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