Column, Southern Thing Column

I don’t mind being called Sweetie or Honey … or Schmootzie Pie

Following is an excerpt of a column on the South’s love of edible endearments originally posted on To read the column in full, click here or click the link at the end of the excerpt.

Come over here and give me some sugar. Not that kind, y’all.

I’m talking about the kind we in the South might hear from a server or Piggly Wiggly clerk or mechanic, as in “Can I get you anything else, Sugar?” Or Sweetie. Or Honey. Or Sweet Pea.

For some reason, we Southerners often refer to one another as various types of sweet foods. But don’t fret – I am going to attempt to explain it right now. You’re welcome.

Those who regularly read my columns know I always refer to my husband as “Sweetums.” He’s grown accustomed to it. When people see him in public they often say, “You must be Sweetums.” When we’re at public events, he even wears “Hello, My Name is Sweetums” nametags.

But sometimes readers want to know if a burly, 6-foot-7 man really enjoys being called by such a sugary nickname. Of course he does. He’s the one who chose it. I told him he could pick from Nummy Buns, Sugar Tushy or Sweetums. He picked Sweetums. It’s not my fault … although I will admit I’ve been known to call him by other sweet names, such as “Sweet Potato,” “My Little Puddin’ Pop” or even “Sugar Plum Fairy.” He didn’t really take to that last one.

He can’t complain, though – he calls me Schmootize Pie and I didn’t have any say in it. All I did was tell him “Spicy Love Gordita” didn’t exactly roll off the tongue and might sound a little suggestive to the general public and that’s what he came up with. I probably would’ve picked “Triple Fudge Brownie Ice Cream” or, changing up the theme a little, “Gorgeous Skinnygirl.”

Thankfully, I am not one of those who is offended by being called edible endearments. I even like that one song about “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch.” I don’t find such names condescending or belittling or sexist, as some people do. I merely find them sweet. Click here to read my theories on why we Southerners love endearments.

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