Interpretations:Pet Name

From This Might Be A Wiki

  • I think it's simply about loving the faults of a person.
  • OK I'm pretty sure there were other interps on this page - stuff about how the speaker doesn't care about all that sentimental slobbery stuff like saying "I love you" every 2 seconds, because he and his girlfriend don't put too much stock in empty plesantries.
  • Personally I think it's a disguised song about a guy being bitter about break up. How the girl suddenly stops calling him by his pet name and forgets all the promises she made and he sarcastically says that it's a "lucky thing".

Sounds likes a love story, told after the break-up, by the male. It's about two dodgy, game-playing, strategizing people - the guy is a party-crasher, the girl spouts post-modern pretentious crap about "love being a lie" but he knows she's lying. They hit it off, one liar appreciating another.

Neither character is described in a flattering manner - the girl is a clock-watcher at work who ducks out and leaves a "back in 5 minutes" sign on her desk. She is possibly stealing from the magazine concession.

The two of them play games at the busstop, and the play is all about strategy. She tells him he is "okay for a guy," but he assumes she is lying, meaning he isn't really that okay, or he just assumes she is lying most of the time.

They aren't affectionate - she only has one petname for him, breaks her promises, and he is admiring of her lack of sentiment. I didn't take his comment as an insult, "That sentimental stuff doesn't suit you, at all." It doesn't suit either of them, actually.

The best their relationship gets is that they almost figured out how to live together, almost acclimated to each other.

Yikes. This is a super song, but the characters are pretty grim, if you listen to the lyrics carefully. -- ~Christina Miller, May 2005

  • I think both characters really are into "that sentimental stuff". Dont listen to what they say listen instead to how they say it. It's just bitternes after the broke up that make's the lyrics so harsh... but there is bitternes because there was love.

  • I think it's worth noting that in the song the first verse everything is spoken in the Past tense. The use of "we'd" and "figured" suggest that the singer is reflecting on his past relationship. After the end of that section everything turns into a more present tense view suggesting a flashback of sorts.

However saying the first section

And we almost figured out how we'd get along And given time we'd find it strange to be alone and


And we've almost figured out how we'll get along And given time we'll find it strange to be alone and

almost seems to suggest that the singer is foreseeing the relationship failing.

-Nate Pyrokai

Personally I have a different take on the song. To me, the song is more about a man who is slowly being reexamined by the woman for which he has an unrequited love.

You gave me a pet name Which is not to say I like it

Pet names don't necessarily have to be good. "Loser" would be a pet name in a certain context. I imagine the woman thought very poorly of the man at first, calling him 'loser' or some other name.

We met at a party Not to say I was invited

I imagine this to be as if the man saw the woman for the first time delivering pizza, for example, to a party she was hosting. I don't imagine he actually crashed the party, but rather somehow saw her through something more innocuous. If he was simply a delivery boy, it would certainly reenforce the idea of her calling him a loser.

You said love was just a lie But I could tell that you were lying

It seems to me she's making every excuse not to go out with the man, though he suspects there's some underlying attraction.

And we almost figured out how we'd get along And given time we'd find it strange to be alone and

The encounter at the party ended poorly, a missed opportunity for love, so they parted ways. Or, more likely, she closed the door in his face.

You work in a hotel At the magazine concession

He knows she works at a hotel, which to me sounds like he either stalked her, or in my mind, more likely stumbled upon where she worked.

"Back in just five minutes" Reads the sign above your station Slip your profits in a bag And you're looking up to the hour hand

She's definately a clock watcher, but I'm wondering if she's not so much a lazy employee as anxious to get off work, perhaps to go out with the man. Slipping your profits in a bag doesn't necessarily mean she's stealing, it could mean she simply spent her paycheck on something she bought, probably during her break, putting up the 'back in just five minutes' sign to go to another store. Perhaps an item for an upcoming date, like shoes or jewelry.

And we've almost figured out how we'll get along And given time we'll find it strange to be alone and

Now this line is in the present tense, as opposed to the past, which to me sounds like she finally agreed to go out with him, giving him another chance, and there appears to be an attraction between the two.

You just forgot your one pet name for me

She doesn't call him 'loser' anymore, even perhaps as a term of endearment, and has called him by his actual name.

And all those promises you said you'd keep

Their first encounter, if she called him a 'loser', she probably said a lot of other things like "I wouldn't go out with you if you were the last man on earth." By going out with him, she's broken that promise.

And it's a lucky thing Because that sentimental stuff Doesn't suit you At all

And he's glad she's changed her mind about him. Her being mean to him just wasn't 'her'.

Waiting at the bus stop For just about an hour Strategies for hangman Cat's cradle, origami

To me, it looks like they're hitting it off pretty well, missing the bus on purpose cause they'd rather spend time with each other, even talking about or participating in trivial things like hangman, yo yo tricks, or paper folding, than to go on to where they're going.

You say I'm okay for a guy But I can tell that you are lying

She says he's okay, but in reality he can tell she likes him a lot more than that.

And we've almost figured out how we'll get along And given time we'll find it strange to be alone and

At this point they are on the verge of true love, and in just a short amount of time they'll be so in love, so familiar with each other, that they'll not want to ever be apart.

Anyway, that's the way I see it, but I guess that's because I just like happy endings.

--Tony Sava

When a Relationship Grows on You[edit]

I think that this song is about a relationship between two people that grows from barely knowing each other, to being partners. The guy (who is the narrator) meets this girl at a party, which he crashes (in my mind he is a pizza delivery guy or something like that) and because the people at the part are so drunk, they accept him as a guest, and he eventually joins them and has a good time. When they are all hungover in the morning, he makes friends with one of the people at the party, and while talking to them she mentions that love is "just a lie" and that she doesn't want to be in a relationship, ever (maybe she had a painful breakup recently). At the same time he gains a derogatory pet name, and he starts to have a crush on her. The girl works at a magazine concession at a hotel, and they planned to meet later after her work. She stops working earlier, and anticipates their meeting hours in advance. While they are at the meeting (maybe at a restaurant or something) she starts to realize that she loves him, and that the nickname is mean and that she should stop using it. The line saying "and all those promises you said you'd keep" is referring to the promises not to love anyone. The line saying "and it's a lucky thing, because that sedimental stuff doesn't suit you" refers to the romantic cliche that once the woman's romantic partner dies or breaks up with her, she will never love again. They are slowly becoming bf/gf, but she still won't admit it. She tells him, when they are waiting at the bus stop, that he's "okay for a guy" but he can "tell that you are lying" because she thinks that he's more than ok. The two parts of the chorus that I think have the most meaning are "and we've almost figured out how we/we'll get along" means that they are figuring out more about each other and their relationship, and "and given time, we'll find it strange to be alone" means that they will have spent so much time together that, to them, being single is a strange and odd thing. I think that this song is a happy relationship song, which is kind of rare for TMBG.

-Echo O_O (talk) 12:40, 11 June 2015 (EDT)

Love And Cynicism[edit]

I can see why people read this as a breakup song, but I see it in a more positive light. This song seems to be about two people who are uncomfortable with the mainstream ideal of romance (pet names, meet cutes, grand gestures). They feel a need to be sappy and romantic, but it comes off as awkward at best. Eventually, they start to realize that they don't need to put on a front for their relationship to work. This includes enjoying spending time doing mundane things (hanging out between shifts, waiting at the bus stop). AngleBlueprint (talk) 20:36, 20 May 2020 (EDT)