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70 Phrases of Endearment from Across the World (for These You Love)



Let’s discuss phrases of endearment.

No, not the 1983 film starring Jack Nicholson that you just in all probability haven’t seen (me neither). I’m speaking concerning the affectionate phrases that individuals use with their pals and family members. You realize, like “sweetheart”, “child”, or “honey”, “mate”, “dude”, or “buddy”.

English has many phrases of endearment. Different languages are filled with them too.

On this article I’ll listing among the extra widespread and fascinating phrases of endearment from totally different languages and dialects around the globe. These embrace phrases of endearment for lovers, and for pals.

English Phrases of Endearment

1. Child

This can be a widespread solution to tackle a romantic companion (male or feminine). It will be bizarre should you mentioned it to somebody you’re not in a relationship with.

Generally that is shortened to “babe”. Nevertheless, “babe” can also be a slang time period for a pretty lady.

2. Sweetheart

A really affectionate time period for a cherished one or romantic companion. “Sweetie” can also be widespread.

3. Sugar

One other time period of endearment that performs on the theme of sweetness. As we’ll see, it is a widespread theme by way of endearment around the globe.

4. Dude

“Dude” is an American phrase that’s changing into an increasing number of widespread in English talking nations all around the globe. You need to use it to handle your male pals. Some individuals additionally use it to handle ladies, though that is much less widespread.

By the way, I as soon as had the next change with a German good friend:

Me: “Dude” is extra of an American phrase than a British one.
Her: However what about that Beatles music “
Hey Dude“?

American Phrases of Endearment

5. Buddy

“Buddy” is an all-purpose American time period of endearment, often for a male good friend.

6. Honey

Yet one more candy time period of endearment, “honey” typically abbreviated to “hun”.

7. Son

“Son” is widespread within the American south, particularly when mentioned to a youthful male.

8. Bae

“Bae” is an abbreviation for “babe”, popularised by hip-hop and R&B lyrics. It’s generally understood to imply “earlier than anybody else”.

Enjoyable truth: “bae” can also be a Danish phrase for “poop”.

British Phrases of Endearment

9. Love

That is generally written “luv”. You don’t need to be in love with somebody to make use of this phrase – it’s a extra normal time period of affection, often mentioned to a member of the alternative intercourse.

In some components of the UK individuals may additionally name you “my love” or “my lover” – even when they’re not actually your lover. Evidently, this sounds unusual to American ears.

10. Pet

Some discover it bizarre and even offensive to be referred to as “pet”, however within the northeast of England it is a widespread time period of affection, particularly among the many older technology.

11. Duck

“Duck” or “my duck” is a time period of endearment utilized in some areas of England, and particularly mentioned by older individuals. It’s considered a mutation of the phrase “duke”, fairly than referring to the quacking fowl.

Australian Phrases of Endearment

12. Mate

I may have included this one beneath “British phrases of Endearment”, as a result of it’s quite common within the UK as effectively. However for some cause the phrase “mate” is stereotypically related to Australians, as within the traditional Australian greeting “g’day mate”.

13. Possum

A possum is a smallish marsupial mammal that’s native to Australia. The phrase “possum” can also be, unusual although it might appear, a time period of endearment that’s native to Australia.

14. Cobber

To not be confused with “copper” (police officer), “cobber” is a generic Australian time period of endearment that’s related in that means to “mate”.

Outdated-Original Phrases of Endearment

Phrases of endearment are apparently as previous as language itself. For some cause, people have by no means had a giant factor for calling one another by their actual names.

With that in thoughts, let’s take a fast have a look at some (English) phrases of endearment that aren’t so widespread anymore.

15. Bully

That’s proper: “bully” used to imply one thing fairly totally different to what it means at the moment.

In line with Oxford Dictionaries, within the sixteenth century “bully” was a praise. To name somebody a “bully” was considerably like calling them “darling”.

These days, a “bully” is somebody who intimidates or exploits the weak and weak. That’s a fairly main shift in that means!

16. Cinnamon

Yet one more food-related time period of endearment.I’ve by no means heard anybody be referred to as “cinnamon” in actual life, however it might have been widespread within the 14th century.

