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Mar 20 2015

Endearing nickname

Have you watched the movie, “The King’s Speech“? It’s a story about how Prince Albert, the second son of King George V of England, overcame a stuttering condition he had endured since his youth. When Prince Albert first met his therapist, Logue, the therapist breached the royal etiquette by referring the prince as “Bertie,” a name used only by his family. Prince Albert was more than astonished and deemed Logue’s manner inappropriate.

I guess Logue should have called Prince Albert “your highness”? Anyway, not only England, but countries around the world have assumed various levels of respect when addressing people. There’s no exception in Japan, and for foreigners to learn their language they have to learn to distinguish when to use a certain honorific title (suffix) for whom, etc.

The gender-neutral suffix “-san” is the most common one, which can be used in both formal and informal settings. It is a title of respect typically used between equals of any age. Contrary to what some people think, it is not necessarily the equivalent of “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Miss” because it can also be used for animals or even inanimate objects! 🙂 Besides, nobody will call a friend or family member “Mr.” or “Mrs.” in English (except perhaps Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” 😛 ), but in Japan, some married couples refer to their spouses with “-san” [2].

To make things more complicated, it’s possible for Japanese to change the suffix (thus level of respect) for the same person under different situations [4]. In other words, the politeness is not tied to a fixed status (like Lord, Lady, etc.), and it may vary depending on the circumstances. For example, when a husband teaches a wife how to do something because he’s more knowledgeable, she can call him “sensei” (another honorific title) at that particular moment.

Another gender neutral suffix, “-sama”, is considered a more respectful version of “-san”. In Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Albert was known to be Granduncle William-sama. Also, people customarily use “-sama” as the suffix on postal packages or letters. Thus, in CCFS, Candy almost always used “-sama” when writing letters to different people (except for Albert-san). For example, she wrote “Terrus Graham-sama” in her unsent letter to him, and likewise, Candy wrote “Anthony Brown-sama” in her mental letter to him. Otherwise, she simply called them Terry and Anthony respectively.

Sometimes, when someone is particularly attractive or popular, he or she can earn the title “-sama”. A girl may use it for a guy she admires, or she can use that to flatter her boyfriend. Therefore, Candy used “-sama” whenever she addressed Prince on the Hill. For real princes, Candy should have used a very formal honorific title (something like your highness in Japanese).

Dropping the honorific suffix when referring to a person implies a high degree of intimacy, so it is generally reserved for one’s spouse, younger family members, and good friends. Hence, not using any honorific suffix for the first time essentially marks an important milestone in a relationship (from acquaintances to close friends or from close friends to lovers, for instance). Alternatively, people can use yet another honorific, “-chan”, for best friends, children, lovers, etc. I think it’s probably a matter of personal taste. 😛

While Candy called her friends Annie, Patty, Archie, Stear, etc., she always used the suffix “-san” for Albert mainly because of age difference as explained in Passion’s comment. If indeed “-san” means “Mr.” and formality, when they lived together in the House of Magnolia, the neighbors would have found it very odd, don’t you think? 😉 After all, they pretended to be brother and sister. In Japan, people may call their older brothers o-nii-san (お兄さん) or older sisters o-nē-san (お姉さん). Similarly, they added “-san” when addressing their mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties, and so on.

Note that chichi-ue (父上) is yet another way to call a father, which is not very common nowadays, but it shows very high level of respect. In one of the earlier letters, Candy asked Albert if she should call him chichi-ue-sama (父上-sama). The way she asked was playful, and to paraphrase the question, it is “Really, do I have to call you chichi-ue-sama?!” Yes, she used “?!” to end her question, so she was teasing him, knowing that her prince-sama wouldn’t be mad at her. I believe Mizuki was inspired by Judy’s last letter in Daddy-long-legs. (SPOILER ALERT) In that letter to Master Jervie, Judy described in detail how happy she was to discover that she was in love with her ‘Daddy’ all along, but she asked him nonetheless, “Shall I call you Daddy?” Obviously, Judy was joking; she didn’t really mean to call Master Jervie “Daddy”. 😉

Yet, in Candy’s case, she used such a formal term for a father that it threw Albert off. He complained mildly to her (he sounded upset in his brief letter) before his business trip to São Paulo (I’ll discuss his reply in another post). I have a strong feeling that this terrible thought must have haunted Albert so much that he determined to do something about it. Therefore, after writing a heartfelt letter to Candy in a São Paulo hotel, rather than calling himself Albert as always, he signed Bert.

