Let’s chat about something I don’t understand about guys. Why do they never call their friends, “friends”? It’s always “my high school buddy and I used to down 40s” or “I’m going on a road trip with my buddy” or “my buddy and I totally watched Sex and City when we were college roommates, don’t tell anyone.”
I don’t get it. Aside from on this blog, where I have to exhaust every synonym for “friend” lest the same word appear in every sentence, I have never called a friend my “buddy.” Never. I do use it every now and then to refer to my 11-year-old Little Brother, but that’s it. Nowhere else.
But guys say it all the time. I assume it’s because they think “buddy” sounds more macho. Less intimate. It’s very “we’re just dudes. we’re buds. no big deal.” But when a guy says buddy, it doesn’t (from what I can tell) mean what I would think it should mean. To me, a buddy is someone you’re friendly with, but not really friends with. A pal, a buddy, someone you’ve hung out with once or twice.
But when men use the phrase, they always seem to be talking about their close friends. Even their BFFs.
There are some guys who go “buddy” more than others of course. A friend of mine from college calls every single one of his best friends his buddy. A couple of weeks ago I was at dinner and a dining companion used buddy exclusively when referring to old friends. My new good guy pal has girl “friends” and guy “buddies.”
Is it regional? These three men are from Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Indiana. (Yes I know that one of those is a city and the other two are states but I don’t know where in Wisco or Indy they’re from.) Is it just pure machismo? Or is buddy just another word for friend that I am totally overanalyzing?
I don’t think so on that last one. Have you ever heard a woman use “buddy”? Ever? I thought not.
There’s some big linguistic study here waiting to happen. I know it. Scientists, you’re welcome. Please report back.
Have you noticed this “buddy” phenomenon? Why do guys love to call friends “buddies.” Why don’t women ever say it?