Terms of Endearment

HeartNicola here, reflecting on the way in which people have
expressed their affection for each other over the centuries. I started thinking
about this last week when a reader asked me if my use of the endearment
“sweetheart” was authentic to the Regency period. I was pretty sure that the
word originated long before the 19th century but I ran to check my
dictionary anyway and found that sweetheart was first used in the 14th
century. (Back in the days when Henry VIII actually liked Anne Boleyn he called her sweetheart a lot.) "Darling" is even earlier usage, dating to before the 12th century. Evidently finding an affectionate term for a loved one is something people have been doing for a long, long time.

By coincidence, the BBC also published a list last week of the ten
most unusual endearments people choose to describe their beloved, so I
thought I would share some of those with you today and also talk a bit about
the historical background to terms of endearment.

 A Sweet Tooth

 Like sweetheart, the word honey has been used an endearment
since the fourteenth century. It derives
Honey from the Old English word “hunig” and
is also found as a term of endearment in many other languages. In the 16th
century a Scots poet romantically called his love a “honey sop” which is a
piece of bread soaked in honey. In the same verse he compared her to a “swete
posset” a drink made from hot milk curdled with ale, sugar and spice. That
might not sound very attractive to us but on a cold Scottish night it might be
just what you needed! 

Whilst honey in all its forms works as a complement in the
Germanic languages it doesn’t translate well into the French. If you call a French
person “miel” they may think you are suggesting that they are a bit of a sticky
mess. To endear yourself to the French, go for “chouchou” which literally means
“little cabbage.” This suggests something small and round and like a delicious
(chou) pastry.

 
PumpkinIn South American Portuguese the word “chuchu” means a
squash and the word “chuchuzinho,” little squash, is a term of affection in
Brazil. I suppose this is pretty close to pumpkin!

It was not only sweets and vegetables that were used to
express love in the past. In Chaucer’s day it was complimentary to compare
someone to some of the more attractive spices. In the Miller’s Tale he wrote: “My faire bryd, my swete
cynemome.” Spices were expensive and exotic in Chaucer's day – pretty special, in fact – so being a stick of cinnamon was a real compliment! 

In A Pig’s Eye

Hard as it is to believe, the word “pigsnie” deriving from
pig’s eye, was once a term of great
Pigsnie admiration. I first came across the word
pigsnie used affectionately when I read The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis.
Again, this dates back to the time of Chaucer who wrote admiringly: “She was a prymerole, (primrose) a
pigggesnye, for any lord to leggen in his bed.”

The Japanese also admire fine eyes and a particular
compliment in Japan is to call someone Tamago gata no kao, an egg with eyes, the classic
oval-shaped face being much admired in Japan.

Other Birds and animals

“Little dove” may be the earliest recorded term of
endearment there is, as it is mentioned in the Bible in the Song of Songs. “Oh
my dove… Let me see thy countenance.” Dove is still a term of affection in Russia
to this day. Interestingly the word “turtle” which was also used to mean
“lover” as early as the 16th century derives from turtle dove rather
than the turtle with the shell. This term was still popular in the 18th
century when Lady MW Montagu described a ball where there were “several couple of true turtles… saying
soft things to one another.”

ElephantMeanwhile it is the term chang noi, “little elephant,” that
is used affectionately in Thailand, elephants being the most prized of animals in Thai culture. 

When I was growing up in the North of England I was
frequently called “pet.” This northern term of endearment is very old and was
found only in Scotland and the North of England until the mid 18th
century when it started to spread south. Comparing your loved one to a favourite
tamed animal is very cute, furry and cuddly.

 Some terms of affection have sinister origins, however. The
word “poppet” originated in the 1300s as a small human figure used in sorcery.
Its usage had changed by the late 14th century to also mean a small and
dainty person.

Shakespeare’s Sweet Chuck

ChickShakespeare contributed a great many words and phrases to
the language and so it is only appropriate that he should have given us some
fine terms of endearment. In Romeo and Juliet the nurse calls Juliet a
ladybird. Then there is “sweet chuck,” an ancient variant on “chicken.” Chuck
is still used affectionately in the north of England, and chicken was another endearment I heard a lot when I was growing up.

 Less attractive to our modern taste, perhaps, is the comparison of a loved one to a bat or “flitter-mouse.”  Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, used this term of endearment in a play published in 1610. The heroine was so touched to be compared with a bat that she kissed the hero!