Candy couldn’t help asking Albert about “Bert” in her subsequent reply (despite deliberately withholding her words). After this, we don’t get to see any letter from Albert again. Instead, we read another letter from Candy to Albert (very long and detailed this time), in which she addressed him as Chitchana Bert several times without the suffix “-san”. In CCFS, this is the first time we read about this nickname. See the spoilers below:

Dear Mr William Albert Ardray
or little Bert,
Little Bert, are you still working now?
I’m back from Happy Martin Clinic as always and have just put the children to sleep.
Little Bert … I’m very very happy you have told me this name!
Your sister Rosemary — Anthony’s mother called you so, I didn’t know that. 
It was only Rosemary who called me so …
But you allow me call you by this name!

Chitchana was translated to “little”, but “tiny” is probably closer to its meaning. For your interest, please click the link to see other possible meanings, and people can use it for babies, young kids or any tiny objects. There’s another similar endearing term for young children, ochibi-chan (おチビちゃん), which was exactly how Prince on the Hill had called little Candy on Pony’s Hill many years ago. In English, there exist many endearments for loved ones too, such as sweetie, sweetie pie, sweetheart, honey, cutie, cutie pie, darling, etc. Even adults can use such endearments for their lovers or invent some special names reserved only for their significant others. 🙂

SecretAt any rate, Albert had taken the initiative to introduce the name Bert to Candy. After reading her aforementioned short letter (apparently filled with yearning), he suddenly appeared at Pony’s Home one day after his business trip to São Paulo as per her request, and he spent an entire day with Candy, driving her all the way to his family villa in Lakewood (at least a few hours one way) and back. That day, Albert related to Candy the endearing nickname his beloved late sister had given him. Due to the wide age gap, Rosemary was like a mother to Albert, so it was understandable why she had called her baby brother that. Besides, she was the only one who had ever called him Chitchana Bert, which wasn’t unlike Cutie Bert in interpretation. Would Albert disclose this secret to anyone else? Highly unlikely. Remember he was the all-powerful family patriarch and the chief of a huge business empire, so he had an esteemed image to maintain. 🙂

Thus, Albert trusted Candy enough to be his confidante. This wasn’t the first time he revealed to her something important about his past, but this time he actually gave her the privilege to call him Chitchana Bert, which was the extreme opposite of chichi-ue-sama (父上-sama). 😉 To me, it was his answer to her teasing question earlier (like he was saying, don’t call me father but call me Cutie Bert). I don’t think she would have expected this from him, and that’s why when she wrote in her letter about him giving her his permission, she wrote in a slightly formal way (she was normally very casual when writing to him) as though she still found it unbelievable. 😛

What caused a man of such stature, the only heir to a prestigious family and a coveted bachelor, to frequent an orphanage in a remote town? Albert had to drive hours to get to Pony’s Home in the first place, not to mention that he had done it more than once just to give Candy surprise visits. Furthermore, he had written several deep and very personal letters to her. If you were Candy, how would you have felt? 🙄 She had valid reasons to believe her prince had developed feelings for her.

With “Little Bert” being a new secret between the two of them, Candy should be able to understand what that signified, as indicated by Evelyn in her comment. What’s more, Candy was the only woman who could call Albert such a silly but affectionate nickname. The fact that she liked the name and accepted this privilege speaks volumes, don’t you think? I bet she would only address him that way in private, like she called him Prince on the Hill in her letters. It doesn’t matter whether the readers like this nickname or not because however silly a couple called each other was none of others’ business. 😆

If omitting the honorific suffix in Japanese means someone is ready to advance in a relationship with another, what more does it mean by a man letting a young lady call him with an endearing nickname!? Using the example from Prince Albert above, it’s well known that his loving wife called him Bertie. Besides his mother, could any other woman do that? Of course not! 😛

So “Little Bert” is like “Bertie”. No wonder Candy said she was very, very happy (highlighted above), because nobody knew about “Little Bert” but her. As a matter of fact, Candy used sugoku (すごく) twice in a row, meaning incredibly, immensely, etc. That means she was immensely, incredibly happy, having the absolute evidence that she was someone extremely special to Albert. She could use this secret nickname whenever she liked, and she called him as such in her letter to him, which would undoubtedly delight him. Why? By willingly calling Albert “Little Bert”, Candy essentially affirmed her relationship with Albert had advanced to a level where it was natural for them to use endearments with each other (if she had had no special feelings for him, she would have flatly refused). 🙂  So do you now see why Candy ended this letter with love? I’ll talk more about that in the near future.

