Valentine’s Special: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Last year around this time, I looked at Candy Heart Sayings. Today on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday, we’re looking at what to call your sweetheart.

Many people choose a nickname for their girlfriend, boyfriend, significant other, or spouse. You could probably put lovey-dovey nicknames in categories for how we get them. I’ll take a look at each category and give you some creative suggestions for what to call your beloved this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Animals

I don’t know what is so appealing about a bear. The ones I’ve seen in nature shows seem to be large, scary, and dangerous. But Huggy Bear, Teddy Bear, Big Bear, etc. are common pet names. If you want to go with this theme, here is some more unusual inspiration from the animal kingdom.

Love Bird – Love birds are aptly named, as they mate for life, cuddle constantly, and lovingly nibble one another’s beaks.

Firefly – Not only was it a wonderful show too-soon-cancelled, it is an insect that lights up for its mate. A perfect nickname for the one who lights up your room when they enter.

photo by Rob Bixby, Wikimedia Commons

photo by Rob Bixby, Wikimedia Commons

Bonobo – A highly sexed primate who sometimes “fence with their penises, like phallic swashbucklers.” Wow, and I thought some human guys were rather proud of themselves.

Dolphin – An animal that will “essentially hump-back anything it can get its fins on, including inanimate objects and sea turtles,” but don’t get too worked up here. It’s a fast-action show, taking only 12 seconds for the dolphin to release.

Albatross – Another bird that mates for life, albatrosses are also rather affectionate and like to dance with and for one another.

Foods

Look around your kitchen, grocery store, or farmer’s market for some inspiration here. Your loved one might be Pudding, Honey, Sugar, Dumpling, or even Lamb Chop. But don’t stop with the tried-and-true; think which foods really resemble your sweetheart.

Fruit Loops – for the cute and crazy

Whipped Cream – for the sweet and smooth

Cumin, Curry, or Tabasco – for the hot lover types

Fettucine Alfredo – for the one whose rich love nearly gives you a heart attack

Wikimedia Commons

Bacon - for the one who makes everything good even better

Milk & Bread – for the one who is a staple in your life

Chocolate – for the one who is a staple in your life

Physical Aspects

Another aspect in naming your sweetheart is their looks. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (Margaret Wolfe Hungerford), and we behold a lot of beauty out there. It comes across with nicknames like Handsome, Gorgeous, Hot Legs, Dimples, Blue Eyes, etc. But what unique quality do you want draw attention to? Here are a few ideas you probably haven’t heard.

Six-Pack – You appreciate that washboard torso, so why not give your guy some kudos for that workout?

Curves - Simple and to-the-point for what plenty of men appreciate about their women.

Cute Caboose – You like being face-to-face, but you also like it when they walk away–nice view. 

Still looking good – 24 years with Kyra!
Wikimedia Commons

Laugh Lines – One of the best aspects of older couples is our laugh lines. They are beautiful because they show that we have smiled with our sweethearts long enough to leave a lasting crease of happiness.

Broad shoulders – Yeah, this one would be me. I mean, for my husband. Seriously, I nearly drool sometimes just thinking about those shoulders and the way they curve down toward his biceps and then his… Never mind.

Cutesy Names

Then there are those nicknames couples invent that make all of their friends vomit a little every time they are used. As if the cutesy couple is living in a world of their own, where speaking to your beloved like you did to your stuffed animal at age 5 is perfectly normal.

Seriously, though, as long as you keep it under wraps, knock yourselves out. If it makes you happy, go right ahead and call each other Cutie Patootie, McDreamy, Pooky, Sweetums, or even Shmoopy.

Here are some more creative nicknames you might want to try.

Kenchy – This is part of my campaign to bring back the obsolete word “kench.” To kench is to laugh loudly.

Pigsney – This is an archaic term of endearment, which apparently derived from “pig’s eye.” I don’t know how that’s a compliment, but I do know that pigs are quite smart.

Par’mach’kai – Klingon term of endearment, meaning “loved one” or “romantic companion.”

Squeebaby - Every time you see him/her, you want to squee! with delight. So why not celebrate that?

Sexual References

Make up your own. My mother reads this blog. I was already on the edge with the Bonobo description above.

If you need more inspiration, try the nickname generator at Artifacting.com.

What do I call my sweetheart? We’re not given to pet names much. However, the most common nickname I use with my husband is simply “Love.” It seems to say everything I feel about him, all in one nice short word.

What do you call your sweetheart? Do you have pet names for each other What pet names would you add to my categories?

Sources: Listverse – 10 Weird Animal Sex Habits; National Wildlife Federation – Animal Valentines; Miami on the Blog – Romantic Love of Animals; Care2 – Animal Romance; BBC Wildlife – Mating of the Albatross Bird; Mother Nature Network – 11 Animals that Mate for Life; BlurtIt – World’s Most Romantic Animals; Center for Science in the Public Interest – A 3,000 Calorie Dinner? Belly-issimo!; LovingYou.com – Romantic Nicknames; Matador Network – 20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback; Oxford Words blog – Six obsolete endearments for old-fashioned romantics; Klingon Dictionary

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About Julie Glover

Author of mysteries and young adult fiction. Lover of words, grammar, and all things language. City girl from Texas who owns go-go boots and cowboy boots.
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30 Responses to Valentine’s Special: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

  1. Shmoopy! I like how you understand that chocolate, like bread, is a staple. One wonders how the Bible would be different had a woman been taking notes when Satan tempted Jesus: “Man does not live by bread alone. Well, maybe man does. Woman needs chocolate.” And I don’t think I’d like being called “Albatross” seeing as how I’m a huge fan of Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” My husband and I have been together so long — more than half our lives now — that it’s more like “Hey hon” than any “shmoopy” stuff any more. But the laugh-lines are surely there… :)

    • Julie Glover says:

      Great example from the Bible! I laughed out loud at that. Congratulations on your long marriage! Half your lives together? Perhaps you should call each other Duct Tape for your staying power. ;)

  2. My husband calls me Big Butt. Since he says he likes it, I guess that’s good! Cutie-patootie is either the dog or the turtle.

