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Looking for cute nicknames for your girlfriend, boyfriend, or kids? Here’s your master list of cute nicknames from around the world.
Pumpkin, peanut, bubby, baby, babe, bae, honey, darling, sugar, sweetie, honeybunch… English is packed full of fun, creative, and cute nicknames to call your loved ones.
From food to animals, to just plain gibberish words – lots of us love giving a cute nickname to our significant other, family, friends, and children.
And it's not just English. In every language, people have terms of endearment to show their love and affection. Learning these can add new depth to your language learning – especially if you're learning a language to speak with loved ones.
Learning pet names is also a fun way to expand your vocabulary, and it develops your cultural understanding. Many of the words used as nicknames reflect social relationships and are intertwined with the values of a particular culture.
Let's get into it! Here are some cute nicknames from around the world.
Cute English Nicknames
Starting with English, which is rich with cute and crazy nicknames for your significant other.
I listed some off at the beginning of this article, but here are some other cool nicknames:
For the guys:
- Stud muffin
For the girls:
- Cutie pie
- Sugar pie
- Sexy mama
And for kids:
- Sweet potato
Examples of how to use them:
- “Hey babe, can you come here?”
- “‘Sup, sexy mama.”
- “Bubby, eat your food.” (To a child, obviously.)
Cute Spanish Nicknames
Spanish is known as a passion-infused language, so there's no shortage of cute nicknames in Spanish!
There are some creative Spanish nicknames, such as mi perrito (“my puppy”), mi cielito (“my little heaven”), and amorcito (“little love”).
Some more cute couple nicknames:
- Media naranja – “My better half” or literally, “half an orange”
- Ojos de ángel – “Angel eyes”
- Mi reina – “My queen”
- Mi rey – “My king”
- Mi sol – “My sun”
- Mi vida – “My life”
- Mi corazón – “My heart”
Spanish has plenty of cute nicknames for girls and boys, too. The most popular are:
- Chiquito / chiquita – “Little boy” and “little girl”
- Chulo / chula – “Cutie”
- Chica / chico – “Kid” / “girl” / “guy” (This one can also be a nickname for friends!)
Examples of how you can use them:
- Hola, chica – “Hey, girl”
- Ven aquí, mi chiquito – “Come over here, little one”
- Eres mi media naranja. Te amo – “You're my better half. I love you”
You can also learn other romantic phrases to show your love in this Spanish article.
Cute French Nicknames
The French have tons of affectionate pet names they call each other. But some of them are a little less cute when translated into English.
Nicknames like mon saucisson (“my little sausage”), mon petit chou (“my little cabbage” but used like “sweetie”), mon gros (“my fat one”), and ma puce (“my flea”) are a bit strange in English.
I don't know about you, but being called a flea doesn't sound all that affectionate!
But others are other pet names for girls that are much cuter, such as:
- Ma fraise – “My strawberry”
- Mon amour – “My love”
- Mon ange – “My angel”
- Ma chérie or mon cher – “My darling” (use could also use this one for a man)
- Mon chat – “My cat”
- Ma belle – “My beautiful”
- Mon trésor – “My treasure”
- Mon bijou – “My jewel”
There are so many different ways to address your loved ones in French!
For guys, there are endearing terms like:
- Mon prince – “My prince”
- Mon ours – “My bear”
- Mon loup – “My wolf”
- Mon râleur – “My grumpy one” (If your husband is on the crotchety side, you could tenderly call him this)
Looking for good nicknames to use for your kids? Try:
- Mon bébé – “My baby”
- Mon doudou – “My cuddly thing”
- Mon cœur – “My heart”
- Mon petit monstre – “My little monster”
- Mon vilain – “My naughty one”
They're all used the same way as “sweetie” or “honey” in English.
Try expressing your love with phrases like:
- Je t'aime, ma belle – “I love you, my beauty”
- Il est mon petit monstre – “He is my little monster”
- Merci, mon loup. – “Thank you, my wolf”
Cute Italian Nicknames
Let's face it, who wouldn't want to be whispered sweet nothings in Italian? Italy is known for being warm and affectionate, and their nicknames help infuse that affection into the language.
You can watch almost any movie set in Italy and hear someone say “Mio amor!” – “My love”. This can be shortened to simply Amore or even Amo. Meanwhile in southern Italy you sometimes hear “Vita mia!” – “My life”.
Italian pet names called nomignoli are used freely and often for everyone, especially for children. Here are some examples:
- Cucciolo – “Puppy”
- Tesoro – “Treasure”
- *Bambino – “Baby”
- Mimmo – “Child”
- Polpetto – “Meatball”
All these are in the masculine “o” ending – you can change the “o” to an “a” to make it a feminine word when talking to girls.
With your significant other, you can use romantic Italian terms like:
- Gioia mia – “my joy”
- Biscottino – “little biscuit”
- Pasticcino – “cupcake”
You can even passionately exclaim, “Luce dei miei occhi!” (“Light of my eyes!”) when you see your loved one — although that's often used more as a joke.
As for cute Italian nicknames for friends, you can use:
- bella / bello – “beautiful” (for women and men respectively)
- cara / caro – “dear”
- zia / zio – “aunt” or “uncle”
Some people will only call their closest friends these terms, while others refer to everyone with pet names like these.
