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Lena Dunham and Emma Stone Discuss Nicknames in the Workplace


Hopefully, it’s a rare occurrence these days for a male co-worker or boss to summon a woman at the office with a demeaning nickname like “sweetie,” or “honey,” or (heaven forbid) “baby.” Unfortunately though, it does still happen.


(Photo Credit: david_shankbone/Flickr)

In an early mini-episode of her new podcast, Women of the Hour, Lena Dunham sat down with actress Emma Stone to talk about the topic of nicknames in the workplace. They discussed names they’d prefer to be called by male co-workers, and ones they never want to hear ever, ever, again.

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They had fun with the topic, debating nicknames such as “officer,” “cap’n,” and “doc”.

“…actually, any of the seven dwarfs,” said Stone. “…not dopey – don’t say dopey.”

However, although their approach was lighthearted, it was clear that both women actually take the topic quite seriously. They both agreed that certain nicknames should be banned forever, and that they would prefer to never hear them again. Names like “sweetheart,” “baby,” “honey,” and “babe,” were addressed specifically.

They also agreed that certain nicknames are acceptable, enjoyable even. These included, “pal,” “kid,” “lady,” (especially female to female), “bud,” “dude,” and “buck-o.”

“Oh I love ‘bucko,'” said Stone. “I want people to call me ‘buck-o’ so much.”

As much fun as the ladies had with this talk, men would be wise to take the ideas they expressed to heart.

“I guess the best-case scenario is that people call you by a nickname of your name that you’re comfortable with,” said Emma Stone. “Anyone can call me Em. That feels great. That feels personal and lovely. And, you don’t have to say sweetheart, you can just say Em.”

Dunham added, “I think it’s safe to say, some guys might go, ‘but, when I say sweetheart, I don’t mean it that way.’ But, it’s like, well then, when in doubt, don’t say sweetheart.”

“Yeah, just say their name,” Stone replied.

Both women agreed that they love nicknames, that they are fun and bonding. They said that they have used them on set quite a bit. Because, “…then you’re pals, you’re buds, you’re buckos with each other.” Just choose the nicknames you use wisely.

To hear more discussions like this, be sure to check out Dunham’s Women of the Hour podcast.

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Which nicknames do you prefer to be called by male co-workers? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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