Is it Rude to Call Someone Buddy?

If you have many good friends, you’ve probably used or heard the term buddy thrown around quite a lot.

Likewise, if you work with a team of people you’ve more than likely heard buddy a bunch of times.

But, was it always said in a nice way? Is calling someone buddy rude, or nothing more than a wisecrack?

Read on below and learn the answer!

Is it Rude to Call Someone Buddy?

Calling someone buddy when they are in fact not your buddy, or even your friend at all, is rude. There is no question about it.

Further, the only time it isn’t rude to call someone buddy is when the person you are addressing is indeed your good friend.

When you call someone buddy who you barely know, it is rude because they are obviously not really your buddy.

In other words, in these cases, your words imply the opposite of what you are saying.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, calling someone buddy rates 6

There are plenty of times calling someone buddy is ok, but this is far from always the case (around less than half the time it is used, it is rude).

While there are indeed plenty of circumstances in calling someone buddy is legit, more often than not calling someone buddy is done with a condescending note.

Why is it Rude?

Generally speaking, it’s rude to call someone rude if you don’t know them well because it sounds condescending (and very well may be, depending on who’s saying it). 

It’s also rude to call someone buddy just because you are their senior or supervisor.

Why is it Not Rude?

There is nothing rude about one friend calling another friend “buddy”. Buddy, after all, is slang for “friend” or even “good friend”. 

The main time it’s actually rude to use the term buddy is when you are addressing someone who is obviously not really your good friend (or buddy).

Other Options to Do Instead

If you aren’t sure whether or not calling someone buddy is rude or not, given the circumstances, you find yourself in, consider the following points:

  • Call the person by their name rather than buddy
  • Use the person’s official job title instead 
  • Skip the formalities and say what you have to say
  • Address them with a more neutral word than buddy

Common Questions

Is being called buddy disrespectful?

Being called buddy is just as often rude, if not more often than it isn’t. In other words, being called buddy can be done in a respectful manner just as well as a disrespectful manner. 

That said if you do not know someone well, and they call you buddy, chances are that they are indeed disrespecting you. 

What does it mean to call someone buddy?

There are two main reasons for calling someone buddy; they are indeed your good friend, or you are condescending to them because you are their superior/senior. 

The best way to quickly tell whether it is rude when someone calls you buddy is by gauging how well you know them.

If you know the person well, they aren’t typically being rude. When someone you don’t know well calls you buddy, they are likely being rude to you.

Is being called buddy good or bad?

Being called buddy can be either good or bad, depending on who is calling you buddy and who they are to you. 

For example, it is probably not a good thing if your superior visor or teacher calls you buddy. 

On the other hand, if your best friend, or uncle, calls you buddy, it’s probably nothing but love.