Jane Austen's Restraint

Jane Austen did not show intimate scenes between characters so it is not surprising that her characters
Mrs Elton are so seldom demonstrative in their use of language. The occasional use of the word "dear" and the reference to a spouse by their formal name is about as affectionate as they get. The only character who
appears to be addicted to terms of endearment is Isabella Thorpe in Northanger
Abbey who calls Catherine Morland “dearest, sweetest Catherine.” Isaballa's terms of endearment are empty of true affection. Jane also
pokes fun at Mrs Elton whose use of the term “caro sposo,” “dear husband” seems
pretentious and flowery given the restraint with which the other characters
speak.

Some endearments that sound modern to us actually have
origins much earlier than you might imagine. I had no idea that “baby” was
first recorded as a term of endearment back in 1839. Even bunny, with or without the snuggle, dates back to the 1680s in Scotland! 

Do you have a favourite term of endearment? Or one you can't stand? Has anyone ever called you "my little marmoset"? Are there unusual local terms of endearment used where you live? (Just out of interest, the word "Wench" originated as a wanton woman but by the 1580s had become a tem of endearment meaning sweetheart!)

135 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment”

  1. A Turkish ex used to call me ‘kiz’ (‘girl’- when I was in my 30s!), a Bangladeshi ex used to call me ‘putul’ (doll – when I was in my early 20s…)
    But – my best endearment story – When my daughter was about 2yo, she started calling my partner (her dad) by his given name. Curious, we asked her whether she knew what my name was. Without missing a beat she replied, “Honey!” (guess what my partner mostly calls me…)

    Reply
  2. A Turkish ex used to call me ‘kiz’ (‘girl’- when I was in my 30s!), a Bangladeshi ex used to call me ‘putul’ (doll – when I was in my early 20s…)
    But – my best endearment story – When my daughter was about 2yo, she started calling my partner (her dad) by his given name. Curious, we asked her whether she knew what my name was. Without missing a beat she replied, “Honey!” (guess what my partner mostly calls me…)

    Reply
  3. A Turkish ex used to call me ‘kiz’ (‘girl’- when I was in my 30s!), a Bangladeshi ex used to call me ‘putul’ (doll – when I was in my early 20s…)
    But – my best endearment story – When my daughter was about 2yo, she started calling my partner (her dad) by his given name. Curious, we asked her whether she knew what my name was. Without missing a beat she replied, “Honey!” (guess what my partner mostly calls me…)

    Reply
  4. A Turkish ex used to call me ‘kiz’ (‘girl’- when I was in my 30s!), a Bangladeshi ex used to call me ‘putul’ (doll – when I was in my early 20s…)
    But – my best endearment story – When my daughter was about 2yo, she started calling my partner (her dad) by his given name. Curious, we asked her whether she knew what my name was. Without missing a beat she replied, “Honey!” (guess what my partner mostly calls me…)

    Reply
  5. A Turkish ex used to call me ‘kiz’ (‘girl’- when I was in my 30s!), a Bangladeshi ex used to call me ‘putul’ (doll – when I was in my early 20s…)
    But – my best endearment story – When my daughter was about 2yo, she started calling my partner (her dad) by his given name. Curious, we asked her whether she knew what my name was. Without missing a beat she replied, “Honey!” (guess what my partner mostly calls me…)

    Reply
  6. My previous comment disappeared so if this turns up twice, apologies! Shannon, that’s so funny about your daughter thinking your name was Honey! I guess if that’s what she heard you addressed as she would be bound to think it was a name!

    Reply
  7. My previous comment disappeared so if this turns up twice, apologies! Shannon, that’s so funny about your daughter thinking your name was Honey! I guess if that’s what she heard you addressed as she would be bound to think it was a name!

    Reply
  8. My previous comment disappeared so if this turns up twice, apologies! Shannon, that’s so funny about your daughter thinking your name was Honey! I guess if that’s what she heard you addressed as she would be bound to think it was a name!

    Reply
  9. My previous comment disappeared so if this turns up twice, apologies! Shannon, that’s so funny about your daughter thinking your name was Honey! I guess if that’s what she heard you addressed as she would be bound to think it was a name!

    Reply
  10. My previous comment disappeared so if this turns up twice, apologies! Shannon, that’s so funny about your daughter thinking your name was Honey! I guess if that’s what she heard you addressed as she would be bound to think it was a name!

