As an aside, this reminds me of my grandmother. She grew up in New England and all the neighborhood families would universally refer to Irish maids as "Bridgett." As in, "Oh, could you send your Bridgett over to help mop the floor?" or "My Bridgett really needs to learn to polish the silver better."
tango42 wrote:The culture tends to use general somewhat standard terms in many situations for those above and below in status or situation no? And they use the terms as a form of familiarity and friendliness and sometimes makes the person addressed feel happy. I can only recall a few, but I hear different ones in different situations even when talking to strangers.
I'd have to roundly disagree with this point, though. Though not many would take offense to being called "Da Ge" or "Da Jie" and yes it is a term of familiarity. However, I don't believe any maids (Filipina or otherwise) would enjoy being called Maria, especially if her name was Constance or Josephine or Betty.
tango42 wrote:So is "Maria" really considered a negative term by those using it? Or one of these general terms used for familiarity?
It's not the majority culture that gets to define whether or not a term applied to a minority is offensive. White people in America can't decide that it's okay to call Jeremy Lin a "chink" any more than Taiwanese people can decide that it's okay to call all maids "Mary" or all white people "Ah Dok a." It's offensive if the person being addressed feels offended.