The Maggie May singer, 76, told The Daily Star that he meant no offence by the words and didn't see the problem with using them.
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He said: "You’re not allowed to call anybody ‘darling’ or ‘love’ – that’s all out the window now.
"I think that they’re friendly terms, as long as it’s not shouting across the road, ‘Allo, darling, what you got in that basket?’
"All the girls in my band I call darling, and I don’t think their husbands or boyfriends are offended. I call men friends darling. I call Elton darling."
The music superstars recently ended a years-long feud over Sir Rod calling Sir Elton "money-grabbing" for his 300-date farewell tour.
Earlier this year, Sir Rod said: "I say to my kids, ‘A man apologises, go and apologise to your mother’. We’ve just made up as friends again, me and Elton.
"We’ve always been fierce enemies, as you know, through the years, but it’s always been at a playful level.
"But we had the worst row, like a married couple. It went on forever."
In his autobiography Me, Sir Elton had addressed the row, saying he thought Sir Rod "had a f***ing cheek" for criticising him when he was on TV promoting his own tour.
Sir Rod also told The Star that despite a colourful past with female fans, he had nothing to be ashamed of, explaining that he "never had sex with anybody underage, never forced anybody to have sex".
Recently, the singer's wife Penny Lancaster told how she had been relying on him for support as she navigated the menopause and the tough time she'd had with it.
She said on Loose Women: "Being able to talk to my husband is an absolute number one priority."
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