This is for Asian guys-- if a guy says your name followed by "san" is he friend zoning you?

**Quick clarification, when I say Asian, I mean East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.***

There is this Vietnamese American guy who I have really taken a liking to. He recently took me out on one of the best dates I have been on so far. He spent six hours with me and joked around a lot, etc. The thing is, I'm beginning to worry that it wasn't really a date in his eyes and he simply considers me someone he could be a good friends with. Aside from the fact that he never texted me afterwards, I've also noticed that he addresses me as my name plus "san". He doesn't do it always, but whenever he likes what I have said, he'll be like "You are so awesome Ashley-san!" At first I thought it was something special and meant he liked me because he doesn't call any of his other chic friends by that title, but after looking it up and realizing it is a honorific or formal title used for people you don't know very well, I'm beginning to think otherwise. Please help! When you call a girl with the "san" title at the end, does this normally mean you respect and see her as just a friend?
  • He is friend zoning you with this title
    Vote A
  • He is not friend zoning you with this title
    Vote B
  • I'm not sure what this means
    Vote C
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Most Helpful Guy

  • It's an honorific synonym used for people
    you're not too close to yet. (sort of difficult to explain)

    Like, if I were to meet a stranger here
    and talk to them, it'd be rude, to not use
    "san" at the end of their name.

    I'm not sure why a Vietnamese person would
    use it, but then, it's not like languages are limited
    to inside the borders.

    • That makes sense. I just don't get why he would say it to me if we are friends and why he doesn't say it to anybody else? Hmm do you think he is trying to indirectly imply he doesn't want to get any closer to me.. you know since its usually used when you meet a stranger, etc?

    • No no, it's used for friends too.

      However proper use of honorifics for friends
      would be either "kun" or "chan".

      He may just be fascinated by anime
      and heard it be said there.

      He could be trying to be funny, or perhaps
      if he knows you watch anime (if you do) trying
      to impress you with his language skills.

      But basiaclly what I'm saying is, that it should
      have no implications of him trying to keep you at
      a friends reach, or anything the like.

Most Helpful Girl

  • He is just being playful. -San is a Japanese honorific which means Miss, Ms. He is not even Japanese so technically he is just being playful. If he didn't text you after your date.. well, you know it already.

    • *sigh* yeah :(
      Thanks for the response!

    • Even a "I had fun" text nothing?

    • At the end of the date, I told him this was the most fun I had on a date and he told me he found that hard to believe. I saw him the next day and he looked taken aback when I hugged him. I was dressed up and several of our friends commented on how nice I looked but he was acting a little weird and didn't say anything to me. We talked a lot afterwards and he seemed really engaged in the conversation, but he didn't seem to want to bring up the date. I do know that he ended up sharing a lot of personal things with me that he said he normally never talks about and that might be making him feel a little awkward now. Honestly, I'm just confused and wish I knew what was going on in his head.

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What Guys Said 5

  • Not using an honorific is VERY informal. If they are comfortable with it then you can go without the honorific, like with close mates. But still calling them san wouldn't be that weird. It's just polite. Sometimes chan could be used because it's an endearing honorific. The japanese just use honorifics much more, they have more of them and many that are not as formal as miss/mrs etc. are for us.

  • I'm not Asian, but I hear San in karate films like karate kid and stuff. he could just be joking since you are actually from Asia and he's referring to the movies us Americans grew up on. I don't know I'd you're in the friendzone or not, but I don't think that you are.

  • So he vietnamese but he wanna be japanese? wtf

    I don't think he realize what -san mean or he intent to friendzone you by saying -san.

    It nothing to worry about. He probably just being playful. Don't overthink thing.

    • I really hope you're right! Thanks for the response, this makes me feel a little better :)

    • My pleasure~

    • i'm pretty sure he's just being playful because he's viet, but jap, so he probably doesn't take the 'san' word that seriously. he calls you ahsley-san is just like calling you Miss Ashley while teasing you. Get it?

  • What the heck is San?

    • According to google, its a title used after a person's first or last name in Japan and is supposed to signify respect... I have no clue why he uses it when addressing me. :/

    • Show All
    • Thanks for the link, you're right, it definitely does a good job of explaining it! :))

  • As far as I know - It's Japanese word for "Sir". Chinese and Koreans never use that word.


What Girls Said 2

  • er... Vietnamese doesn't use "san" at the end when addressing someone. I know this cuz i'm vietnamese. Only Japanese do that. so... i really sounds like he's just trying to be funny.

    • I really hope that is the case! I just don't get how it is supposed to be funny if he doesn't explain it first and I have no context for it lol
      If a Japanese guy were to say it to me though, would that mean he simply respects or thinks of me as a stranger?

    • Show All
    • You're a very cute Vietnamese girl!

    • thank you !!

  • ... He could just be into anime or something? Yes, -san is an honorific in Japanese, used for people who are older than you or who you respect but aren't that close to. But if he's Vietnamese American, I don't think he'd consider it an honorific the same way a native Japanese speaker would. (The equivalent honorific in Vietnamese for an older girl/one you respect is "chi".)
    He's probably just using it to show affection or something? You should ask him about it, though.


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