For your interest, below are my references if you want to know more details about Japanese honorifics:

[1] http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/JapaneseHonorifics?from=Main.JapaneseHonorifics

[2] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_honorifics

[3] http://www.wa-pedia.com/language/japanese_suffixes.shtml

[4] http://www.sljfaq.org/afaq/titles.html

29 comments

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  1. Martha Cervantes Quiroga

    I finished reading the book of Judith McNaught named “Someone to watch over me”, in one of the chapter the chief detective (McCord) write a note for his partner Sam, his partner is a police woman. When I finished reading the note I immediately remembered the Bert’s letter in CCFS.
    The most important is the reflexion of Sam, because McCord sign his note as Mack. I want to support the analysis of Ms. Puddle about endearing nickname because this is a clear example of what is being said she.

    “For the first time he had signed the note with his nickname and Sam’s entire nervous system underwent a momentary melt. As far as she knew, very few people felt entitled to use that nickname. The mayor had called him “Mack” one day as he passed by during a strategy meeting, Dr. Niles, the chief medical examiner, called him “Mack,” and so had his sister when one day she gave her a message for him. Everyone else called him “Lieutenant”, which was a respectful and appropriate way.”
    “Sam was’t related to him, not his former friend, not a political leader. If she used that nickname to address him, she would be implying an easy and relaxed familiarity that they did not have. Sam did’t know, if she by signing with his nickname, he was subtly telling her that she could have that familiarity with him. Or … what should she have? Or that … She already had it?”

    I have been trying to share this discovery with you for awhile and I finally found this opportunity,
    Hugs Ms. Puddle

    1. Ms Puddle

      Hola Martha, muchas gracias por tu comentario! 😍😘 It’s very very true that when someone suddenly used his nickname to sign a note for you, it really means something, like familiarity or closeness. Thank you for remembering what I said on this post and even found a great supporting passage from other book. Merry Christmas, Martha 🎄🎉🎁🎊

      1. Martha Cervantes Quiroga

        Merry Christmas, Ms Puddle.

        1. Ms Puddle

          Thanks Martha 😘😍

  2. Evelyn

    Dear Ms Puddle!! Thank you so much for sharing your impressive study and work on the background and meanings of these Japanese suffixes and use within their culture! I’m speechless! The entire time I read your post I smiled and nodded because this just amplified my existing understanding about this beautiful story. 🙂

    I have never watched “The Kings Speech” movie. Need to find and watch it so I can understand more what you explain here. However, I have always understood that the translation of Candy addressing Albert by the name of Mr. Albert after they moved in together just did not make sense and that is when I started looking up different translations of mangas to see what other languages said about the story. I knew there was more to their relationship than what we see on the surface.

    I cannot think of an equivalent of “-san” in Spanish in an informal way. As Quevivacandy said, we have “Usted” and “Tu” in Spanish, the first one is formal and the second one informal. You cannot mix the formal with the informal for the same person, is either one or the other, so it seems that the Japanese language is quite broad with endless expressions and ways to express one’s feelings toward others.

    Yes, Ms Puddle, Albert did trust Candy with one of his precious inner-secrets just like Candy trusted Albert with her most precious secret “Prince of the hill”. Albert was the only one who knew about her special secret, so the revelation that he was her prince was that much more special! 🙂 It came natural for Albert to trust Candy and vice-versa. They were definitely attracted to each other physically, but they also built a strong foundation from within. I always thought why did Candy never expressed in plain clear words that she loved Albert? I know that it is implied that they love each other through their actions and emotions; how they miss each other and long for each other. That is clear to me! However, after reading your post on the meanings of these suffixes and how Candy addresses Albert using “-san” and the endearing name of “little Bert”, it just makes it even more clear to me that they are courting each other through correspondence. 😉

    Little Bert or Bertie. In Spanish we use many diminutives or nicknames with people who are dear to us. We can even use diminutives for things. These nicknames may sound silly to others but are endearing names used in special and meaningful relationships. I can see why Candy was extremely, unbelievably happy to know this intimate detail about Albert’s life. As you said, Ms Puddle, this was absolute evidence that Albert thought of her as someone intensely special in his life. This is so special to Candy that she could in secret-code speak to Albert in front of others without anyone else realizing they were talking to each other and then wink at each other in a flirty way! (This is just my mind going now) 😉 I’m sure Candy would only address Albert this way in private as this was their private secret only the two of them knew! Also, I love what you said about what caused a man of Albert’s statute, a coveted bachelor, to frequent an orphanage driving for hours to a remote town? To see the woman he loved, of course!

