My Chinese boyfriend often calls me a Xiao Yah Tow. What does this mean? Is it good or is it bad? Cuz when I ask him he does not want to tell me and grins. His family don't want to tell me either. I have to know!
It depends on your sensibilities and age tbh. For example my mates call me a Bad MoFO sometimes for doing things and I am not really insulted. My co workers who are women tend to absolutely resent being given soft toys as gifts as it is treating them as if they are children. However for some comedy you can see the Militant Black guy who purposely takes offence at everything. (it is a comedy balls of steel)
But on with the question:
小丫头 (xiǎo yā tóu) = cute girl
小 (xiǎo) = little
丫头 (yā tóu) = servant girl / maid
Thus although his is generalising here, it is generally a sort of nickname to imply affection. There are much worse things to be called tbh. I always find the Y a bit funny though as I see it as a Y instead of a 丫. But then this is normal. British infantry in Normandy for instance mis read Ypres (Yeep) as Wipers.