    Reply
  11. Thank you, Maria. I’m so pleased you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to write. Some of the old endearments were very odd to our ears today. I do like “lover” though; it’s old and old-fashioned and sounds romantic!

    Reply
  12. Thank you, Maria. I’m so pleased you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to write. Some of the old endearments were very odd to our ears today. I do like “lover” though; it’s old and old-fashioned and sounds romantic!

    Reply
  13. Thank you, Maria. I’m so pleased you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to write. Some of the old endearments were very odd to our ears today. I do like “lover” though; it’s old and old-fashioned and sounds romantic!

    Reply
  14. Thank you, Maria. I’m so pleased you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to write. Some of the old endearments were very odd to our ears today. I do like “lover” though; it’s old and old-fashioned and sounds romantic!

    Reply
  15. Thank you, Maria. I’m so pleased you liked the post. It was a lot of fun to write. Some of the old endearments were very odd to our ears today. I do like “lover” though; it’s old and old-fashioned and sounds romantic!

    Reply
  16. When our daughter was two or three I overheard my husband talking to her. “Are you my little daughter?” “No, I not daughter! I sweetie-bug!”

    Reply
  17. When our daughter was two or three I overheard my husband talking to her. “Are you my little daughter?” “No, I not daughter! I sweetie-bug!”

    Reply
  18. When our daughter was two or three I overheard my husband talking to her. “Are you my little daughter?” “No, I not daughter! I sweetie-bug!”

    Reply
  19. When our daughter was two or three I overheard my husband talking to her. “Are you my little daughter?” “No, I not daughter! I sweetie-bug!”

    Reply
  20. When our daughter was two or three I overheard my husband talking to her. “Are you my little daughter?” “No, I not daughter! I sweetie-bug!”

    Reply
  21. I was a little taken aback to be called “lover” by a middle-aged woman stranger the first time I went to Devon! I remember seeing “pet” in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. I like “petal”, myself.

    Reply
  22. I was a little taken aback to be called “lover” by a middle-aged woman stranger the first time I went to Devon! I remember seeing “pet” in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. I like “petal”, myself.

    Reply
  23. I was a little taken aback to be called “lover” by a middle-aged woman stranger the first time I went to Devon! I remember seeing “pet” in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. I like “petal”, myself.

    Reply
  24. I was a little taken aback to be called “lover” by a middle-aged woman stranger the first time I went to Devon! I remember seeing “pet” in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. I like “petal”, myself.

    Reply
  25. I was a little taken aback to be called “lover” by a middle-aged woman stranger the first time I went to Devon! I remember seeing “pet” in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. I like “petal”, myself.

    Reply
  26. In the Tamil language a beautiful woman’s eyes are always described as fish-like eyes. To describe the shape and the quick darting of the eyes. My daughters raised in the US always found this a little strange. I lovingly call my grandson a little calf –there is nothing that is more beautiful and playful like one 🙂

    Reply
  27. In the Tamil language a beautiful woman’s eyes are always described as fish-like eyes. To describe the shape and the quick darting of the eyes. My daughters raised in the US always found this a little strange. I lovingly call my grandson a little calf –there is nothing that is more beautiful and playful like one 🙂

    Reply
  28. In the Tamil language a beautiful woman’s eyes are always described as fish-like eyes. To describe the shape and the quick darting of the eyes. My daughters raised in the US always found this a little strange. I lovingly call my grandson a little calf –there is nothing that is more beautiful and playful like one 🙂

    Reply
  29. In the Tamil language a beautiful woman’s eyes are always described as fish-like eyes. To describe the shape and the quick darting of the eyes. My daughters raised in the US always found this a little strange. I lovingly call my grandson a little calf –there is nothing that is more beautiful and playful like one 🙂

    Reply
  30. In the Tamil language a beautiful woman’s eyes are always described as fish-like eyes. To describe the shape and the quick darting of the eyes. My daughters raised in the US always found this a little strange. I lovingly call my grandson a little calf –there is nothing that is more beautiful and playful like one 🙂

    Reply
  31. Thanks, for the link, Liz! I like the concept of the “HonFest”!
    LOL, HJ! I’d forgotten about the West Country use of “lover.” I remember going into a pub in Dorset and a very elderly man calling me “lover” and saying I was easy on the eye! Petal is very pretty – nice to be compared to a flower!