    Thank you again for such a beautiful post!! Really enjoyed it! 😀

    1. Ms Puddle

      Dear Evelyn, thank you so much for your kind words! I was afraid it was a boring post to some people, but many thanks for your encouragement! What a relief after reading various comments from some of you. 🙂

      The King’s speech is a great movie (with quite a lot of swearing due to frustration though). Sometimes translating “San” to “Mr”, ” Mrs”, or “Miss” is fine, but not in the case of Albert-san. The best is to ignore “san” during translation because there’s not an equivalent word in English.

      “Usted” and “Tu” both mean “you” in Spanish right? So neither is “San”. As mentioned in my post, people can change the suffix (title) for the same person depending on situations or emotions (sometimes “San” and sometimes “Sama” for example). There’s not necessarily a logical explanation unfortunately.

      Other than Albert, Anthony also knew about POTH, but they were the only two. I completely agree with you that it was natural for Candy and Albert to trust each other, and their bond was very strong. They had lived together in harmony for so long, and they probably could intuit each other without speaking a word. That’s something Terry could never measure up.

      You’re right that Candy never said the three words “I love you” to Albert, but she ended this letter with love. I’ll definitely talk more about that. For now, you’re absolutely right; through their correspondence you can clearly see the signs that they were in love.

      Can’t agree with you more about endearing nicknames, and they are meant to be used in special and meaningful relationships. Outsiders probably don’t understand but it is none of their business. 😉

      Good imagination about how Candy and Albert communicated in public! 🙂 Perhaps a fleeting glance was all they needed sometimes. LOL…

      Once again, thank you so much for your comment, Evelyn! I read it while grinning from ear to ear! 😀

      1. Evelyn

        Your post was not boring at all! It is fascinating to learn your explanations about these suffixes and how they can completely change the meaning of how a person addresses someone else. CCFS takes on a different meaning when you start understanding these titles.

        Yes “Usted” and “Tu” mean you. There isn’t an equivalent for “-San” unless you use a designation like “Jr.” or “,MD”, “,II” etc… We also do not have suffixes to indicate respectful titles, we all use prefixes in the front of the mane. It is just very different.

        Oops! You are correct, forgot about Anthony. He was actually the first one to learn about POTH! Yes C&A were totally in sync with each other! That speaks volumes about their relationship, and probably Mizuki did not feel that Candy needed to say the words “I love you” between them because she was showing us through their actions and emotions how they both felt about each other. They were also mature at this point and they might show their affection through their actions. Is it a culture thing, maybe??? In our culture, we are used to simply throw around the word “I love you”. Sometimes you mean it and sometimes you do not. Perhaps the Japanese culture believes that it is much stronger if love is shown through actions rather than spoken words between to lovers? Just curious! If that is the case, no wonder there is so much confusion in grasping the true message being conveyed in this story. Thanks Ms Puddle for all your input!! 🙂

        1. Ms Puddle

          Thanks again for your kind words, dear Evelyn! Yeah, I guess Japanese honorifics just can’t be translated perfectly sometimes.

          You’re so right that Asians are more reserved and do not use the particular word “love” easily. It’s a culture thing for sure, but I’ll talk more in a new post.

          Have a good day, Evelyn!! ^_^

  3. fseventh

    Wow, another great insight from you. It’s endearing, isn’t it. And also it fits how Albert always be someone with many names for her. Too bad I only read this in form of translation manga and never really think about all the suffix in japanese. Also thank you again for sharing some snippets from CCFS. I will never get enough of it <3

    1. Ms Puddle

      Yes, fseventh, so true! For sure Albert knew what he was doing, and Candy should also understand what a privilege she got.

      You’re so right, fseventh, that Albert was always someone with many different names!! That’s a brilliant point, thanks! 😀 However, now Candy knew one more name that the others weren’t aware of, so she was indeed special. 🙂

      About sharing CCFS snippets, it’s my pleasure. Glad you enjoy reading them so far! 😀

  4. Agnès

    Bonjour Ms Puddle!

