Not only at home, when you are padding around in domestic bliss and not only when you are mentioning each other to your children – but what do you say when you mention your spouse to other people?
Apparently Hubby and Hubster are both popular options, although I know of only one person who uses either of those words.
When I was newly married, I quickly realised it was a kind of professional faux pas to say Husband or Wife and thereby reveal your marital status. At the agency I then worked in, significant others were referred to as Partner – a term I came to love for its ambiguity. After all, why should professional colleagues, clients or collaborators need to know anything about my personal life?
But then, in a more Muslim setting, the term Partner can sound a bit odd. At a mosque gathering, I once referred to moving house with my Partner and was met by several bewildered looks to which I didn’t pay any mind until we were leaving and one lady caught my sleeve and exclaimed “By partner you mean Husband, right?!? A MAN?”. Oh boy.
In traditional South Asian culture there is something about not mentioning your spouse by name in public or even by terms of endearment and so I grew up hearing my Aunties talk about their husbands as Woh – a semi polite urdu way of saying “that person” – and the Uncles saying of their wives Begum.
My father always refers to my Mama as My Better Half whereas Mama is resolute in her use of Mr. Malik. One sister in law refers to her husband as their Children’s Dad and another refers to hers as her Banda (also an urdu word, which literally translates into “man”) and then I have one friend whose husband is always Dude while she is Bae.
Eventually I settled on referring to my own lovely spouse simply by his name – daring, I know – and funnily enough, even when I need to mention him to complete strangers, everyone always seems to know exactly what he is to me.
So, back to the title of this post. What do you call your spouse when you mention them to others? Is it something plain and obvious or cute or culturally motivated? Was it easy to figure out or has it changed over time? Have you ever slipped and called them by their private nickname name in public or do you not care? Tell us everything.