Just now, as I waited for the elevator, a little boy who was crawling over a bench was addressed by his father, thusly: “Leo, we’re going to get on the elevator, so…Buddy, get off the bench. C’mon, Buddy.”
You notice what I noticed? Dad made an initial error; he called his son Leo, which clearly was not his name. The child knew it. He failed to obey.
This is not my first encounter with the spreading Buddy phenomenon. Whenever I go out, I run into Buddys. It’d probably be stretching it to say every little boy is named Buddy, but 8 out of 10 of ’em are.
I hear “Hey, Buddy!” all over the place, up and down the streets, in the stores.
Only daddies call their sons “Buddy.” I have yet to hear a mother use the name. This suggests a rift at the time of the birth. Mom coos, “He looks like a Leo,” while Dad is muttering, “Buddy, he’s a Buddy. He’s my Buddy.” So Mom and Dad agree to disagree, although a pact is eventually reached over how many years Dad can call the kid Buddy. Maybe the pact stipulates that when Buddy grows to 5 foot 8, he becomes Leo full time.
Why Buddy, though? What does Buddy signify? I myself prefer biblical names, even as I do not prefer the bible itself. When I Googled “Buddy,” I learned it means exactly what you think it means: a close friend. I also learned it’s an archaic term. Tell that to Google, which may be mapping my street but is certainly not out on it, counting all the Buddy boys.
Sometimes dogs are called Buddy, but mostly it’s boys.
My father was remarkable for his inability to identify his kids by their names. He only had three kids; you’d think he’d remember us. But once he called my sister, Deb, by the name of the next door neighbor’s dog.
So there you have it. What you have, I am not sure but it’s there, anyway.