's a great thing for me to consider, something that's reflective of her personality. Thanks! And I'm not sure what it is about Buddy that seems male, either.

      1 vote
      1. JamesTeaKirk
        Link Parent
        It has been used as a male name fairly often. Dictionary.com says the word "buddy" is "perhaps a reduced form of 'brother'"

        And I'm not sure what it is about Buddy that seems male, either.

        It has been used as a male name fairly often. Dictionary.com says the word "buddy" is "perhaps a reduced form of 'brother'"

        4 votes
  4. [2]
    MimicSquid
    (edited )
    Link
    My mom called me "Bun" when I was little, which is relatively free of gender stuff. Edit: I'm nearing 40, and she still calls me by that name on rare occasions. It was super embarrassing when I...

    My mom called me "Bun" when I was little, which is relatively free of gender stuff.

    Edit: I'm nearing 40, and she still calls me by that name on rare occasions. It was super embarrassing when I was a teen, though.

    6 votes
  5. mat
    Link
    My sister calls her 5yo daughter "Spider". I don't know why. I do know it's nothing to do with spiderman/girl. But they both enjoy it. If you ask her if she's a brave girl or a hungry girl or...

    My sister calls her 5yo daughter "Spider". I don't know why. I do know it's nothing to do with spiderman/girl. But they both enjoy it. If you ask her if she's a brave girl or a hungry girl or similar she'll say "no, I'm a spider girl". My son somehow ended up being "Little Bear" despite me not really being a pet name kind of person, and I have no idea where that came from, but that's what I call him...

    I tend to think you have to just let these things happen by themselves.

    6 votes
  6. [3]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Sport? Kiddo? Bucko? Boss? Sweetpea? Comrade? There isn't that much that doesn't lean one way or another.

    Sport? Kiddo? Bucko? Boss? Sweetpea? Comrade? There isn't that much that doesn't lean one way or another.

    2 votes
    1. hhh
      Link Parent
      my vote is comrade

      my vote is comrade

      7 votes
    2. ChuckS
      Link Parent
      I was thinking maybe along the lines of a name they could keep into adulthood (Buddy Holly, etc.) Trying to stay away from sport or squirt or similar.

      I was thinking maybe along the lines of a name they could keep into adulthood (Buddy Holly, etc.) Trying to stay away from sport or squirt or similar.

      1 vote
  7. Tau_Zero
    Link
    Two kids? "Damn it" and "Jesus Christ" On a more serious note, some general ones might be birdie (sounds cute alongside "buddy"), pearl, petal, [little][honey]bee, gal. Some "buddy"/friend...

    Two kids? "Damn it" and "Jesus Christ"

    On a more serious note, some general ones might be birdie (sounds cute alongside "buddy"), pearl, petal, [little][honey]bee, gal. Some "buddy"/friend equivalents might be amigo or pal.

    2 votes
  8. tomf
    Link
    Everybody in my family for generations has a nickname, and it wasn't until a decade or so ago that I discovered that none of my mother's siblings go by their birth name. It should be a play off...

    Everybody in my family for generations has a nickname, and it wasn't until a decade or so ago that I discovered that none of my mother's siblings go by their birth name.

    It should be a play off their own name, though. I'd skip the common ones like 'Babs' or whatever and make something up that is easy to say, but is also a play on their name.

    2 votes
  9. mjb
    Link
    My daughter has endured 'Beast' for 35 years. :-D

    My daughter has endured 'Beast' for 35 years. :-D

    2 votes
  10. suspended
    Link
    Pumpkin Edit: Sweet Pea

    Pumpkin

    Edit: Sweet Pea

    1 vote