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, Ms Puddle. I completely agree with your interpretation, it was the answer of Albert to Candy’s letter calling him “father”… very brilliant, indeed!
    After your explanation it is more obvious that they were deeply intimate! Moreover we have to remember the context of their story that was set in the beginning of the nineteenth century and relations between people were more formal than now, so for use endearing nicknames they had to be intimate!

    Reeka: I can’t be more agree with you for those who think that the gap of age between Candy and Albert was an impediment. Well, let me say I have two marvelous examples around me. At first, my late father was almost ten years older than my mother and they shared decennies of a very happy life together. Secondly, it is exactly the same shift of age between one of my brothers and his wife and they are actually very happy too! 😉 🙂

    Have a great weekend to all!

    1. Ms Puddle

      Bonjour Agnès, I’m glad that you like my new post and interpretation!! Merci beaucoup for your real life examples, and thanks for sharing them with us. 🙂

      Using an endearing name is certainly not something to be ignored, and as you said, back then (20th century actually 😉 ) people were a lot more formal. It’s undeniable that Candy and Albert had become even more intimate! ^_^

      1. Agnès

        It’s my pleasure to share with you because I saw too often (Terry’s fans) the gap of age between them was a real problem! 😡

        And Oops! It was 20th century of course!!! 😳

        1. Ms Puddle

          I totally agree! Sometimes I think they impose their preferences onto poor Candy! They can’t accept that Candy had moved on. 🙁

        2. Evelyn

          I completely agree with you, Agnès and Ms Puddle, Candy had moved on long ago! Terry was her intermediate teenage phase before she grew up to be a woman 🙂

          1. Ms Puddle

            Can’t agree more with you, Agnès. It was a teenage phase 😉

  5. Passion

    You make me amazed, Ms Puddle!!! It is definitely soooo much more than as I expected your studying the Japanese suffix would be!
    I was waiting for your intriguing new posts but disappointed every night I check the website, and now I see why you were not updating anything. 😀
    Thanks for sharing all of those knowledge and I am very grateful for you!!!
    Excuse me for this short comment I’m not still confident at my English, lol

    1. Ms Puddle

      Thank you dear Passion for your patience and understanding! The coloring is ready as well, and I’ll publish your works this afternoon my time! 🙂

      Yeah, it wasn’t easy to write this post, and I’ve done some research beforehand to make sure what I was going to say makes sense! Glad you like this post, Passion! 🙂

      Don’t worry about writing long comment or not. Even one line or two is enough, so take it easy, my friend! Your English is totally fine to me, so write whatever comes to your mind. 🙂 This is not taking exams, my dear. 😉

  6. Quevivacandy

    Yes, I have seen several times that movie but I never thought twice about the nickname, for me it was so normal and I guess that is your point. My family-in-law used to call my hubby with a nickname, I just discovered it about 2 years ago and then I didn’t lose time to call him that way, even it was in a teasing way.

    With C&A, I guess it was something different. Only Rosemary called him ‘Little Bert’ (ha! I had to go and checked that too in CCFS, I remembered only to have read about it in the old novel, hehehe), and he loved her. That he confidenced this nick to Candy speaks volumens, really. As you know, Im writing how he keeps opening and opening with her and by telling her that name, he showed her his most inner feelings, his sister was his most precious memory.

    I always have thought that in the visit to Lakewood, Albert shared with Candy this nickname because they were talking about Rosemary and he wanted to open to her even more and wanted to get close with her. Yes, she was so impressed because he allowed her to call him by that name ’cause she knew where it come from. Buuut I never thought he touched that subject ’cause he was upset about her last letter and that was his answer … now I have my eyes wide open… lol… just marvelous the way you have interpreted it… may I used it for my story, please? *puss in boots eyes* 😀

    Now I understand more about the ‘sama’, ‘san’ and all those suffix, I knew they meant respect but was not sure when one used each one. Thanks a lot for that. 🙂

    1. Ms Puddle

      You’re very welcome, dear QuevivaCandy! I was worried people didn’t want to read too many facts, so I wrote the bare minimum of honorifics in order to explain the significance of Albert letting Candy address him as “Little Bert”. I know not many people appreciate this cute nickname, not sure exactly why though. When I watched the movie, I saw nothing wrong about Bertie, so I kept that in mind. 🙂