    Reply
  32. Thanks, for the link, Liz! I like the concept of the “HonFest”!
    LOL, HJ! I’d forgotten about the West Country use of “lover.” I remember going into a pub in Dorset and a very elderly man calling me “lover” and saying I was easy on the eye! Petal is very pretty – nice to be compared to a flower!

    Reply
  33. Thanks, for the link, Liz! I like the concept of the “HonFest”!
    LOL, HJ! I’d forgotten about the West Country use of “lover.” I remember going into a pub in Dorset and a very elderly man calling me “lover” and saying I was easy on the eye! Petal is very pretty – nice to be compared to a flower!

    Reply
  34. Thanks, for the link, Liz! I like the concept of the “HonFest”!
    LOL, HJ! I’d forgotten about the West Country use of “lover.” I remember going into a pub in Dorset and a very elderly man calling me “lover” and saying I was easy on the eye! Petal is very pretty – nice to be compared to a flower!

    Reply
  35. Thanks, for the link, Liz! I like the concept of the “HonFest”!
    LOL, HJ! I’d forgotten about the West Country use of “lover.” I remember going into a pub in Dorset and a very elderly man calling me “lover” and saying I was easy on the eye! Petal is very pretty – nice to be compared to a flower!

    Reply
  36. Great Post Nicola. I remember being called ‘Petit Mignon’ (little darling) in France years ago, which to my untuned Australian ears reminded me of fillet mignon. Couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to look it up.

    Reply
  37. Great Post Nicola. I remember being called ‘Petit Mignon’ (little darling) in France years ago, which to my untuned Australian ears reminded me of fillet mignon. Couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to look it up.

    Reply
  38. Great Post Nicola. I remember being called ‘Petit Mignon’ (little darling) in France years ago, which to my untuned Australian ears reminded me of fillet mignon. Couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to look it up.

    Reply
  39. Great Post Nicola. I remember being called ‘Petit Mignon’ (little darling) in France years ago, which to my untuned Australian ears reminded me of fillet mignon. Couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to look it up.

    Reply
  40. Great Post Nicola. I remember being called ‘Petit Mignon’ (little darling) in France years ago, which to my untuned Australian ears reminded me of fillet mignon. Couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to look it up.

    Reply
  41. Lovely post, Nicola.
    My dad was a romantic who used lots of endearments. He called my mother Snookie, as well as darling and sweetheart. The oddest term of endearment he used though was for my brother, who he called Bulls-wool. I *think* but I’m not sure, it’s something his own father called him as a boy. My impression was that it was something special for the only or eldest son of the family.
    In Australia, a lot of people use “love,” even to complete strangers, in the same way people in the north of England use “pet.” And in the US I was often called “honey” in the same way.

    Reply
  42. Lovely post, Nicola.
    My dad was a romantic who used lots of endearments. He called my mother Snookie, as well as darling and sweetheart. The oddest term of endearment he used though was for my brother, who he called Bulls-wool. I *think* but I’m not sure, it’s something his own father called him as a boy. My impression was that it was something special for the only or eldest son of the family.
    In Australia, a lot of people use “love,” even to complete strangers, in the same way people in the north of England use “pet.” And in the US I was often called “honey” in the same way.

    Reply
  43. Lovely post, Nicola.
    My dad was a romantic who used lots of endearments. He called my mother Snookie, as well as darling and sweetheart. The oddest term of endearment he used though was for my brother, who he called Bulls-wool. I *think* but I’m not sure, it’s something his own father called him as a boy. My impression was that it was something special for the only or eldest son of the family.
    In Australia, a lot of people use “love,” even to complete strangers, in the same way people in the north of England use “pet.” And in the US I was often called “honey” in the same way.

    Reply
  44. Lovely post, Nicola.
    My dad was a romantic who used lots of endearments. He called my mother Snookie, as well as darling and sweetheart. The oddest term of endearment he used though was for my brother, who he called Bulls-wool. I *think* but I’m not sure, it’s something his own father called him as a boy. My impression was that it was something special for the only or eldest son of the family.
    In Australia, a lot of people use “love,” even to complete strangers, in the same way people in the north of England use “pet.” And in the US I was often called “honey” in the same way.

