Someone called me 'Mate' recently, and I must say, it rather took me by surprise It's probably because I've lived away for so long, that I don't remember anyone addressing me thus previously.
I think his expression was "Or white mate?" (Are you all right mate). I mumbled some reply that I was in fine fettle, thank you so much.
Over the pond people refer to each other as either 'Bro' or 'Dude' or 'Man'. These alternative names for 'mate' are used incessantly and are all as equally unpleasant as each other.
Are these titles really necessary? The man who addressed me as his 'Mate' could easily have asked "Or white" (Are you all right?) without the addition of the 'Mate'. Just the two words (as unnecessary as they were anyway) would have sufficed.
Personally I greet people with a simple "Good morning" or "Good afternoon" or even a more intimate "Hello, how are you?". I find no good reason to add any further wording. I cannot imagine myself going to the Doctor's (for example) and asking "How are you Mate?". It wouldn't seem right.
As a schoolboy I addressed my teachers as 'Sir', and they in return addressed me as 'Sir'. This always seemed correct, but I wonder if that still happens these days? Would they now call each other 'Mate'?
Oh, hang on; I see that the Postman has just left me some mail. I'll open the window and shout down to thank him...."Y'or white; cheers Mate".
Postie "Yer, or white; see ya".
There's nothing to beat good conversation.