What is "cute?" (According to me.)

I use the word “cute” sometimes when it comes to women. (I use “awesome” for everything else. Apparently I am a surfer… in the 80s.)

Some people throw “cute” around willy-nilly. “This shirt is cute.” “What a cute idea.” “Isn’t that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cute?”

Not this hombre.

To me, there is no higher compliment than “cute.” Especially when it is “cuuuuuuuuuuuuute.”

When something is cute… it just makes you smile.

A cute woman can also be pretty and/or gorgeous. BUT a pretty and/or gorgeous woman is not necessarily cute. (For example, some of the bland cookie-cutter model types.)

You follow?

Cute is also not necessarily stick thin or genetically flawless. It comes in various shapes and sizes. In fact, some of the cutest women have some character to their faces.

True cuteness is more than just looks though.

A sense of humour is cute.

Creativity is cute.

Being clever is cute.

Sweetness is, almost always, very cute.

Some cute things are very specific to the cuteness observer. For me… fake pouting.

I may be nuts.

I’ve heard a couple women say that they don’t like the word “cute.” (Note: I wasn’t calling them cute.) One said that she found it too patronizing. Another thought it was overused and meaningless.

I thought about that a little and then realized…

Meh. I don’t really care.

“Cute” is the only way of describing what I want to describe, you know?

Now, when a woman is that devastating combo of cute/hot… Then you have something.

And if she is cute/hot with a good heart…

Start the ring shopping.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Because I do all the talking around here, I have a couple questions for YOU:

1) What is one thing that members of the opposite sex do/say/think that you find impossibly cute?

2) Ladies, would you mind being called “cute?”

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  1. Miriam says:

    Cute is the word that has described me for years. It used to drive me nuts, I mean why couldn’t I be the pretty one? But now I find it endearing. My features are cute, I have cute little toes and cute little hands. I know I’m always destined to be cute.

    I’ll be that cute little old lady in the nursing home one day!

    http://lspoon.wordpress.com

  2. Katie says:

    I like the word cute, except when it’s used in a dismissive way, like when I’m flirting with a gorgeous guy and his response is, “aww, yer cute…” ?? Yah.

    I do use cute to describe guys A LOT… and I find it irresistibly cute when a guy loves to cuddle!

  3. STP says:

    1) I find it impossibly cute (and sometimes sweet) when a guy offers to pump the gas for you when it’s freezing outside.

    2) I’m down with being call cute…but I prefer cuuuuuuuuuuute. I’m just sayin…

    That’s how we roll in Indy…GO COLTS!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I don’t mind being called cute. Except when I get all dressed up to go out or something and want to be called hot. Otherwise, cute is cute!

  5. La says:

    Men being bashful and embarrassed by flattery is the cutest thing in my book. Gets me every time. And I don’t mind being referred to as “cute”. It’s endearing!

    thenewfanny.wordpress.com

  6. mindy says:

    1. I love when a guy I’m dating just kisses me on the cheek out of the blue. That is ridiculously cute. RIDICULOUSLY CUTE.

    2. I will take any compliment at all. Compliment away. I have very low standards. Really, anything will do.

  7. 123Valerie says:

    I’m glad you dived into that explanation, PDW. I think it will help the millions of us perpetually “cute” girls out there. Hurrah, hurrah!

    I find it unbearably cute when, say, maybe I’m cooking dinner and my beloved comes up behind me and wraps his/her arms around me.

    Simple things.

  8. Clink says:

    1. When I think of cute, I think of M in the morning when he’s half-asleep and always kind of ridiculous, all bed-head-y. Like this morning, I asked him to remember to do something for me and he mumbled “but I won’t remember. My head is full of important stuff.” (He’s studying for finals). I guess delirium = cute?

    2. I don’t mind being called cute – I’ve been called cute many, many times. But I agree that sometimes you want to be called hot. Like when you’re wearing THAT outift and your hair is done THAT way and you are in THAT mood and yeah, cute won’t cut it then.

  9. distracted spunk says:

    I’m with Clink. Cute is cute, but when you’re dressed up, cute is not the term one wants to hear. Otherwise, I’m all for being cute. I’m so bubbly, there’s no other way to describe me besides cute and adorable half the time. Alas.

    And bedhead. Or when he bows or kisses my hand randomly (yes, GDB does bow, but that conversation was over IM – he’s a dork.) Or when he makes silly noises like boops and airplane sounds. Then I just want to squeak with excitement. I’m really a squirrel.

  10. each of the two says:

    1). I think its really cute when boys do somthing for you and they are so proud of themselves and grin like they are 8, or when they pull you close during sleep in the middle of the night, or morning bed head.

    2). and I really like being told I am cute.

  11. lfar says:

    I def have beefs with being called cute. Yesterday I had an exam in mechanics of deformable solids and I was asking my friend (male) for help with a question. This bunch of girly girls were like “Lisa, you’re in ENGINEERING? Really? THATS SO CUTE. YOU’RE CUTE!” and I was just furious. Because that IS patronizing.