    Reply
  45. Lovely post, Nicola.
    My dad was a romantic who used lots of endearments. He called my mother Snookie, as well as darling and sweetheart. The oddest term of endearment he used though was for my brother, who he called Bulls-wool. I *think* but I’m not sure, it’s something his own father called him as a boy. My impression was that it was something special for the only or eldest son of the family.
    In Australia, a lot of people use “love,” even to complete strangers, in the same way people in the north of England use “pet.” And in the US I was often called “honey” in the same way.

    Reply
  46. Thanks for the comment, Anne! “Bulls-wool” is very unusual, isn’t it! Until you said that I hadn’t thought of very specific terms of endearment within families. These mean something to the people involved even if they don’t make much sense to outsiders, so that’s special. My father-in-law was the same. He had pet names for all his children and for his wife. This reminds me that a family member calls me “duchess,” presumably for my writing (though it could be for my manner, LOL!)

    Reply
  47. Thanks for the comment, Anne! “Bulls-wool” is very unusual, isn’t it! Until you said that I hadn’t thought of very specific terms of endearment within families. These mean something to the people involved even if they don’t make much sense to outsiders, so that’s special. My father-in-law was the same. He had pet names for all his children and for his wife. This reminds me that a family member calls me “duchess,” presumably for my writing (though it could be for my manner, LOL!)

    Reply
  48. Thanks for the comment, Anne! “Bulls-wool” is very unusual, isn’t it! Until you said that I hadn’t thought of very specific terms of endearment within families. These mean something to the people involved even if they don’t make much sense to outsiders, so that’s special. My father-in-law was the same. He had pet names for all his children and for his wife. This reminds me that a family member calls me “duchess,” presumably for my writing (though it could be for my manner, LOL!)

    Reply
  49. Thanks for the comment, Anne! “Bulls-wool” is very unusual, isn’t it! Until you said that I hadn’t thought of very specific terms of endearment within families. These mean something to the people involved even if they don’t make much sense to outsiders, so that’s special. My father-in-law was the same. He had pet names for all his children and for his wife. This reminds me that a family member calls me “duchess,” presumably for my writing (though it could be for my manner, LOL!)

    Reply
  50. Thanks for the comment, Anne! “Bulls-wool” is very unusual, isn’t it! Until you said that I hadn’t thought of very specific terms of endearment within families. These mean something to the people involved even if they don’t make much sense to outsiders, so that’s special. My father-in-law was the same. He had pet names for all his children and for his wife. This reminds me that a family member calls me “duchess,” presumably for my writing (though it could be for my manner, LOL!)

    Reply
  51. Seconding Anne’s comment about “honey”, also “hon”. I’m in central Ky., and it’s used regularly, especially by clerks in stores.
    I’ve read “chuck” used in the traditional Regencies and it always tickles me. Also get a kick out of “mon petit chou” – literally little cabbage – but used as an endearment.
    For some reason, I don’t like to read “darling” as an endearment. It always comes across as phony. Maybe I’m just remembering those Hollywood film noir vamps using it!

    Reply
  52. Seconding Anne’s comment about “honey”, also “hon”. I’m in central Ky., and it’s used regularly, especially by clerks in stores.
    I’ve read “chuck” used in the traditional Regencies and it always tickles me. Also get a kick out of “mon petit chou” – literally little cabbage – but used as an endearment.
    For some reason, I don’t like to read “darling” as an endearment. It always comes across as phony. Maybe I’m just remembering those Hollywood film noir vamps using it!

    Reply
  53. Seconding Anne’s comment about “honey”, also “hon”. I’m in central Ky., and it’s used regularly, especially by clerks in stores.
    I’ve read “chuck” used in the traditional Regencies and it always tickles me. Also get a kick out of “mon petit chou” – literally little cabbage – but used as an endearment.
    For some reason, I don’t like to read “darling” as an endearment. It always comes across as phony. Maybe I’m just remembering those Hollywood film noir vamps using it!

    Reply
  54. Seconding Anne’s comment about “honey”, also “hon”. I’m in central Ky., and it’s used regularly, especially by clerks in stores.
    I’ve read “chuck” used in the traditional Regencies and it always tickles me. Also get a kick out of “mon petit chou” – literally little cabbage – but used as an endearment.
    For some reason, I don’t like to read “darling” as an endearment. It always comes across as phony. Maybe I’m just remembering those Hollywood film noir vamps using it!

