25 Things To Say When Someone Calls You “Kiddo”

Ever been called “kiddo” in a situation that left you feeling a tad underestimated? It’s a term that often walks the fine line between endearing and patronizing, depending on who says it and how it’s delivered.

While some might find it affectionate, others might see it as a subtle nod to their perceived inexperience or youth, regardless of their actual age or expertise.

Reacting to “kiddo” can be a bit of a puzzle. Do you laugh it off, or do you address it head-on? This article is your guide to handling such moments with grace, wit, or assertiveness, depending on the context and your personal style.

What To Say When Someone Calls You “Kiddo”

what to say when someone calls you kiddo

1. “Thanks, I take that as a compliment!”

This response is perfect for when you want to keep the atmosphere light and show that you’re not offended. It works well in casual settings or when the person using “kiddo” is someone you have a friendly rapport with. It’s a way of acknowledging the remark without making a big deal out of it, and it can often diffuse any unintended patronizing tone the term might carry.

2. “I’m glad my youthful spirit shines through!”

Use this reply when you want to embrace the term with positivity and humor. It’s especially appropriate if you believe the person meant no harm and you want to steer the conversation away from age or experience levels. It reflects self-confidence and the ability to laugh at oneself, traits that are attractive in any setting.

3. “Indeed, always learning and growing!”

Opt for this response when you want to subtly remind the speaker that youth or inexperience (real or perceived) isn’t a drawback but an opportunity for growth and learning. It’s suitable in professional environments where you wish to assert your eagerness to improve without coming across as defensive.

4. “I appreciate the familiarity, but I prefer [Your Name].”

This is a direct yet polite way to let someone know that you’re not comfortable being called “kiddo.” It’s best used in professional settings or with acquaintances who might not realize their term of endearment doesn’t sit well with you. It sets boundaries respectfully.

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5. “Brings back memories of my younger days!”

A nostalgic response that works well when the speaker is significantly older than you or in a mentorship role. It acknowledges the term without confrontation and can serve as a bridge to sharing experiences or learning from each other’s past.

6. “That’s a new one; usually, I get [another nickname]!”

Switch the focus with this reply by introducing a different nickname or term you’re more accustomed to. It’s a lighthearted way to indicate your preference without making the situation uncomfortable for either party.

7. “I’m curious, what makes you choose that nickname for me?”

When you’re genuinely intrigued or if the term “kiddo” feels out of place, this question invites the speaker to explain their reasoning. It’s a diplomatic approach that can lead to a deeper understanding of their perspective without implying any offense taken.

8. “Yes, and just as energetic and enthusiastic!”

Embrace the term positively by associating it with qualities like energy and enthusiasm, traits that are beneficial in many contexts. This response is ideal when you want to affirm the positive aspects of being youthful or spirited, whether in personal or professional environments.

9. “I hope that means I’ve still got a lot of potential to unlock!”

This optimistic take on being called “kiddo” suggests that you view yourself as someone with untapped potential. It’s a great response in situations where you want to highlight your forward-thinking mindset and ambition.

10. “Should I start calling you ‘old timer’ in return?”

Perfect for a close relationship or an informal setting where humor is appreciated, this comeback adds a playful twist to the exchange. It’s best used when you’re confident the other person will understand the jest and not take offense.

11. “Oh, does that make you the wise mentor figure in this scenario?”

Similar to the previous idea, this response playfully acknowledges the dynamic implied by “kiddo” and flips it into a fictional, mentor-mentee relationship. It’s suited for light-hearted conversations where both parties enjoy banter.

12. “I guess it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?”

A philosophical reply that gently challenges the label by suggesting age and maturity are subjective. Use this when you wish to subtly express that you don’t fully identify with the term without directly confronting the speaker.

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13. “Well, it’s better than being called old, right?”

This response deflects the term “kiddo” by humorously suggesting that there are less desirable alternatives. It’s a way of showing that you’re taking the remark in stride and with good humor.

14. “That’s one I haven’t heard in a while!”

Express surprise or amusement at being called “kiddo,” especially if it feels outdated or unusual in the given context. It’s a neutral response that lightly addresses the term without assigning it too much weight.

15. “Is that your way of making me feel young again? Because it’s working!”

A jovial reaction that thanks the speaker for the unintended compliment of making you feel younger. It’s effective in situations where the term is used affectionately and you want to keep the mood upbeat.

16. “Let’s hope I can keep up the kiddo energy then!”

This reply acknowledges the nickname but focuses on the positive aspect of having youthful energy. It’s suitable for settings where maintaining a positive and energetic demeanor is valued.

17. “I’ll take that as a sign of affection then?”

When you’re unsure of the intentions behind being called “kiddo,” this response seeks clarification in a light-hearted manner. It’s a good way to gauge the other person’s attitude without directly questioning their choice of words.

18. “Does that come with any perks? Like a discount, maybe?”

Inject humor into the conversation by joking about the benefits of being perceived as younger. It’s an effective way to diffuse any potential awkwardness while highlighting the absurdity of arbitrary labels.

19. “I’m honored, though I might soon graduate to ‘young adult’ status, right?”

A playful acknowledgment of the “kiddo” label that also hints at your progression beyond it. It’s a smart choice for when you want to subtly assert your growth or maturity without being confrontational.

20. “I guess every group needs a kiddo, so I’m happy to fill that role!”

This response embraces the term wholeheartedly, positioning it as a role within a group dynamic that you’re content to play. It’s particularly effective in team settings where camaraderie and light-heartedness are valued.

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21. “Well, every kiddo has their day, and today seems to be mine!”

This optimistic response turns the nickname into a moment to shine, suggesting that being called “kiddo” might just be a sign of good luck or a special role. It’s especially fitting in situations where you’re about to take on a task or challenge, injecting a sense of playfulness and confidence into the moment.

22. “I’ll make sure to live up to the kiddo reputation of endless questions then!”

A clever way to acknowledge the term while hinting at the curiosity often associated with youth. This response is perfect in learning environments or discussions, showing you’re engaged and ready to delve deeper, much like an inquisitive child might.

23. “As long as it means I get to keep my sense of wonder, I don’t mind at all.”

This thoughtful reply embraces the positive connotations of youth, such as curiosity and awe, suggesting that these are qualities you value and are happy to be associated with. It’s suitable in contexts where creativity and open-mindedness are discussed or valued.

24. “I suppose that makes me the wildcard of the group, right?”

With this response, you’re suggesting that being the “kiddo” might grant you a certain level of unpredictability or flexibility, roles that can be advantageous in group settings or projects. It’s a good way to spin the term into a positive light, indicating you bring unique value to the table.

25. “Just promise you won’t underestimate the kiddo’s abilities!”

This assertive yet playful response serves as a gentle reminder not to judge capabilities based solely on age or appearances. It’s particularly effective in professional settings or competitive environments where you want to assert your competence while keeping the tone friendly and light.


Responding to being called “kiddo” offers a chance to showcase your personality, whether through humor, grace, or assertiveness. The key is to read the room and choose a reply that fits the situation and your relationship with the speaker. Each of these responses provides a way to handle the term with ease, ensuring you maintain your composure and perhaps even enhance the conversation.