    I think I don’t mind when guys call me cute, but when girls do I feel the same as when they call me hun.

    Something cute that guys do? When they play with kids or are holding a baby. Awwww

  12. jamelah says:

    1. I think it’s impossibly cute when a guy gets unabashedly excited about something hopelessly nerdy, realizes the ridiculousness of the excitement level, and then gets bashful but tries to play it cool. Melts the edges of my plastic robot heart. But that may be too specific. In general though, I find nerdiness completely endearing.

    2. Being called cute is fine, as long as it is not done in a patronizing way.

  13. Paige Jennifer says:

    “Cute” trumps “great personality” any day of the week. And girls who gripe about “cute” would probably be deserving of “uptight” for a descriptor.

    Me? I lurv a smarty who can make me laugh (sigh). Great – now I’m depressed. Cute but depressed.

  14. Grace says:

    I’m an overuser of ‘cute.’ However, the most common way I use it with my friends is describing a guy “is he cute?” but… just like girls hate it… guys seem to go crazy if they hear it.

    so if you’re gonna call us cute, can we call you cute too?

  15. Mel says:

    Call me cute any day of the week except when you can tell i spent 2 hours getting ready.

    I think its cute when the bf rolls up in bed with me holds me close and kisses my forehead. Or as mentioned before by Jamelah when guys get super excited to the point of delirium then they realize how dorky it is then try to play it cool.

  16. Peter says:

    miriam: Don’t fight the cute! Embrace it.

    katie: See, even the word cuddle is kind of cute.

    stp: GO COLTS!!!!

    stephanie: Cute IS cute.

    la: Yes! Cute is endearing. You get it.

    mindy: This comment cracked me up. And it is your turn in Scrabulous.

    123valerie: Oh yes, the old sneak up behind while preparing dinner maneuver. It’s a classic.

    clink: Someone that you and I both know, and who will read this part and IM me with her thoughts, taught me about making sure to give extra credit when it is deserved. It was a wedding, and she told everybody on the guestlist that I had better tell her how hot she looked in her dress. Granted, she looked pretty damn hot.

    distracted spunk: So bed head is good? I had no idea. Interesting.

    each of two: Many of us are, essentially, eight.

    lisa: Yeah, my cutes are meant with love. Not condescension.

    jamelah: Is fantasy football nerdy?

    paige jennifer: Oh, my “cute” is not anything like “great personality.” I mean it as a huge compliment.

    grace: Can you call men in general cute, or me specifically? Because I am baffled, and a little offended , anytime a woman DOESN’T call me cute. I mean… come on.

    mel: Cute won’t pay the rent, when it is clearly a “you look hot” moment. This is all valuable information for me.

  17. Jenny says:

    I think you’re cute!

    In general, guys who downplay their own hotness, with a sense of humor… SOOOO cute!!!

    And I LOVE being called cute… I am the epitome of cute! (and humble too!)

  18. Peter says:

    jenny: You are officially my favourite commenter of the week. Expect a sash in the mail.

  19. Molly says:

    1. I love when Michael makes room on the couch, opens his arms and say “cozy?” That’s cute.

    2. I don’t mind being called cute if it’s not patronizing. And you’ve called me cute so I think that’s a good thing!

  20. Tia says:

    1) cuteness comes out usually when guys are trying to play it cool. like when they say something that you know THEY didn’t even know would come out of their mouths. being genuine but not sappy and lame is very cute.

    2) i don’t mind cute…as long as it’s not patronizing. i think i’d actually rather be called cute than hot because i’d believe it more. what does that say about me? i dunno.

  21. srah says:

    I’ll nth the bedhead and little-boy-style excitement.

    I am cute. I fought against it for years and now I’ve accepted it, knee socks and all.

  22. B2G says:

    1) A half-smile. Just one side of the mouth tipping up. Kills me every time. So adorable. Also, getting kisses on the forehead. So cute.

    2) I’ve never felt condescended (that is actually a word) upon (however I don’t think I’ve used it properly) when called cute. Girls that don’t like it don’t want you to open doors for them either, and you totally should. And I think you would. Stick with the cute ones, Pete.

  23. mcgee says:

    1.) when my normally “mr. tough guy” boyfriend j. is anywhere in the near vicinity of our dogs (whom he adores), he turns into a big mushball and will even start babytalking them sometimes. i think that’s so cute.

    2.) also, i like being called “cute.”

  24. Airam says:

    This post is cute.

  25. QueenBee says:

    B does this thing, sometimes when he’s really out of it, and something happens like someone gets shot on TV, or when a train goes by, he says “Bang bang bang” or “Choo Choo Train” in this tiny little voice. It’s *almost* childlike, but not.
    And oh my god. Cutest thing EVER.
    And he HATES when I call him cute, but really to that I say, “Then quit being so goddamn cute”

  26. seven says:

    1) Cute is… so many things. Smiles, holding babies, laughing at a YouTube video… these are all cute.