    Reply
  55. Seconding Anne’s comment about “honey”, also “hon”. I’m in central Ky., and it’s used regularly, especially by clerks in stores.
    I’ve read “chuck” used in the traditional Regencies and it always tickles me. Also get a kick out of “mon petit chou” – literally little cabbage – but used as an endearment.
    For some reason, I don’t like to read “darling” as an endearment. It always comes across as phony. Maybe I’m just remembering those Hollywood film noir vamps using it!

    Reply
  56. Anything can be a term of endearment, it’s all in the tone of voice and how it was meant.
    My Irish grandfather used to call my grandmother what sounded like “Lale or Lail” – I don’t know how to spell it. Her name was Mary and her family called her Minnie, so I’ve always assumed it was an endearment.

    Reply
  57. Anything can be a term of endearment, it’s all in the tone of voice and how it was meant.
    My Irish grandfather used to call my grandmother what sounded like “Lale or Lail” – I don’t know how to spell it. Her name was Mary and her family called her Minnie, so I’ve always assumed it was an endearment.

    Reply
  58. Anything can be a term of endearment, it’s all in the tone of voice and how it was meant.
    My Irish grandfather used to call my grandmother what sounded like “Lale or Lail” – I don’t know how to spell it. Her name was Mary and her family called her Minnie, so I’ve always assumed it was an endearment.

    Reply
  59. Anything can be a term of endearment, it’s all in the tone of voice and how it was meant.
    My Irish grandfather used to call my grandmother what sounded like “Lale or Lail” – I don’t know how to spell it. Her name was Mary and her family called her Minnie, so I’ve always assumed it was an endearment.

    Reply
  60. Anything can be a term of endearment, it’s all in the tone of voice and how it was meant.
    My Irish grandfather used to call my grandmother what sounded like “Lale or Lail” – I don’t know how to spell it. Her name was Mary and her family called her Minnie, so I’ve always assumed it was an endearment.

    Reply
  61. Sherrie, here. Loved reading all the stories from commenters re terms of endearment. Especially love the personal, family ones. My family nickname is “Wowie,” given to me by my toddler brother who somehow interpreted Sherrie into Wowie. Mom thought it was funny and started calling me Wowie. Pretty soon, my sister and school friends started using Wowie. While it was a nickname that followed me into adulthood, it was also an endearment in my own family.
    I have many endearments for my pets: sweetcakes; babycakes; dude (which morphed into dudette, which morphed into “dude”eronomy); Beebop Biddyboo; smiley (one of my dogs smiles); PC (short for Porch Cat, a stray I adopted); and many more. When I was married, my husband called me Slick and Babe.

    Reply
  62. Sherrie, here. Loved reading all the stories from commenters re terms of endearment. Especially love the personal, family ones. My family nickname is “Wowie,” given to me by my toddler brother who somehow interpreted Sherrie into Wowie. Mom thought it was funny and started calling me Wowie. Pretty soon, my sister and school friends started using Wowie. While it was a nickname that followed me into adulthood, it was also an endearment in my own family.
    I have many endearments for my pets: sweetcakes; babycakes; dude (which morphed into dudette, which morphed into “dude”eronomy); Beebop Biddyboo; smiley (one of my dogs smiles); PC (short for Porch Cat, a stray I adopted); and many more. When I was married, my husband called me Slick and Babe.

    Reply
  63. Sherrie, here. Loved reading all the stories from commenters re terms of endearment. Especially love the personal, family ones. My family nickname is “Wowie,” given to me by my toddler brother who somehow interpreted Sherrie into Wowie. Mom thought it was funny and started calling me Wowie. Pretty soon, my sister and school friends started using Wowie. While it was a nickname that followed me into adulthood, it was also an endearment in my own family.
    I have many endearments for my pets: sweetcakes; babycakes; dude (which morphed into dudette, which morphed into “dude”eronomy); Beebop Biddyboo; smiley (one of my dogs smiles); PC (short for Porch Cat, a stray I adopted); and many more. When I was married, my husband called me Slick and Babe.

    Reply
  64. Sherrie, here. Loved reading all the stories from commenters re terms of endearment. Especially love the personal, family ones. My family nickname is “Wowie,” given to me by my toddler brother who somehow interpreted Sherrie into Wowie. Mom thought it was funny and started calling me Wowie. Pretty soon, my sister and school friends started using Wowie. While it was a nickname that followed me into adulthood, it was also an endearment in my own family.
    I have many endearments for my pets: sweetcakes; babycakes; dude (which morphed into dudette, which morphed into “dude”eronomy); Beebop Biddyboo; smiley (one of my dogs smiles); PC (short for Porch Cat, a stray I adopted); and many more. When I was married, my husband called me Slick and Babe.