      Yes, in the letter Candy quoted Albert’s words, “only Rosemary called me so”. It wasn’t clear in the spoilers, but read it again you will understand. 😉

      Yes indeed Rosemary was Albert’s beloved sister, and I’m sure he missed her terribly. Your comment reminded me of something, and I’ll quickly add that to my post about Rosemary! Thanks, my dear friend! 😀

      Yes, the idea of telling Candy about “Little Bert” as his answer to her teasing question suddenly struck me one day when I was reading their letters in the epilogue. Of course, it was how I interpreted it, and please feel free to use this idea in your marvelous story! My honor, my friend! ^_^

      1. Quevivacandy

        Thank you so much for your permission, I will see how I will order my thoughts. And about Albert’s nickname in CCFS, that’s why I told you that I re-read the CCFS letters while I was reading your post. I only remembert to have read it in the old novel but not in CCFS, indeed, there are those lines in the last letter to him, just at the beginning, shame on me, lol…

        I guess most of us appreciate your comments about ‘honorific’ names. Most part of us do not understand japanese culture and just have a light idea of it, but since you explain many things of that culture, as the way they use those suffixs, we have a better idea why the ‘Albert-san’. Even though in spanish we have 2 differents ways to address people… “Usted” and “Tú”. Both of them means YOU, only the first one shows respect and the second one familiarity. I guess our USTED is the ‘san’ in japanese culture, all I now it is a respecful culture.

        While I was in bed last night, something else came to my mind. We (my sisters and I), have a nickname for my youngest sister. A while ago, we were with other friends and withought thinking, we called my little sister by that nickname. Everybody else was surprised but there was a boy who had special feelings for my sister, so, he began to call her by that nickname in a affectionate way. So, is that mean he wanted to treat her and had feelings for her, as her little sister? I do not think so. The fact he wanted to call her using the nickname, to me, it was because he wanted to feel closer to her and guess what, my little sister didn’t want him to call her in that way… Ha! The opposite thing happened with A&C, he ALLOWED her to call him ‘Little Bert’ just as her late sister used to, no one but them knew about the nickname, she didn’t found out somehow how Rosemary called him, it was him the one confidenced her that nickname, it by itself, speaks volumns. 😀

        1. Ms Puddle

          Yup, Japanese culture is very different from European ones or Americans, but for Asians it’s easier to understand. ‘San’ can be formal or informal, so USTED is not the equivalent either.

          Thank you so much for sharing your real life experience, and it’s a good example to show that your sister wasn’t ready to be close with that guy yet even though he wished to show his affection!! That’s exactly one of my points because the fact that Candy was not only willing but happy to call Albert “Little Bert” speaks volumes!! She was ready to be the special someone to Albert, and he who introduced the nickname was also ready to be intimate with her. ^_^

          1. Quevivacandy

            you’re welcome my friend…

            hmm.. about USTED, we can use it in a formal or informal way too… When I met my hubby, we used to address each other using USTED instead TU (even though it didn’t show respect). But when we got more and more closer, we began to use TÚ. When we just meet people, generally we use USTED, showing only respect. Between siblings we use TU, would be really really weird if we address them using USTED.

            Well, that came to my mind when you spoke about Candy and Albert situation in the Magnolia, If I understand right, she stopped calling him Albert-san since they lived there, or at least while they lived there. Oh my, my mind is a mess now, lol…

            I’m just trying to understand the ‘san’ suffix really well.

          2. Evelyn

            Hi Quevivacandy, I enjoyed reading what you said about the nickname for your sister. My parents also gave me a nickname in Spanish which to this day they use with me. My parents and my brothers are the only ones who call me by this name so I know exactly what you mean when your sister’s admirer friend started calling her by that endearing name it was to approach her on a more personal level, possibly to break any ice between them if there was any! very cute!

            I have always associated USTED with formal even if the person you are speaking to is of the same age as you. There isn’t enough trust to transition to using TU. You can be silly and play around and still use USTED when getting to know someone but the full open trust is not there yet. Older people out of respect USTED for sure unless they give you permission to address them informally. Nice to meet you 🙂

            1. Quevivacandy

              Hi Evelyn! Nice to meet you too! Well, that’s exactly what I tried to say but most part of time I cannot explain myself really well in english… so sad… hehehe

              Yes USTED is a formal way, but there is a gap when you use it to play around with someone that is not exactly a formal formal way. For me, at least in my country, sounds compleatly different when we use USTED to address to an older person. That’s why I asked that but I know, japanese is a complex language. I just wanted to had an idea in spanish that might be easier to understand.

