We recognize you love the beautiful language itself—that’s a dead giveaway, however how around a person, a French person?
It doesn’t need to be a French lover. It deserve to be a best friend, homestay mommy or father, sister or brother.
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There are limitless ways to present admiration for someone various other than saying “je t’aime” (I love you) in French.
Like English, French regards to endearment with cute phrases attached come them are what assist emphasize comfort and confidence in any type of relationship.
As a French learner, component of your discovering goal is come sound, talk and also act choose a native, that goes without gift said. Vocabulary and also grammar are important—yes, but so is cultural immersion.
And believe it or not, part of thinking favor a French native entails replacing name with terms that endearment!
Not only that, but the French also quite enjoy adding small, little endings (the diminutive) to specific words to just make them sound cuter.
We’re going to explore every one of this here, for this reason by the finish of this post you have to be feeling prefer a natural-born French romantic!
Before gaining into our list of terms of endearment, we’re going to warmth up by diving into French diminutive endings, i m sorry I pointed out above.
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What’s Le Diminutif (The Diminutive)
The diminutive in French have the right to sometimes obtain out that hand, and this goes for most Romance languages, i.e. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, etc.
While it may exist somewhat in English, it’s no at every the same. Two English instances using the diminutive go something like this:
1. Itsy, bitsy
2. Tubsy, wubsy
The an initial one we tend to associate with a spider: the “itsy, bitsy, spider.”
While the spider is probably not at every small, maybe the biggest, many disgusting, scariest ginormous spider we’ve ever before seen—the diminutive walk its project to aid ease the fear by adding an itsy, bitsy (in this case) before the word spider.
Itsy, bitsy is instead of the regular English native little.
See whereby this is going?
The 2nd example, tubsy, wubsy, is well, a lighter, nicer method to speak to someone overweight.
Tubsy, wubsy is replacing the word tub. Calling who a huge bath tub is terribly mean, for this reason by an altering it to tubsy, we are lightening the mood. The diminutive go its work-related here since while we’re straight up mentioning someone or something together “fat,” we are still sounding cute. Thus, avoiding any arguments, fights—you gain the picture.
Are there any other English diminutive examples you have the right to think of?
In French, the diminutive is semi-similar, the difference is the it can work for nearly any word, making it all the an ext confusing.
Some French diminutive words are even taken into consideration official thesaurus ones!
What they carry out is add a suffix come the finish of regular French words. The lucky point is the there are only two end to remember.
French Diminuitive Suffixes
1. –et (masculine)
2. -ette (feminine)
At the end of mrs words, one –et is added to do nouns (person, place or thing) seem smaller sized (diminutive). And also an –ette is added at the finish of feminine native to make those seem smaller. Such as:
un livre (a book) can end up being un livret — a booklet (masculine)
un jardin (a garden) becomes un jardinet — a small garden (masculine)
une cuisine (a kitchen) becomes une cuisinette — a little kitchen (feminine)
une fille, une fillette — a little girl (feminine)
And therefore on…
While this dominion may be true for most French words—the rule do bending a bit, like we view in all languages.
For instance, there space times once a feminine suffix is included to the finish of a woman word.
What’s that all about?
You’ll view what I mean when we gain to our perform of French regards to endearment—that reminds me. Let’s go appropriate ahead and not acquire too brought away here!
Just psychic to save the diminutive dominion under her belt so girlfriend won’t obtain lost as we walk over the list.21 Must-Know French regards to Endearment for a Lover or Friend
Note: The perform is in no certain order, but I am arranging the words into two groups. The an initial will it is in “the regulars” and also the 2nd will it is in “the animal names.”
Of all the hundreds of funny, endearing pet names because that a lover or girlfriend in French, these 21 room the most popular amongst native speakers. The can adjust though, depending upon regions in ~ France—or even French Quebec, so don’t take my whole word because that it.
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Every video clip comes v clickable subtitles, flashcards and also fun quizzes so you learn new words while you watch.
You can even kind the words listed below into the snucongo.org find bar to uncover videos that usage them. It’s a great way to hear French terms of endearment in natural, native contexts—like this Disney clip that offers the phrase ma chérie (more on that below!). To clock that video clip and the complete library v all the finding out features, inspect out a free snucongo.org trial.
So why 21 French terms of endearment? Well, due to the fact that 20 would be also cliché—and therefore is the endearing term, mon amour—we all know what the means! which is why i didn’t include it in this list, if you’re left wonder later.
By the way, you deserve to learn even an ext French regards to endearment by exploring this YouTube video by snucongo.org:
1. Mon cœur
English translation: my heart
I think about mon cœur another overrated endearing term, however I couldn’t skip it due to its popularity, and especially not after currently taking the spotlight far from mon amour.