That’s when Chaucer printed The Canterbury Tales, which incorporates the next snippet of dialogue:

“What do ye, honeycomb, candy Alisoun?
My faire fowl, my candy cinamome”

17. Chuck

These days “chuck” is a verb that means “throw”, an abbreviation for “woodchuck”, or a male first identify that originated as a nickname for “Charles”.

Nevertheless, in instances passed by, “chuck” was additionally a well-recognized time period for a romantic companion, baby, or anybody near you. It’s considered one of many examples of a time period of endearment that has fallen out of use. Though, as this text is hopefully displaying you, new phrases of endearment are invented as quick as they’re forgotten.

(Linguistic trivia: amongst U.S. Marines within the Vietnam Struggle, “chuck” was a non-derogatory slang time period for a white marine. The equal time period for an African-American marine was a “splib”.)

Spanish Phrases of Endearment

Oh, Spanish, romance and romantic language. Are you aware how one can share the love and say “I really like you” in Spanish?

18. Tío/Tía – “Uncle/Aunt”

Time to maneuver on to a different language. In Spain (however not in Latin America), it’s extraordinarily widespread to handle your pals as tío or tía.

These phrases imply “uncle” and “aunt” respectively, however they’re not solely for kin. It’s like calling somebody “dude” or “mate” in English.

19. -ito/ita

After I communicate my native English, I sorely miss just a few options which can be widespread in different European languages. One such characteristic is the “diminutive” suffix.

You understand how “kitty” is a cute and affectionate means of claiming “cat”? In Spanish, you may make the identical change to virtually any noun by including –ito (for masculine nouns) or -ita (for female nouns) to the top.

It’s onerous to present a precise translation for these suffixes. Most actually, they imply “small” – so casa means “home” whereas casita means “a small home”. However in addition they indicate familiarity and affection, and add some implied further allure to the factor you’re describing.

So a playful solution to tackle your esposa (spouse) could be esposita. Higher but, you possibly can add the identical suffixes to somebody’s identify – so Jorge turns into Jorgito. It’s cute, endearing, and customary.

19. Cariño – “Darling”

Cariño is a quite common phrase that you just’d use for a romantic companion. It interprets roughly as “expensive” or “darling”.

You need to use cariño to handle a person or a girl.

20. Bebé – “Child”

Keep in mind we lined the English phrase “child” earlier? In Spanish, bebé is utilized in the identical means. As in English, it actually means “toddler” – however you should use it to handle a cherished one.

21. Cielo – “Sky”

Cielo actually means “sky”, however you possibly can name somebody cielo – or mi cielo (“my sky”) to precise your affection.

To make it cuter, you possibly can say mi cielito – an instance of the diminutives that we already mentioned.

22. Dulzura – “Sweetheart”

Maybe it must be unsurprising that phrases of endearment in numerous languages are likely to play on the identical few themes. Dulzura is the Spanish phrase for “sweetness”, and should you name somebody dulzura it’s like calling them “sweetheart” in English.

23. Amor – “Love”

Amor means “love”, and like in English, you possibly can name a Spanish speaker mi amor (“my love”).

24. Corazón – “Coronary heart”

Right here’s a lyric from the Manu Chao music Me gustas tú (“I such as you”):

¿Qué hora son, mi corazón? – “What time is it, my coronary heart?”

Chao isn’t singing to his cardiac muscle groups: mi corazón (“my coronary heart”) is one other solution to tackle a cherished one.

Mexican Phrases of Endearment

25. Vato – “Man”

Vato is a Mexican slang time period for “man”, just like tío in European Spanish.

26. Mijo/Mija – “My Son/My Daughter”

Mijo and mija are contractions of mi hijo/mi hija (“my son/daughter”). They’re each endearing phrases for a cherished one that you just’ll hear all all through Central and South America.

They’re generally written as m’hijo and m’hija. Coincidentally, the noun mijo additionally means “millet” (a kind of cereal.)

French Phrases of Endearment

For many individuals, French means France, and France means Paris… The town of affection! In case you’re into being romantic in French, take a look at this put up on how one can say “my love” in French.

