Kid, kiddo, kiddie, are words used by many parents. Since they represent an extended meanings of child, they have their uses in certain situations.
While at a basketball game the other day, a woman said, “the kids are coming.”
I didn’t know how old they were, so when a tall seventeen-year-old showed up, followed by his even taller nineteen-year-old brother, both with thick voices and facial hair, I had to readjust my perception of the woman and her sons.
Maybe it was easier to say kids. The word is ingrained in our general psyche, but as parents we work to teach independence and gently push our sons and daughters down their paths. Referring to a 6-foot-tall adult as kid or kiddie sounds counter intuitive.
In the work place, same story, but with different connotations. I heard a male co-worker call after a young professional woman, “hey, kiddo.” If I saw her cringe, he must’ve seen the same. But if reactions change our vocabulary and attitude, it didn’t happen in this case.
Let me also say that as a writer I spend a lot of time looking at variations of words and weighing meaning in different circumstances. And speech is different from writing. I get that. It’s possible this is much ado about nothing.
But there are certain associations we assign words, and if kid is not associated with a child, it could easily denote immaturity, disdain, or carelessness.
“Careful with words,” the fox told the prince, “for a writer might hear them and use you in her story.” :)
Young business women, courtesy dressity, com; Portrait “Mijke”, Art Studi Frans Koppelaar, permission from Frans Koppelaar (from Wikimedia Commons)