Mon cœur (my heart) is merely not regularly used at all in English, do you agree? I’ve literally just heard that in a movie:
And you’re my heart, kid. Now, can I live there is no my heart?
That’s a line from the movie “Blow”—and that’s about it.
I would certainly say that mon cœur translates—though not literally—to, “my sweetheart.”
Both of these puffed up terms (mon amour and mon cœur) should solely be sincerely claimed within a loving, unconditional, passionate relationship.
I say unconditional since it’s very common for parents (in France and also other Romance-language speaking countries) to constantly refer to their children as mon cœur, mon amour or even ma vie (my life).
I think this endearment-expressing high quality is common amongst English-speaking homes too though.
On the various other hand, the French do also enjoy flaunting these somewhat major phrases to anyone, and I average anyone.
The French are much better lovers right? Well, that’s a little too simple, because they’re component of a different culture altogether. They can be more verbally friendly than anything else, but that’s up to you to decide once you visit France someday.
2. Ma moitié
English translation: My other half
While it is more literally interpreted as “my various other half” in English, I’d favor to placed it as “my much better half” instead, since this is just how English speakers typically say it. Doesn’t it just click and sound somewhat much more natural?
In translation, the key is to find the specific feeling a word provides you, or the closest equivalent idiom because that a phrase. Back we favor to be precise most the the time, it’s an excellent to forget around the literalness of things sometimes.
I’m no saying the you can’t translate ma moitié come “my other half,” it makes perfect sense.
But for part reason, the an ext popular English version, “my far better half,” feeling the have to make our various other halves an ext special by putting them increase on a pedestal (even though several of our stubborn selves might not actually think our other halves are better than us).
To it is in honest, I choose the French version way “better.” Simply, ma moitié.
Je besoin de ma moitié ! I require my other half (better half)!
Ma moitié is, prefer in English, usually said to a “partner in crime,” or a “main squeeze”—whether it it is in your best friend, sister, brothers or lover.
English translation: my blankie or my cuddly thing
I understand what you’re thinking…
Doudou sound like—but i promise you! It’s not!
And it’s untranslatable! Great. So what does the literally mean?
It’s a child’s many cherished, unable-to-let-go item together a toddler, typically a stuffed animal or blankie lock can’t sleep, live or breathe without. And friend guessed it, it’s a widely supplied term that endearment by the French.
Unfortunately us don’t have specific equivalent—and that’s too bad because i really prefer the sound the it.
So whereby does this endearing doudou derive from?
According to international French speakers, particularly from african countries, such together the West Indies, doudou is a slang/casual term offered to refer to a girlfriend or wife, and it’s technically only said to females. This may describe why today the French usage it together an expression of endearment.
Keep in psychic that in spite of its creolian roots, it have the right to be said to both sexes when offered as an endearing term in France and also other French-speaking countries.
I’d speak the closest word to doudou in our English endearment thesaurus is “pookie,” which, like doudou, is a fun, wacky, yet cute means to call a lover.
Viens ici mon doudou ! Come here, my pookie!
I mean, can you you re welcome tell me why we usage “pookie” in English?
It’s just one of those stunner inexplicable words.
Note: Don’t get doudou puzzled with dodo. If you recognize what dormir means, climate you must know what dodo means. It’s a shorter/slang variation of dormir, which converts to, “sleepy bye-bye.”
Dodo is not at all the same as doudou, however one way to remember the both is prefer this:
Pas de dodo sans ton doudou ! No sleep without your blankie!
4. Ma chérie
English translation: My darling
We have a perfect, win translation in English! Yay!
Before girlfriend go and also start celebrating, allow me repeat you the the French indigenous chérie is more complex than friend think.
Can friend tell me the distinction between chérie, chéri, cher and chère? Man, that’s a the majority of chers (I can’t avoid thinking about the singer! Is that wherein she got her name from? great Google question).
Now back to chérie…
Ma chérie and mon chéri both refer to “my darling,” the endearing term i am sharing through you here. The difference is that one is feminine (ma chérie, i m sorry is said come a female) and the other is masculine (mon chéri, which is said to a male).
The following two, ma chère (feminine) and mon cher (masculine) both interpret to “my dear.” This would certainly be the proper word to use once writing a letter or merely calling someone, “my dear.”
Like mon cœur and mon amour, ma chérie or mon chéri is said with an innocent, loving tone to either a lover or child, and even periodically to a friend—especially in France.
Easier than you thought?
Tu es ma chérie pour toute la vie. You’re mine darling for all eternity.
