As far as little white lies go, I think the one about the hurt-free nature of name calling is about the most harmful. It is so for two reasons. Firstly, it really gives bullies and cowards permission to call people whatever they want, justifying that because no actual sticks and stones were used there could be no "real"hurt. Also, it has the potential to make victims feel weak for speaking up because names are supposedly pain free. It is a saying doubtless said to try and encourage resilience but let's be honest some of those nasty things said in haste have a power to stick and go on hurting long after the physical damage has healed. I got hurt by a stick today. I tripped over it while walking the dog at Kangaroo Point. It probably wasn't the stick's fault as it was just sticking there and I was looking thorough the camera lens and not where I was going.
I can also confirm that there was name calling but apparently names no matter how rude don't actually hurt as much when you are addressing them to yourself. In fact a few well chosen though not entirely original expletives actually help relieve the pain. So stick that up your @#$%^, Susan