    Reply
  65. Sherrie, here. Loved reading all the stories from commenters re terms of endearment. Especially love the personal, family ones. My family nickname is “Wowie,” given to me by my toddler brother who somehow interpreted Sherrie into Wowie. Mom thought it was funny and started calling me Wowie. Pretty soon, my sister and school friends started using Wowie. While it was a nickname that followed me into adulthood, it was also an endearment in my own family.
    I have many endearments for my pets: sweetcakes; babycakes; dude (which morphed into dudette, which morphed into “dude”eronomy); Beebop Biddyboo; smiley (one of my dogs smiles); PC (short for Porch Cat, a stray I adopted); and many more. When I was married, my husband called me Slick and Babe.

    Reply
  66. I guess I call my son “sweetheart” a lot because a little while ago I was trying to wrestle him into his pajamas after his bath while he just wanted to exert his 3 year old independence. He grabbed his jammies and gave me the most condescending look imaginable and said,”oh tweet’eart, I can put on my own jammies!” I call my husband honey or hon, he calls me by my name…. Not one for endearments I guess!

    Reply
  67. I guess I call my son “sweetheart” a lot because a little while ago I was trying to wrestle him into his pajamas after his bath while he just wanted to exert his 3 year old independence. He grabbed his jammies and gave me the most condescending look imaginable and said,”oh tweet’eart, I can put on my own jammies!” I call my husband honey or hon, he calls me by my name…. Not one for endearments I guess!

    Reply
  68. I guess I call my son “sweetheart” a lot because a little while ago I was trying to wrestle him into his pajamas after his bath while he just wanted to exert his 3 year old independence. He grabbed his jammies and gave me the most condescending look imaginable and said,”oh tweet’eart, I can put on my own jammies!” I call my husband honey or hon, he calls me by my name…. Not one for endearments I guess!

    Reply
  69. I guess I call my son “sweetheart” a lot because a little while ago I was trying to wrestle him into his pajamas after his bath while he just wanted to exert his 3 year old independence. He grabbed his jammies and gave me the most condescending look imaginable and said,”oh tweet’eart, I can put on my own jammies!” I call my husband honey or hon, he calls me by my name…. Not one for endearments I guess!

    Reply
  70. I guess I call my son “sweetheart” a lot because a little while ago I was trying to wrestle him into his pajamas after his bath while he just wanted to exert his 3 year old independence. He grabbed his jammies and gave me the most condescending look imaginable and said,”oh tweet’eart, I can put on my own jammies!” I call my husband honey or hon, he calls me by my name…. Not one for endearments I guess!

    Reply
  71. Hi Donna. Thanks for the comment. “Mon petit chou” is cute!
    Around here there’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s sexist or inappropriate to call people “love” or “pet” in stores etc. Personally I think it’s nice to be called “hon” or another endearment and would never take offences. It’s sweet and makes me smile! I like “hon.”

    Reply
  72. Hi Donna. Thanks for the comment. “Mon petit chou” is cute!
    Around here there’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s sexist or inappropriate to call people “love” or “pet” in stores etc. Personally I think it’s nice to be called “hon” or another endearment and would never take offences. It’s sweet and makes me smile! I like “hon.”

    Reply
  73. Hi Donna. Thanks for the comment. “Mon petit chou” is cute!
    Around here there’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s sexist or inappropriate to call people “love” or “pet” in stores etc. Personally I think it’s nice to be called “hon” or another endearment and would never take offences. It’s sweet and makes me smile! I like “hon.”

    Reply
  74. Hi Donna. Thanks for the comment. “Mon petit chou” is cute!
    Around here there’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s sexist or inappropriate to call people “love” or “pet” in stores etc. Personally I think it’s nice to be called “hon” or another endearment and would never take offences. It’s sweet and makes me smile! I like “hon.”

    Reply
  75. Hi Donna. Thanks for the comment. “Mon petit chou” is cute!
    Around here there’s been a lot of debate about whether it’s sexist or inappropriate to call people “love” or “pet” in stores etc. Personally I think it’s nice to be called “hon” or another endearment and would never take offences. It’s sweet and makes me smile! I like “hon.”