5. Mon trésor
English translation: My treasure
Mon trésor reminds me the a “The lord of the Rings” movie. Psychic Gollum/Schmiegel, who’s constantly saying “my precious”?
Yep! That’s what ns would translate mon trésor to!
Although the literally method “my treasure,” in English, we don’t really use the word “treasure” to refer to a love one. Jewels and stones deserve to be precious, favor “treasure”—see the correlation?
The just fault ns would give my an individual translation is the fact that it’s generally only claimed to females in English. An extremely rarely execute we hear women contact men, “precious.”
But if a mommy calls a child “precious” in English, it would certainly still be plausible.
In French, mon trésor can be claimed to both males and females, friends, family and also children.
No one is going to look at you favor you have actually ten heads because that calling a dude a item of “treasure.” If he’s a hunk of a French man, go appropriate ahead and also call him mon trésor!
X point out the spot!
6. Mon ange
English translation: My angel
Here’s another of those evident ones.
In English we usage “my angel” together a favored term of affection.
Other develops include, “angel face,” “my sweet angel,” etc.
And that French counterpart, mon ange, is just as favored. It can be supplied for both sexes and toward children.
Elle est mon âme, elle est mon cœur, elle est mon ange.
She is my soul, she is mine love, she is my angel. (Lyrics indigenous a song dubbed “Elle” through Mélissa M).
7. Mon chou
English translation: my cabbage
This is the only endearing native on the list that’s pertained to food.
Yes, chou means “cabbage,” yet what this expression actually conveys is “my favourite one.”
This is whereby things begin to acquire a little tricky, because there are various other variations of mon chou to do them sound cuter (remember that diminutive lesson?).
List of arrays include:
ma choupette (f) — here mon chou is converted into the feminine form, which is used for females only.
mon choupinou (m) / ma choupinette (f) — this makes the phrase even cuter.
mon chouchou (m) / ma chouchoutte (f) — another means to make the name sound cute.
mon petit chou (my little cabbage) — can only be said to males or little boys.
I’d to speak “pumpkin,” “pumpkin pie, “baby cakes” or any other surname referring come food.
8. Mon bébé
English translation: My baby
Notice that words bébé is masculine—it can’t be changed!
You’re most likely asking yourself, “how to be I an alleged to know when to covert?”
It’s a understanding that comes through practice and learning. You’re not a French indigenous just yet—don’t be so difficult on yourself!
French natives are technically born v this knowledge, therefore they just know once masculine words can change and be offered toward females or not, etc. They also practice many in school.
Bébé is up on the “obvious” list v mon cœur, mon trésor, ma chérie and mon amour—typical.
Anyone can be a baby. And as in English and French, this nickname can be given to almost anyone, even your cats or dogs!
Speaking of animals…let’s move on to some French regards to endearment with animal names.
9. Mon chaton
English translation: My kitten
Mon chaton—just prefer that, have the right to be claimed to both sexes.
Similar to mon chou, mon chaton also has numerous cute varieties:
mon chatounet (m) / ma chatounette (f)
minou (masculine only)
minet (m) / minette (f)
mon p’tit chaton (my little kitty, unisex)
All that these average “little kitty,” yet only particular ones deserve to be claimed to males or females.
Tu es ma minette. You’re my kitty witty (said only to a woman).
10. Mon lapin
English translation: My rabbit
Mon lapin is easily unisex, provided for children and all.
Like chaton, there are also other diminutive execution of lapin that help make the French endearing term sound every the cuter:
Just to litter it out there, according to my French source, mon lapin is generally said to males and also young boys.
Young girls, daughters for example, can be referred to a lapin, yet unfortunately over there isn’t a feminine conversion for this endearing surname (as girlfriend might’ve noticed). That tho doesn’t average that a female can’t it is in a love husband bunny!
“Honey bunny” is the perfect equivalent, don’t you think?
11. Ma puce
English translation: my flea
Yes, a feminine word!
I know I stated that no one of these to be in any specific order regarding popularity, however as for personal experience, ma puce is pretty popular.
I’ve heard it with my very own ears, amongst friends, lovers and also children.
And just like most pet names, ma puce also has its diminutive varieties:
ma petite puce (f) — little flea
ma pupuce (f) — tiny, small flea
What’s therefore cute around a flea? to win me. Because they’re small?
The French have actually their ways.
We don’t have an equivalent, so I’d say “sweetie” fits simply fine.
Note: Ma puce have the right to be said to both males and also females, also if it’s a feminine word!
Je t’aime ma petite puce! ns love girlfriend sweetie pie!
12. Mon poussin
English translation: my chicky
Poussin actually translates to “chick,” not choose a “hot babe, chick,” however a “baby chicken.”
We’re talking about animals here.
