I would not worry about offending anyone. Not many people in Vermont target panfish unless they sell them to the fish buyers. Most of the bass and trout people do not mind throwing jabs at a worm fishing guy after sunnies and blues. I don't mind a bit all the more gills for me to catch.
If Bluegill grew as big as Bass, there would be no such thing as Bass Pro Shops or Bass Boats. Gill Boats would have outriggers to prevent being tipped over and ALL fishermen would ALWAYS wear a PFD when on the water. Every hip would sport a survival knife just in case a big gill did tip you over so you could cut the line he wrapped around your legs trying to drown you.
Bass on the other hand would be just like they are now.
Here are some of my favorite nicknames for various fish...
Chain pickerel over 22 inches..."big snakes"
Largemouths over 22 inches...'one of the "boys"
Yellow Perch over 13 inches, thru the ice...'thumpers'
Channel Cats over 8 lbs...'cattie whompus'
Smallmouths over 18 inches...'titans'
Blue Cats over 40 inches...'chubbers'
Crappies over 12 inches...'delicious'