Whenever you’re carried out, come again right here to find extra French phrases of endearment!

27. Mon cœur – “My coronary heart”

Keep in mind mi corazón in Spanish? Mon cœur in French means the identical factor: “my coronary heart”. You’ll be able to say it to somebody you’re in a loving relationship with (male or feminine).

It’s additionally widespread for French mother and father to say mon cœur to their kids.

28. Mon amour – “My love”

Unsurprisingly, the phrase amour (“love”) additionally seems as a time period of endearment. Use mon amour (“my love”) in the identical means you’d used mon cœur.

29. Mon bébé – “My child”

One other time period of endearment that may be translated straight from English (and Spanish). Mon bébé means “my child”.

Do not forget that bébéamour and cœur are all masculine nouns. Which means you should all the time say mon amour/cœur, even should you’re speaking to a girl.

The female type of mon is ma, however this phrase should have the identical gender because the noun being described, not the particular person being referred to.

30. -et / -ette

We’ve additionally seen the Spanish diminutive suffixes -ito and -ita. French has the identical idea – they name it le diminutif. Besides this time across the suffixes are -et (masculine) and -ette (female).

Notice that the “t” within the masculine model is silent, however the “tt” within the female suffix is pronounced.

31. Mon chou – “My cabbage”

One other food-related phrase. However for as soon as, this doesn’t confer with a sugary deal with. Mon chou actually means… “my cabbage”. Sure, French individuals actually say this to one another.

So, about that diminutif. You’ll be able to say mon chou to a man or a woman, however if you wish to make it cuter, change it to ma choupette. (This model can solely be mentioned to a woman.)

Different variations embrace mon choupinou (mentioned to males) and ma choupinette (mentioned to ladies). You may also say mon petit chou (“my little cabbage”) to a person or younger boy.

32. Mon trésor – “My treasure”

In France, you don’t need to be a pirate to care about treasure. Mon trésor means “my treasure”, and will be mentioned to a person or a girl. Consider it as calling somebody “valuable”.

33. Ma moitié – “My half”

In English, you possibly can confer with your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend as your “different half” or “higher half”. In French, you possibly can merely say ma moitié – “my half”.

34. Mon chéri / ma chérie – “My expensive”

Are you able to consider a French speaker whom you _cheri_sh? If that’s the case, perhaps you must name them mon chéri (in the event that they’re male) or ma chérie (in the event that they’re feminine). It roughly interprets as “darling” or “expensive”.

Notice that, regardless of the distinction in spelling, chéri and chérie are pronounced identically.

German Phrases of Endearment

35. Schatz – “Treasure”

By far the commonest time period of endearment in German is Schatz, which accurately means… “treasure”, but once more.

Do not forget that nouns in German are all the time capitalised, so Schatz is written with a capital “S” even when it’s not originally of a sentence.

36. -chen / -lein

As soon as once more, German has diminutive suffixes that may be added to any noun or somebody’s identify.

In Spanish, you needed to decide the fitting diminutive ending to match the noun’s gender. German doesn’t fairly work like that.

Recall that German has three genders: masculine, female, and neuter. No matter a noun’s gender, you possibly can add -chen or -lein to the top.

There’s no actual distinction in that means, however -chen is extra widespread. This now adjustments the phrase’s gender to neuter, if it wasn’t already.

You often want to stay an umlaut onto the brand new phrase too – so der Hund (the canine) turns into das Hündchen (the little canine, the doggy.) Notice that we now use das as a substitute of der as a result of the gender has modified from masculine to neuter.

Alles klar? As soon as once more, you should use the diminutive type of somebody’s identify to sound extra endearing. For instance, somebody referred to as “Fritz” could possibly be known as “Fritzchen”.

(By the way, you understand the character “Little Johnny” who seems in lots of jokes in English? In German the identical sort of jokes are instructed a couple of boy referred to as Klein Fritzchen – “Little Fritzie”.)

37. Liebling – “Favorite”

Probably the most literal translation of Liebling is “favorite”, however should you tackle somebody as Liebling, it might additionally imply one thing like “darling” or “expensive”.