    • Julie Glover says:

      Wow, really? Hilarious.

      I do think some men really appreciate a well-rounded derriere. One of my favorite lines from the sitcom Scrubs is when main character J.D. starts dating a black woman and he asks his black best friend if he should do anything differently. His friend responds that everything’s the same, except that when the girlfriend says, “Does this make my butt look big?” you say, “Hell, yeah!”

  3. CC MacKenzie says:

    Hahaha!

    Okay, I’ll confess, H calls me, ‘Hun.’ And most people might imagine that it’s short for ‘Honey.’ Nope. It’s short for Atilla!

    My love words for him are ‘Fat Bastard.’

    He deserves it, no?

  4. Catie Rhodes says:

    My husband and I rarely call each other by our given names. We make up funny nicknames for each other a good bit.

    We also sort of play the dozens (trade insults) with each other. Have you ever heard “Tramp” by Otis Redding? That sounds a lot like my husband and me going back and forth. Without the singing, of course.

  5. We’re not too inventive. Most often it’s “hun.” Unless my husband has just slayed a spider for me (*shudder*). Then I call him Chris-inator instead of terminator :)

    • Julie Glover says:

      I suspect he feels super-good being called Chris-inator. For me, it’s roaches. Anyone who kills a roach for me can choose the Schwarzenegger character name of their choice.

  6. I’m not creative when it comes to pet names. Neither of us are. He calls me Baby and Princess. I call him Baby and Hun. Sometimes I feel goofy and I call him Booger Bear or something ridiculous like that.

    And by the way, I think shoulders/arms and jaw lines are so sexy on a man… if chiseled. :)

  7. We don’t have nicknames for each other. Sometimes, though rarely, my husband will call me “darling” but I don’t call him anything but James. I’d never heard of most of these nicknames, Julie. Wow. Some of them are really “out there”!
    Patti

    • Julie Glover says:

      Yes, they are “out there,” Patti. On purpose. I just think it’s funny that someone one day started calling their loved one “Lambchop” or “Shmoopy” so I wondered why not all kinds of other crazy notions? Bacon brings to mind more thoughts of love for me than a lambchop, you know. We mostly don’t use nicknames in my house either, just now and then.

  8. I laughed out loud over what you wrote under sexual references. lol
    My hub and I use nicknames. There’s one that I have no memory of how it started. “Pie pie.” We mostly use that one in notes or cards now. :)

  9. Jeff says:

    A “Firefly” reference!! That makes me very happy! My car is named “Serenity” and has a decal on the rear window in the same lettering as the movie. Now, back to the subject at hand. My wife and I don’t indulge much in nicknames. We do refer to each other as “my love” frequently, though. However, I sometimes call my youngest daughter, “My little creme brulee,” though.

    • Julie Glover says:

      Ooh, Serenity! (We own the movie. Go figure.) With your comment on creme brulee, I am now hungry. Thanks, Jeff!

      • Jeff says:

        We own “Serenity,” the one season of “Firefly,” all seven seasons of “Buffy,” and all five seasons of “Angel.” Oh, and “Cabin in the Woods,” and “The Avengers.” We kind of like Joss Whedon.

  10. John Holton says:

    Mary and I call each other “Buns.” In fact, after seeing the movie “Adam’s Rib” (where Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn called each other Pinky – him with a Y at the end, her with an IE at the end), we decided that I’d be “Bunz” and she’d be “Buns.” I think it was short for “I love your buns,” which we still say to each other. And people wonder how we’ve made it 35 years…

  11. Boy, That Man and I are out of the loop, LOL. (I only refer to him as That Man online because he doesn’t want his name out there.)

    Growing up, however, my sister and I giggled over our parents’ nicknames. Every Christmas there’d be a present under the tree for “Passion Pants” from “Panting Passion” and one for “Panting Passion” from “Passion Pants.” It was probably a good thing the gifts inside rarely fit the tags!

  12. S. J. Maylee says:

    Fun post, Julie. Were are not too original, I call him honey and he calls me baby. He’s a total sweetheart that man of mine. I’m a lucky girl.

  13. Julia King says:

    As I don’t have a boyfriend/hubs, I will offer some other terms of endearment I use for people I love:

    Dad: Dadio, Pops, Dadsy-pooh
    Mom: Momma Mia, Mummy, Momsy-pooh
    Sting (as in Gordon Sumner or The Police): Stingy-pooh

    If you can’t tell, I like to end my terms of endearment with “pooh” like Winnie the Pooh. Super cute.

    If I had a boyfriend/hubs I think I’d call him lovey-pooh. haha No, that sounds just wrong. :)

  14. K.B. Owen says:

    Fab post, Julie! I always learn so much here. ;)

    My hubby and I just call each other “sweetie.” In fact, that’s kind of a funny story. An officemate of hubby’s once saw me in the grocery store. He told him later that he didn’t say “hi” to me because he couldn’t remember my name. He’d only ever heard hubster call me “sweetie” on the phone at work! He knew he couldn’t call me that, LOL.

    Sometimes we’ll get goofy and go with those extravagant endearments when we’re joking around: “Oh, sweetheart, love-of-my-life, delight-of-my-being, thriller-of-my-soul…” We like to laugh.

  15. Pingback: Embarrassing My Kids and #ROW80 | Julie Glover, Writer

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