              Greetings!

          3. Evelyn

            Hello again Quevivacandy!! Your English is great!! mine is not perfect either…trust me he he he 😉
            Could be also that where I am from we use it a bit differently than where you are from. But in all it pretty much means the same thing. Yes, Japanese is a very complex language! I wouldn’t dare to start learning it. Hats off to Ms Puddle. Have a nice weekend!!

            1. Ms Puddle

              You two have a wonderful weekend too, QuevivaCandy and Evelyn!! 🙂

  7. Reeka

    Geez, Ms Puddle! For a moment I was speechless with your dedication to share such knowledge to us, Candy Candy fans! I know it’s not easy to write this kind of post. So, thank you! **bear hug**

    Okay, now let’s get back to the main topic 🙂

    I’ve watched The King’s Speech few times and it’s one of my fave movies! I’m moved with the beautiful friendship between Bertie The King and Logue. And yes, somewhere back in my mind, everytime I watched this movie, I remember Albert. Perhaps, because of it, I found the given nickname (Little) Bert was kinda cute and very personal. Like Prince Albert’s wife called him :). And also romantic! I am one of those people who calls their beloved with nicknames, and it doesn’t have to be a kind of sweet or beautiful names. And usually, when we call our beloved with the given nickname, we say it with sweet and intimate tone. Don’t we? I do!

    So for me, the way Candy called Albert with many nicknames, tells us that she felt very very close to him. That no matter which nicknames she called him, he was always Albert to her. And to Albert himself, we know that basically he was a very private person, except for Candy ( and Rosemary). The fact that he let her call him with nicknames ( though some of them made him feel crawly on his back LOL) also tells us that of all people he knew, he let her, and only her, to come in his private life. So yeah, it is brilliant of you, Ms Puddle dear, bringing up the example from Bertie the king of The King’s Speech.

    **and suddenly I remember the wedding night scene on your LNF story. Ha! Me and my dirty mind ahhahahah**

    And about japanese suffix. I don’t know much, again, but I know that many japanese wife call her husband with “-sama”. Like you said, it’s to show their respect to their husband. To those from opposite hemisphere, it might sound weird and so much against the feminism, but it happens in many parts in Asia. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that the wife’s status is lower than the husband. It’s as much endearing as “Dear” is to English native speakers.

    Oh, just for an intermezzo :). In Glass Mask manga, the female lead Maya Kitajima also address the lead male Masumi Hayami with “sama” because he is 11 years older that her and a very wealthy and respectable man in Japan. Even in the last few volumes where their relationship has been blatantly developing into romantic situation (they used to be like cat and dog) , she still calls him with “-sama”.

    So ladies out there, those who like to use Albert & Candy’s wide age difference and the way she called him Albert-san for your arguments to discredit Albert’s favour as Anohito, please … Make yourselves more knowledgable and understand more.

    Have a great weekend to you, Ms Puddle!

    1. Ms Puddle

      Thank you, dear Reeka!! I meant to write such a post long time ago, but I’ve been putting it off till now due to laziness LOL. However, now that I have CCFS novels with me, I can provide even more details. 😉 For example, I was shocked when I read Candy used such a term for ‘father’ to tease Albert. No wonder he was upset and complained about it.

      Yes, I love this movie too, and when I watched it, I immediately saw the parallel between “Little Bert” and “Bertie”. 🙂 As you said, it was very personal but romantic, especially when the Queen Mother called him that in a loving voice. I also agree with you that these endearing nicknames don’t have to make sense or sound nice. After all, it’s something between the lovers.

      For sure Albert introduced “Little Bert” to Candy and even gave her the permission to use it. What more evidence did she need that she was the only one for him?

      Thank you so much for your other examples of how Japanese use honorifics. I personally met a couple and the wife called her husband with “-San” suffix too!

      You have a marvelous weekend too, my friend!! 😀

  1. More than words (Part 2) » Ms Puddle's Haven

    […] way before the return of her diary or even around the time he had told Candy his nickname, “Little Bert”. […]

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    […] Endearing nickname […]

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