The clue is within the first syllable – Liebe means “love”.

38. Süsser/Süsse – “Candy”

Right here we go once more. Süss in German is an adjective that means “candy”. Would you be shocked if I instructed you it can be used as a time period of endearment?

The catch is that to make use of süss on this means, it’s important to flip it right into a noun. Say Süsse to a girl and Süsser to a person.

39. Maus – “Mouse”

The German phrase Maus is pronounced very equally to its English translation: “mouse”. However it doesn’t simply confer with rodents and/or pc attire – Maus is a standard time period of endearment {that a} man would possibly say to his spouse or girlfriend.

You may also say Maus to a small baby – though on this case it’s extra widespread to make use of the diminutive, Mäuschen.

40. Perle – “Pearl”

You’ll have observed that almost all of those phrases of endearment fall into the identical few classes. Behind “sugary meals” and “cute animals”, the third hottest trope is “invaluable objects”.

Within the latter class, we’ve already seen Schatz. The same German time period of endearment is Perle, that means “pearl”. Name somebody your “pearl” or your “treasure” – it’s positively a praise.

Whereas Schatz is widespread throughout Germany, Perle is a selected favorite within the Ruhr Valley.

41. Hase – “Bunny”

Again to the lovable animals. Hase means “bunny”, and in Germany you don’t need to be a Playboy to name your sweetheart by this identify.

Hase is extra generally used for girls than for males. The diminutive, Häschen, additionally works effectively.

After all, we will’t discuss German with out some compound nouns.

German is legendary for its lengthy phrases, fashioned by mashing nouns and adjectives collectively the place in English we’d separate them with an area.

Listed here are just a few such compound nouns that you just would possibly hear used to handle a cherished one:

  • Knuddelbärchen – “cuddle bear”
  • Mausebär – “mouse bear”
  • Mausezähnchen – “little mouse tooth”
  • Honigkuchenpferd – “honey-cake horse”

Sure, all of those phrases actually exist – that’s German for you.

Korean Phrases of Endearment

Sharing love in Korean is a bit tough: you might want to know how one can do it proper. Nevertheless, there are many good phrases of endearment to make use of as soon as you understand how to do this appropriately.

46. 애인 (ae-in) – “Sweetheart”

애인 is a standard gender-neutral time period of endearment in Korean that roughly interprets as “sweetheart”.

47. 여보 (yeo-bo) – “Darling”

In case you’re married, you possibly can say 여보 to your husband or spouse. It means “darling” or “honey”.

Another phrases of endearment you possibly can use for a feminine lover (whether or not or not you’re married) are 공주님 (gong-ju-nim, “princess”) or 우 리강아지 (u-ri gang-a-ji, “my pet”)

A phrase you possibly can use in your boyfriend or husband is 왕자님 (wang-ja-nim), which implies “prince”.

48. 오빠 (o-ppa)

Historically, 오빠 is a well mannered phrase {that a} lady would possibly say to her older male pals or to an older brother. More and more, nevertheless, it’s used as a romantic time period of endearment from a girl to her husband or boyfriend.

Japanese Phrases of Endearment

Are phrases of endearment actually utilized in Japan? Not within the sense you may be used to from the remainder of this text.

In case you search for phrases like “darling” or “sweetheart” in an English-Japanese dictionary, you’ll discover entries like ダーリン (“darling”) and スイートハート (“sweetheart”).

However these aren’t actual translations – they’re simply the unique English phrases transliterated into Katakana. You’d get humorous appears should you used them in Japan in the identical means they’re utilized in English.

So how are you going to specific affection or at the very least familiarity in Japanese? A method is to make use of the fitting “honorific”. These are suffixes like -san or -kun that get added to the top of somebody’s identify.

In English you would possibly tackle somebody as “Mr. Smith”; in Japanese you’ll name him Smith-san.

-San is utilized in formal and well mannered conditions, so it’s hardly a time period of endearment. Two widespread casual honorifics, however, are “-chan” (used extra typically for females) and “-kun” (used extra typically for males). You need to use these with your pals and kin.

