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Boomers, oldsters – what would you like to be called?

By March 19, 2015December 8th, 20229 Comments

In a country where we strive to be politically correct, we are now searching for an appropriate and respectful word to describe wannabe seniors.

It has come to our attention that there is a lot of resistance amongst ageing boomers about how best to describe ourselves – we do not like to be called seniors, golden oldies, pensioners, and for that matter – baby boomers.    We have been advised by a recently retired Marketing Manager that research shows that this market are offended by the term “Golden Oldies” – a very old-fashioned term that is not relevant in the current seniors segment who are far more active, both professionally, financially and mentally than the previous generation.

We have also been told by another Marketing expert that she was not happy to be called “an oldie” and found the term offensive.

And so we have a problem here.  Marketers are alarmed.  If they can’t call these new seniors “Seniors” – where to from here?  We need to search for a new euphemism to please ripening Boomers (please forgive the terminology!).

Maybe we should take our cue from our esteemed local politicians who in 2010 introduced the “Older Persons Act”.  Better than Washington politicians who introduced a bill that cut funds for the aged and titled it “Mature Enrichment Program”!

We live in a world where to be bald is to be folically-challenged, to limp is to be differently-abled, to be overweight is to be either weight-challenged or a gothopotamus.   Wrinkles are seen as character.  Old means experienced.  Surely Marketers can come up with a good rubric for us over-the-hill, ageing Boomers that we can accept with good grace and aplomb.

We could become “Sages” – now there’s a strong word depicting wisdom and determination.

Come on – we need help here – what are the names that you find the least and the most appealing?    Things that go with discounts, benefits, free stuff….

If all else fails, I will have to go on hand and knee and ask the advice of an esteemed Linguist, but let’s see if we can sort this one out ourselves!

So to kick-start the conversation – what do you think about these (tongue-in-cheek) suggestions:

Eclectic Elders, Funky Spunsters, Justin Timers, Youngsters of Yore, elders, oldsters, geezers, Golden Agers, Third Agers, Silver Streaks, Mature Miracles, Nip and Tuckers, Merryatrics,  Veterans, Wise Ones, Seasoned Citizens,  JALO’s (Just a Little Older),  NQYs (Not Quite Young) or BYs (Be Wise, Beyond Youth, Born Yesterday).

Now, what was that question again?!


  • Lyn.Leader says:

    Experienced Goggo’s?
    Third Agers?

  • Engela Bernardo says:

    What about “Old Timers”

  • gary says:

    I’m quite enjoying being a “senior” but think tags should be left for marketing strategy purposes, demographics, segmentation etc. They can call me what they like in their marketing strat sessions but otherwise, I just see myself as a “person”.

  • Rachaelg says:

    I was referred to as ‘Fossel’ and young people forget that we were also 25 at one stage and I tell you we did a lot more with our lives at that age.

    ‘Old Timers’ I dont like because people link it to ‘Alzheimers’
    I also like ‘Veterans’ and ‘ Fighters’ definately dont like being called ‘MA’ my grandchildren call me ‘Gran’ which I absolutely love

  • M J Scholes says:

    We were in the UK recently and when we said we were pensioners we were told that we were recycled teenagers – thought that was a nice way of addressing us!

  • hanssarie says:

    We are Baby Boomers,finish and klaar!

  • Mike Eksteen says:

    Pensioner – this is what I used when asking for discounts – A word everyone understands – si I vote for PENSIONER

  • Pam says:

    The other day I went to Urban Outfitter – the young staff knows me well and addresses me by my name, “miss” or “ma’am”. I especially love UO’s hoodies & denim jackets; I shop there regularly. I’m 63 & have gray hair – no one seems to care or even notice! I’m healthier than I’ve ever been…and I work with racehorses on the side. As far as I know, no one sees me as “old”. It never comes up and if it does, I’m okay with that too. How I would like to be addressed…or what I’d like to be called is a small thing to me. In my world, the folks who have money are actually older – it’s amazing how younger & older mix well together! I have never really put too much thought into appropriate, respectful words to describe seniors. Getting older is a badge of honor!

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