auntie


auntie
   A diminutive of aunt, used mainly by young children to a real aunt, or to a close female friend of the family. The word is sometimes followed by the first name of the woman concerned. Auntie may also be used by adult speakers, especially by women, but the comment by Raymond Williams in Border Country is relevant: ‘“We go to the pictures, Auntie,” Janie said, breaking into the conversation like a child. She was in her early thirties, but still had a child’s intonation and manners.’ This is not to say that any adult using ‘Auntie’ is retarded, of course, but the word does have a childish ring to it. At one time it became customary in the American South to address older black people as ‘Uncle’ and ‘Auntie’. H.L.Mencken suggested, in The American Language, that this custom arose because the whites were reluctant to use ‘ordinary American honorifics’, by which he meant terms like ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’, when referring to blacks. The blacks themselves came to detest the contemptuous patronage, as they saw it, of the ‘Uncle’ and ‘Auntie’ terms. Their cause, perhaps, was not helped by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s well-meaning book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We are never told the family name of Uncle Tom or Aunt Chloe, his wife, and they are certainly never addressed as ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs’.
   A jocular misuse of ‘Auntie’ occurs in The Amberstone Exit, by Elaine Feinstein. A woman is in a railway compartment with some young football supporters who are annoying her. ‘The big boy leant forward and looked closely into her face. “How old do you reckon?” he consulted his friends. “I’m twenty-one,” she said. At that, they let out hoots of derision, “Give us a kiss, Auntie,” someone shouted.’

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • auntie — UK [ˈɑːntɪ] / US [ˈæntɪ] or aunty UK / US noun [countable] Word forms auntie : singular auntie plural aunties informal your aunt. A child often calls a woman auntie when she is a close friend of the family …   English dictionary

  • auntie — 1787, also aunty, familiar dim. form of AUNT (Cf. aunt). As a form of kindly address to an older woman to whom one is not related, originally in southern U.S., of elderly slave women. The negro no longer submits with grace to be called uncle or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Auntie — Aunt ie, Aunty Aunt y, n. A familiar name for an aunt. In the southern United States a familiar term applied to aged negro women. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • auntie — or aunty [an′tē, än′tē] n. pl. aunties aunt: a familiar or affectionate form …   English World dictionary

  • Auntie\ Em — 1. Affectionate colloquialism for automatic teller machine, or ATM. 2. Very generous relative so as to be like an ATM. 3. To open betting, as in ante. 1. Can we go visit Auntie Em? I m strapped. 2. I m always glad when grandma comes cause she… …   Dictionary of american slang

  • Auntie\ Em — 1. Affectionate colloquialism for automatic teller machine, or ATM. 2. Very generous relative so as to be like an ATM. 3. To open betting, as in ante. 1. Can we go visit Auntie Em? I m strapped. 2. I m always glad when grandma comes cause she… …   Dictionary of american slang

  • auntie — [[t]ɑ͟ːnti, æ̱nti[/t]] aunties also aunty N FAMILY; N TITLE Someone s auntie is their aunt. [INFORMAL] His uncle is dead, but his auntie still lives here. ...my Auntie Elsie …   English dictionary

  • Auntie — The word auntie or aunty can mean: *A pet form for the word aunt *An informal name for The British Broadcasting Corporation (otherwise known as the BBC). *An informal name for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (otherwise known as the ABC)… …   Wikipedia

  • auntie — aunt|ie aunty [ˈa:nti US ˈæn ] n informal 1.) an aunt ▪ Auntie Lou 2.) used by children to address a woman who is a friend of their parents …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • auntie — (also aunty) noun (plural aunties) informal 1》 aunt. 2》 (Auntie) Brit. the BBC …   English new terms dictionary