And so as it goes, if it’s a masculine word it’s still unisex with diminutive varieties!
mon poussinet (m) / ma poussinette (f) — A cuter variation of “chicky” through a feminine variation as well.
Our English translation for this cuter version? I think “chicky-poo” might suffice.
13. Mon loulou
While loulou doesn’t actually median anything, it’s believed to have from loup, i beg your pardon in French method “wolf.”
Loulou could technically be the diminutive that loup, but both are completely separate from each other.
Unfortunately there’s no translation because that mon loulou.
Other versions do include:
ma louloute (f) /ma louloutte (f) — both mean the same, just preference of spelling (female version).
mon loup (m) — my wolf (said to males only)
Keep in mind that mon loulou and mon loup are only said to males or boys—no exceptions.
I would say the mon loup is the indistinguishable to “sparky.” You wouldn’t yes, really sincerely contact a mrs “sparky” now, would certainly you?
14. Mon oisillon
English translation: My tiny birdie.
Oiseau is words for “bird” in French, so oisillon is the diminutive.
Another expression includes:
mon petit oiseau — my tiny bird
Both mon oisillon and mon petit oiseau are typically said come males and also females. There’s no preference.
English equivalents might include “my little lovey dovey,” “my small birdie” or “my little dove.”
15. Mon nounours
English translation: My teddy bear
Although the technical expression is mon ours (my bear), the diminutive variation here, mon nounours, is much more popular.
French natives are an ext likely to usage mon nounours because it’s cute, duh.
And choose mon loup, it need to only be used toward males—females are excluded native this one (sorry, ladies).
English translations include, “my tiny teddy bear” or “my teddy bear.”
Demain je sors avec mon petit nounours. tomorrow I’m going out v my small teddy.
16. Ma biche
English translation: mine doe
Okay, currently here’s one because that the ladies!
And I recognize at very first glance the French word may look a little off, however it doesn’t have actually anything to carry out with female dogs!
It’s actually a female deer—a doe, a deer, a mrs deer!
Other written styles include:
Both because that females only!
17. Ma Caille
English translation: My quail
These next 4 terms that endearment ~ above the perform all have to do with the bird species, therefore that makes a full of five, including mon poussin.
Ma caille (another feminine word) have the right to be generally said to both women and men. There are no various other variations the ma caille (my quail) in French.
It’s tough to translate considering us don’t really have actually an same in our own language.
Tu es la to add belle caille de toutes. You are the many beautiful “chickie-poo” the all.
The native caille has a double meaning in French. It’s slang because that “freezing,” so don’t obtain the two mixed up!
Ça caille ! It’s freezing!
18. Mon coco
English translation: My hen
I know you know a “hen” is a woman bird, for this reason you’re most likely wondering why words coco is masculine. That’s just the means it is!
Mon coco, “my hen,” does have actually a mrs version: Ma cocotte.
So, if you’re thinking about calling her French woman lover a hen, don’t forget to convert it!
19. Mon caneton
English translation: My duckling
Canard, as many of you could know, method “duck” in French.
It’s a crowd pleasing dish found on most French menus—is it every coming earlier to you now?
Mon caneton, “my duckling,” is the charming, cuter method to refer love while tho talking about ducks.
There space no variations for this phrase, however it can be supplied for both males and females.
Disregard the “masculinity” the the word.
20. Ma poule
English translation: My chicken
What’s the address poultry in France? They eat a hell of a the majority of it, so that can explain why there room so many endearing terms that pay homage come French culinary culture.
Ma poule, like mon poussin, refers to “chickens,” and endearingly method “chickie-poo.”
Although ma poule is unisex, other variations include:
mon poulet (m) — this version can only be said to males
ma poulette (f) — females only
21. Ma crevette
English translation: My shrimp
Last yet not least, ma crevette. It’s a feminine word with a diminutive ending! how sweet!
This one can go both ways—animal-related or food-related endearing name. The finest English equivalent I’d offer it is “munchkin.”
Shrimps are a form of food some of us eat, and also so space munchkins! (From Dunkin’ Donuts). It’s small, cute and fun, i beg your pardon is why I made decision that translation.
We simply don’t call our lover or friend “little shrimp” come express love and also fondness.
In fact, a “little shrimp” in English is the opposite. It degrades a person, implying that they’re weak, squirmy and small. This go not host the same an interpretation in French.
So let’s leaving it at “munchkin!” Ma crevette can be for both the guys and gals.
Je t’aime ma petite crevette! ns love friend my little munchkin!
So, over there you have actually it!
21 ways to kindly let someone you’re dearly fond of castle in French.
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And that still doesn’t end there.
Like language, the perform keeps going, so store exploring!
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