Use the Energy of Nicknames

In case you actually wish to specific affection, nevertheless, a extra widespread strategy in Japanese is to present somebody a nickname, as defined right here:

Say the identify of this different particular person is Natsuko Yamamoto. After I first meet her, I would name her Yamamoto-san. The usage of the final identify and the suffix would present that I keep a correct distance (and respect) for her. If I’m a faculty good friend along with her, I’d begin calling her Yama-chan (extra casual suffix) or Natsuko-san (the primary identify is for nearer relationship.) If I’m a very good good friend along with her, this would possibly additional change to, say, Nacchi.

And for the type of relationship the place one may say “my love”, I’d provide you with one other identify altogether. Typically it nonetheless has some sound of the unique identify left, like perhaps Naah or Kocco, nevertheless it may be utterly unrelated phonetically and are available from some shared expertise solely she and I’d know. One often retains this class of names secret from different individuals, and to take action, they aren’t utilized in entrance of different individuals.

As you possibly can see, Japanese does issues in another way from the opposite languages on this listing!

If you wish to study extra about sharing love in Japanese, head to this put up.

Italian Phrases of Endearment

Many say that Italian is the language of affection. In case you already know how one can say “I really like you” in Italian, you would possibly wish to impress your family members with just a few phrases of endearment.

50. Dolcezza – “Sweetness”

I hope you might have a candy tooth, as a result of we’re removed from carried out with the sugar-related phrases of endearment. In Italy you possibly can tackle your lover as dolcezza – “sweetness” – similar to the Spanish phrase dulzura.

51. Amore – “Love”

Just like the Spanish use amor, Italians use amore as a cute romantic nickname. You may make the time period even stronger by saying amore mio (“my love”).

If you wish to keep in theme, you should use il mio innamorato (masculine) and la mia innamorata (female). They roughly imply “sweetheart” or “lover”, though they’re fairly formal.

52. -ino / -ina

It’s time to introduce the Italian diminutive suffixes. Like -ito and -ita in Spanish, diminutives in Italian will be fashioned with -ino (masculine) and -ina (female.)

Like in different languages, you possibly can add these suffixes to somebody’s identify – or you should use them to make an everyday “candy” phrase sound extra endearing, as in among the following examples:

53. Fragolina – “Little strawberry”

“Honey”, “sugar”, “sweetheart”, and now one other sugary phrase: in Italy the phrase fragolina (“little strawberry”) is used as a time period of endearment. It’s the diminutive type of fragola.

54. Stella/stellina – “Star”

Stella is greater than only a model of beer – it’s the Italian phrase for “star”, and a time period of endearment you possibly can name your Italian lover.

55-57. Tesoro/Cuore Mio/Amore Mio – “Treasure/My Coronary heart/My Love”

We’ve seen these earlier than in different languages:

  • Tesoro – “treasure”
  • Cuore mio – “my coronary heart”
  • Amore mio – “my love”

Use them such as you would within the languages already talked about above.

58. Microbino mio – “My little microbe”

Now that is one we positively haven’t seen earlier than! In Italian you possibly can affectionately name somebody microbino mio – “my little microbe”.

Unusual although it might appear, it is a actual time period of endearment in Italian.

Want extra Italian cute nicknames? Discover a entire lot of them on this put up.

Russian Phrases of Endearment

59. Милая моя / милый мой – “Sweetie”

One other sugary time period of endearment. Милая моя and милый мой imply “sweetie”; say the previous to a girl and the latter to a person.

You may also say любимая моя (f.) and любимый мой (m.) to imply “sweetheart.”

60. солнышко моё – “My little solar”

In case your lover burns brightly within the sky above you, name them солнышко моё – “my little solar”.

Different gender-neutral phrases of endearment in Russian embrace радость моя (“my pleasure”), ангел мой (“my angel”), жизнь моя (“my life”) and душа моя (“my soul”).

61. котёнок – “Kitten”

This phrase means “kitten”, and can be utilized as a time period of endearment to a person or a girl. You would additionally name them котик, which is the diminutive type of “cat”.