Try them out in sentences like:
- Pensando a te, amore mio – “Thinking of you, my love”
- Sei bellissima, cara – “You're beautiful, dear”
- Sei il mio mondo, topolino – “You're my world, little puppy”
Cute German Nicknames
There's a surprising number of ways to express your affection and liebe auf Deutsch.
Granted, some German expressions may seem a bit odd to call someone. One of the most common and popular nicknames for women is Maus or Mauschen, which translates to “mouse” and “little mouse.” It's common to hear a man call his wife or girlfriend that.
Even more interesting, the Germans have created their own hybrid animal nickname, which I personally love: Mausebär (“mouse bear”). Adorable, right?
Other good terms of endearment for your boyfriend or girlfriend:
- Schnuckiputzi – “Sweetie” or “cutie-patooty”. (It’s a hybrid word, from schnuckelig and putzig, which mean “cute” and “sweet”.)
- Honigküsse – “Honey kisses”
- Zuckerbienchen – “Little sugar bee”
- Perle – “Pearl”
- Liebling – “Darling”
- Kuschelbär – “Cuddle bear”
Cute nicknames for children are:
- Erdbeerchen – “Little strawberry”
- Bärchen – “Little bear”
- Schatz – “Jewel” or “treasure”
And you can always make a nickname even better by adding the diminutive, -chen or -lien. That basically just makes it extra cute and “little”.
Try them out with phrases like:
- Ich liebe dich so sehr Honigküsse: “I love you so much, honey kisses”
- Mein schatz, komm hilf mir: “My jewel, come help me”
- Du bist der beste, schnuckiputzi: “You're the best, sweetie”
Cute Japanese Nicknames
The interesting thing about Japanese is they don't often use nicknames at all.
The language is very formal – always referring to someone by their last name plus -san. For example, Mr. Tanaka is “Tanaka-san”.
So when it comes to expressing love, affection, and friendship in Japanese, it's usually as simple as calling your significant other by their first name only.
Using someone's first name symbolizes a comfortable, mutual affection or friendship. And calling someone you don't know by their first name is a big no-no in Japanese culture.
Whoever has seniority in the relationship has to be the one to establish that it's okay to be called by a less formal name.
But, the Japanese do have some cute nicknames. They love to make everything とてもかわいい (totemo kawaii, “very cute”).
A common example is shortening a celebrity's name: Hikki for Utada Hikaru, MatsuJun for Jun Matsumoto of Arashi, and Maririn and Meetan for Mariko Shinoda and Megumi Ohori from AKB48.
But it's much more common to create cute names by shortening the person's name and adding -chan, -kun, or -tan.
Although the general rule of thumb is -chan for girls, -kun for boys, and -tan is gender-neutral, it all depends on the person and situation.
There are some affectionate nicknames for spouses, too, like:
- 旦那 (danna) – “Hubby”
- 旦那さん (dannasan) – “Hubby”, but the -san, in this case, adds cuteness
- 嫁 (yome) – “wifey” or “bride”
- 夫 (otto) – “Husband”
- 妻 or 奥さん (tsuma or okusan) – “Wife”
- ダーリン (darin) – “darling”
- ハニー (hanii) – “honey”
Examples of how you can use them:
- おはよう、ともちゃん (Ohayou, Tomo-chan): “‘Morning, Tomo-chan!” (Nickname for a friend, Tomoyo)
- 旦那さんは今夜料理しています (Dannasan wa konya ryouri shite imasu): “My husband is cooking tonight”
- ハニー、大好きだよ (Hanii, daisuki da yo): “Honey, I love you”
Cute Korean Nicknames
As with Japanese, Korean has rules about calling someone by their first name only – and it's not very common.
How you address a person defines your relationship, and you must be on close terms to start calling them a nickname. But unlike Japanese, creative and cute nicknames are quite a common way to show love and affection in Korean!
A lot of times in K-dramas, you'll hear couples call each other cute and names like:
- 귀요미 (kiyomi) – “Cutie”
- 애인 (aein) – “Sweetheart”
- 여보 (yeobo) – “Darling” or “honey”
- 자기야 (jagiya) – “Baby”
- 내사랑 (nae sarang) – “My love”
- 오빠 (oppa) – “Older brother” but used by women to boyfriends or husbands as “honey”
- 왕자님 (wangjanim) – “Prince”
- 공주님 (gongjunim) – “Princess”
They even have a cute nickname for girls who whine – 찡찡이(jjing-jjingi, “whiny”).
You can even call out the affectionate greeting, “안녕, 내사랑!” (annyeong, nae sarang!, “hello, my love!”)
Ways to use these Korean pet names:
- 여보난당신을사랑합니다 (yeobo nan dangsin-eul salanghabnida): “Honey, I love you”
- 나의아름다운공주님 (naui aleumdaun gongjunim): “My beautiful princess”
- 이봐귀요미 (ibwa kiyomi): “Hey cutie”
Now Go Use These Cute Nicknames With Your Loved Ones!
I hope these nicknames from around the world will help you get more speaking practice with loved ones and build deeper relationships!
After all, what's more enticing to practise speaking than when you can see someone's reaction to a lovely new nickname? So start sweet-talking away!