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Can't speak for everywhere, but from a British point of view, it's probably the opposite. Personally I basically only use Sir when I'm telling a stranger off. I guess it depends a lot on the tone of voice used. :-)

Which is another American use of sir in that, when someone cuts you off in line, rather than let loose, a firm but loud “Sir” tends to let them know you’re angry and that perhaps they did something wrong. Of course, if “Sir” ends up failing, then comes more interesting dialog. :-)

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