Portuguese Phrases of Endearment

If you wish to discover ways to say “I really like you” in Portuguese, head to this text.

62. -inho/inha

As soon as once more, Portuguese has a system of diminutives. The place Spanish makes use of -ito and -ita, Portuguese makes use of -inho and -inha for masculine and female nouns (or names) respectively.

So if somebody is known as Amanda, you possibly can affectionately tackle them as “Amandinha”. Or “Felipe” may turn into “Felipinho”.

If the phrase ends in a confused vowel, put a “z” earlier than the suffix – so for instance “João” would turn into “Joãozinho”.

63. Amigão – “Massive Good friend”

Thus far we’ve seen many diminutives in many alternative languages. A cool characteristic of Portuguese is that it additionally has the alternative of diminutives, referred to as augmentatives.

The place the diminutive model of a noun implies smallness, the augmentative model implies bigness. So for instance, whereas livro means “e book”, livrão means “massive e book”.

The augmentative suffix for masculine nouns or names is “-ão”. Female phrases use “-ona”.

And like diminutives, augmentatives can be utilized to make a phrase sound extra affectionate.

So whereas amigo means good friend, and you’ll definitely tackle somebody as amigo, you possibly can additionally name them amigão. It means “massive good friend”, however don’t give it some thought too onerous – the particular person doesn’t need to actually be massive. It’s only a pleasant, endearing solution to name somebody your amigo.

64-66. Alemão/Polaco/Negão

Lastly, some phrases which can be generally utilized in Brazil, unusual although they might appear to a local English speaker.

In case you’re a pale-skinned gringo like me, journey to Brazil and also you would possibly hear individuals calling you Alemão (“German”) or Polaco (“Pole”). No-one is making an assumption about your nationality – these are simply widespread, pleasant methods in Brazil to handle somebody with gentle pores and skin.

(Notice that the “-ão” in “Alemão” isn’t an augmentative; it’s simply a part of the traditional, unaltered phrase. The augmentative model could be “Alemãozão”)

In the same vein, a pleasant solution to tackle a black male in Brazil is “negão”, which roughly interprets as “massive black man”.

Regardless of the English phrase which it seems like, negão is mostly thought of to be inoffensive (though in fact you would possibly offend somebody should you mentioned it in an clearly hostile tone.) You’ll be able to hear the characters tackle one another as negão, for instance, within the traditional Brazilian film Cidade de Deus (Metropolis of God).

Irish Phrases of Endearment

67. Mo Chuisle – “My Pulse”

You could recognise this time period of endearment from the film Million Greenback Child. It means “my pulse”, and it’s a shortened type of a chuisle mo chroí (“pulse of my coronary heart”).”

You may also name somebody mo chroí (“my coronary heart”)

68. A Leanbh – “My Youngster”

This one actually means “my baby.” In Irish songs, it typically will get transcribed as “alanna”.

69. Mo Stoirín – “My Little Darling”

This implies “my little darling”. “Stór” is the Irish phrase for “darling”, and altering it to “stoirín” makes it diminutive, and thus extra affectionate.

Mo mhuirnín can also be related in that means to mo stoirín, and can be utilized to imply “my darling” or “my sweetheart”

One other model is mo mhuirnín dílis, which implies one thing like “my very own real love” or “my trustworthy darling”.

70. Wee

This one isn’t from Irish, however from Irish English, AKA Hiberno English, the dialect of English that’s spoken in Eire.

We’ve already checked out diminutives in lots of different languages. As we noticed, they could be a cute and enjoyable solution to modify phrases. Sadly, English doesn’t have diminutives – at the very least not in most of its dialects.

In Eire, nevertheless, there is a type of diminutive – the phrase “wee”. You’ll be able to stick “wee” in entrance of a noun – e.g. “the wee child” or “the wee woman” – and it features roughly just like the -ito/-ita suffix that we’ve already seen in Spanish.

“Wee” can also be generally used this fashion in Scotland.

Love and Language Studying

In case you’re within the temper for extra weblog posts about language studying and love, verify these articles out:

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