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Is 'Helper' a euphemism?

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JR8
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Is 'Helper' a euphemism?

Postby JR8 » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:10 am

Back in the 90's we called them maids.

Should they be called servants?

Who is kidding who?

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Re: Is 'Helper' a euphemism?

Postby BillyB » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 11:31 am

JR8 wrote:Back in the 90's we called them maids.

Should they be called servants?

Who is kidding who?


I think slave is more appropriate, judging by some of the topics & questions on this forum.....

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 12:25 pm

This is basically a form of custody so perhaps A Singaporean Custodial Maid.

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Postby ksl » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 9:39 pm

x9200 wrote:This is basically a form of custody so perhaps A Singaporean Custodial Maid.
Correct and all over the age of 23 :???: According to the employment policy! Some of them look barely 15

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:01 pm

Just to give a not-so-depressing angle to this thread, back home, our word for maid directly translates to 'helper.'

But yeah, how some maids/DHs here are treated are simply reprehensible.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:54 pm

It interests me from a linguistic perspective.

It crossed my mind that 'domestic helper' might be a politically correct way of referring to a maid, as the change has (IMHO and experience) only happened with the last 10-15 years.

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Postby Asian_Geekette » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 11:03 pm

nakatago wrote:Just to give a not-so-depressing angle to this thread, back home, our word for maid directly translates to 'helper.'

But yeah, how some maids/DHs here are treated are simply reprehensible.


Yeah! When I was still based in the Philippines and struggling to get ahead in my career and had to take care of my granny & our house, having a helper made a lot of difference. I was able to delegate a lot of things to our helper and had time to study for the new technologies I needed for work during the evenings and weekends.

There's such thing as having clear expectations at the start of the employer-helper period and setting clear boundaries. Plus the fact that trust had to be there. I trust that after the preliminary settling in period (with me training the helper how to do things around the house up to my standard), she will be able to do it. There'll be some occasional lapses but we're all human after all. The point is to treat them as human beings. However, my younger sister has also experienced a couple or more helpers who lied and were a bit dishonest so they had to be let go. Yet, in the end, the helper does help make the household a nicer place to live in and help the employer have more free time to relax. :)
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 11:12 pm

false sense of entitlement => dickish behavior

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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 1:57 am

And I met a Lebanese, who was with his 'personal assistant' taking care of his kids .. and when I asked him PA at work ? he said "PA for home .. " and he was sort of unhappy when I asked, based on her job, if she was a maid .. :D :D

He insisted she is his household assistant, NOT MAID or NANNY :)

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 10:50 am

JR8 wrote:It interests me from a linguistic perspective.

It crossed my mind that 'domestic helper' might be a politically correct way of referring to a maid, as the change has (IMHO and experience) only happened with the last 10-15 years.

I think this is exactly what it is.
More interesting to me was that some of our part time maids tried to call me a master what I found very unnatural. Is it a common custom in Singapore that the maids call their employers this way or it is just because some *BEEP* who would like to feel this way more important?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 12:47 pm

The agencies try to train them to say either master or sir.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 1:35 pm

Hmmm. I can understand "Sir" - it is still in every day common use but master sounds like from a deferent era. If they still train them that way it likely indicates some market demand.

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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 2:25 pm

x9200 wrote:Hmmm. I can understand "Sir" - it is still in every day common use but master sounds like from a deferent era. If they still train them that way it likely indicates some market demand.


For most maids, the English they are taught are the basics .. after a while, they figure out whether grandma should be ah-ma or still ma'am ...

Not market demand, and there is no hidden agenda to brain wash poor maids :D :D

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Postby Asdracles » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 2:57 pm

ecureilx wrote:And I met a Lebanese, who was with his 'personal assistant' taking care of his kids .. and when I asked him PA at work ? he said "PA for home .. " and he was sort of unhappy when I asked, based on her job, if she was a maid .. :D :D

He insisted she is his household assistant, NOT MAID or NANNY :)


In spanish also we call them "assistant" most of the times. I think it's a matter of what do you expect/request in the work relation

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 2:59 pm

x9200 wrote:Hmmm. I can understand "Sir" - it is still in every day common use but master sounds like from a deferent era. If they still train them that way it likely indicates some market demand.


You know it's time for a new maid when she starts calling you honey instead of sir.


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