    Reply
  76. That’s absolutely true, Diane, that just about anything could be a term of endearment depending on the tone of voice. I call the puppy “trouble” and he wags his tail at me because I never sound strict enough!
    “Lail” is interesting. It must have been special between your grandparents.

    Reply
  77. That’s absolutely true, Diane, that just about anything could be a term of endearment depending on the tone of voice. I call the puppy “trouble” and he wags his tail at me because I never sound strict enough!
    “Lail” is interesting. It must have been special between your grandparents.

    Reply
  78. That’s absolutely true, Diane, that just about anything could be a term of endearment depending on the tone of voice. I call the puppy “trouble” and he wags his tail at me because I never sound strict enough!
    “Lail” is interesting. It must have been special between your grandparents.

    Reply
  79. That’s absolutely true, Diane, that just about anything could be a term of endearment depending on the tone of voice. I call the puppy “trouble” and he wags his tail at me because I never sound strict enough!
    “Lail” is interesting. It must have been special between your grandparents.

    Reply
  80. That’s absolutely true, Diane, that just about anything could be a term of endearment depending on the tone of voice. I call the puppy “trouble” and he wags his tail at me because I never sound strict enough!
    “Lail” is interesting. It must have been special between your grandparents.

    Reply
  81. Hi Sherrie! I love that your brother’s name for you has stuck as a family endearment! Yes, I call my pets lots of cute names too, including poppet and sweet pea!
    Jana, that story about your son is priceless! I think the endearment “tweet’eart” could definitely catch on. Love it!

    Reply
  82. Hi Sherrie! I love that your brother’s name for you has stuck as a family endearment! Yes, I call my pets lots of cute names too, including poppet and sweet pea!
    Jana, that story about your son is priceless! I think the endearment “tweet’eart” could definitely catch on. Love it!

    Reply
  83. Hi Sherrie! I love that your brother’s name for you has stuck as a family endearment! Yes, I call my pets lots of cute names too, including poppet and sweet pea!
    Jana, that story about your son is priceless! I think the endearment “tweet’eart” could definitely catch on. Love it!

    Reply
  84. Hi Sherrie! I love that your brother’s name for you has stuck as a family endearment! Yes, I call my pets lots of cute names too, including poppet and sweet pea!
    Jana, that story about your son is priceless! I think the endearment “tweet’eart” could definitely catch on. Love it!

    Reply
  85. Hi Sherrie! I love that your brother’s name for you has stuck as a family endearment! Yes, I call my pets lots of cute names too, including poppet and sweet pea!
    Jana, that story about your son is priceless! I think the endearment “tweet’eart” could definitely catch on. Love it!

    Reply
  86. In Pittsburgh, “Hon” was used as a term of friendly address. The waitresses at a popular lunch place “hon”‘d everyone. In honor of a place and time now gone, I’ve started using “Hon” (pronounced ‘hun’) to friends, neighbors, and some others. I was amused to see “Hen” used as an affectionate address between women in one of the Isabel Dalhousie books.

    Reply
  87. In Pittsburgh, “Hon” was used as a term of friendly address. The waitresses at a popular lunch place “hon”‘d everyone. In honor of a place and time now gone, I’ve started using “Hon” (pronounced ‘hun’) to friends, neighbors, and some others. I was amused to see “Hen” used as an affectionate address between women in one of the Isabel Dalhousie books.

    Reply
  88. In Pittsburgh, “Hon” was used as a term of friendly address. The waitresses at a popular lunch place “hon”‘d everyone. In honor of a place and time now gone, I’ve started using “Hon” (pronounced ‘hun’) to friends, neighbors, and some others. I was amused to see “Hen” used as an affectionate address between women in one of the Isabel Dalhousie books.

    Reply
  89. In Pittsburgh, “Hon” was used as a term of friendly address. The waitresses at a popular lunch place “hon”‘d everyone. In honor of a place and time now gone, I’ve started using “Hon” (pronounced ‘hun’) to friends, neighbors, and some others. I was amused to see “Hen” used as an affectionate address between women in one of the Isabel Dalhousie books.

    Reply
  90. In Pittsburgh, “Hon” was used as a term of friendly address. The waitresses at a popular lunch place “hon”‘d everyone. In honor of a place and time now gone, I’ve started using “Hon” (pronounced ‘hun’) to friends, neighbors, and some others. I was amused to see “Hen” used as an affectionate address between women in one of the Isabel Dalhousie books.

    Reply
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