    2) I don’t mind being called cute; in fact, I rather like it. And, not that I have to worry about it, the word hot just doesn’t appeal to me. I rarely use it when referring to anyone because it feels like a referral to an object more than to a real person.

    And there’s my $.02

  27. sybil law says:

    Cute is Peter with the ACN.
    Being called cute is much nicer than many alternatives!

  28. brandy says:

    Cute drives me insane. I wrote a whole post about it once, how it was my least favourite c-word. Cute reminds me of puppies, smurfs and small children with lisps, not people like me who speak clearly.

    However.

    After reading your post I plan on trying to take it more as a compliment next time when someone calls me cute and less as an invitation to kick them in the junk.

  29. Susie says:

    1) I totallyyy agree with Jamelah about it being cute when a guy gets crazy excited about something random and maybe nerdy that you totally wouldn’t expect. My friend who’s a band guy/sports fanatic talked to me for 20 minutes about quantum physics one night and then was like “omg I can’t believe I just said all of that to you…soooo the Pats.” I thought it was adorable (another word for cute!)but only because he’s soo not a nerd at all and I didn’t expect it.

    2) I get called cute a lot because I’m little. It totally depends on how it’s said, but I usually don’t mind and take it as a compliment. Hate when girls say it though.

  30. MissE says:

    1) Something cute that guys think/say/do? I guess, it’s cute when you see a guy doing something kind for no reason other than because it is the right thing to do – you know, offering to help an elderly person, letting someone have their seat on a bus/train, playing with their kids or kids they know somehow even though they’re busy, trying to find the perfect gift for someone they love… stuff like that.

    2) Cute? me? Not sure that it’s a word that has ever been used to describe me. It would depend on who’s saying it and what about, I guess.

  31. Michelle and the City says:

    1. i find it cute when a guy says something about himself and then looks embarassed afterward like he shouldn’t have said it. usually i find those revelations most endearing.

    2. i don’t mind being called cute i guess. but if i really like a guy i could think of about 10 other adjectives i’d rather him use ;)

  32. Damsel in Digress says:

    answers:
    1. guys are cute… right after they wake up; when they get you birthday cards for 5 year olds and then put “24.” in front of the 5 on your half birthday completely unwarrented; kiss you on the forehead. and probably many other things!
    2. i’ve always been told i’m cute. i’ve heard pretty or hot, but it’s almost always cute. i think i use cute like you do, it means something. so, i used to mind, but now i’m just happy that at least it’s something!

  33. Miss Pickle says:

    1. A little smirk that lets you know they are thinking about something they shouldn’t be. Or when a guy looks to me for approval when he’s doing something manly and wants to be noticed. Also, when he calls me cute, I think he’s cute for telling me.

    2. See above. Lately, I’ve been getting called cute quite a bit by a certain someone, and I love, love, love it. Except for, like the other ladies, when I am aiming to look hot. Lucky for him, he’s pretty good at knowing the difference.

  34. Niki Nielsen says:

    Being called “cute” is great. Being called “cuuuuuuuute” is the best.

  35. shandra says:

    LOL you are really funny.

    I def wouldn’t mind being called cute.
    But sometimes hot or sexy can be better than cute, it depends on the situation though

  36. sid says:

    Weird. My guy friends were having a similar conversation last night. They said that fuckable girls (their words, not mine) fall under the following categories: hot, pretty and cute. Think I’d prefer to be cute than pretty. What do I find cute in the opposite sex? Shyness. I like shy guys who are so obviously into you.

  37. BS says:

    There’s something about one handed t-shirt removal that really floats my boat. You know, that reach behind and tug it over your head thing where the shirt ends up inside out? No clue why – it’s just so…male.

    I used to crave cute because I’m of above average height and cute meant little, but I’ve gotten beautiful and/or elegant a few times and those are the truly arresting compliments.

  38. karina says:

    Cute is more of a personality, which is reflected in looks. I like cute, I strive to be cute (but not ‘cutesy’, ‘cutsey’ is unicorns and puppies, which is cute, but not necesarily classy). Boys who use ‘cute’ in the right way normally are adoreable, slightly bashful and generally the type I want to date. I don’t want to date a ‘hot’ man or a ‘sexy’ man, I dunno, those two words seem really… not interested in personality, just in bodies. That’s what I got out of your post. Enjoyed hearing the male prospective (yours at least) on cute, I bet your pretty cute yourself (not flirting, just saying).

  39. drbolte says:

    cute…yes, please. call me that anytime.

    pretty much all of the things you used to describe a cute girl? they work for me too. especially a quick sense of humor, sweetness, and someone who is genuinely interested in those around him (i.e. not cocky or completely sure that he’s the cutest thing in the room).

    cute is good. some girls think it means that they’re not beautiful. but, honestly…if you’re cute, how can you go wrong? i’ve recently been called adorable…which i think might be one step below cute.

    but what do i know about the male mind? oh, that’s right.

    not one thing.

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