Compliments and sweetness: endearment, used by the Americans in communication

In many couples, families or even groups, instead of using names, people often call each other by different nicknames: schmoopie, fish or something more rare or fun. Not complete without this in the US, the newspaper writes FluentU.

Комплименты и сладости: ласковые обращения, которые используют американцы в общении

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Often people use affectionate nicknames to show their affection to you; home of the nicknames that people use in the narrow circle – a symbol very close relationship. Some people use the pet name only to your wife/husband or loved one. And sometimes you can call “dear” or “my fish” because they don’t know or forgot your name.

It is important to remember that under some circumstances such treatment would be quite permissible and natural, but there are situations where they are completely inappropriate.

When you can use the pet

Everything has its time and place. Sometimes affectionately refer to person is possible and even necessary, and sometimes not worth it. Women, especially older ones, use a gentle treatment more often than men, but there are situations when “baby” instead of the name of not annoying anyone.

When appropriate endearment and nicknames:

  • when you are in a romantic relationship;
  • in the family circle;
  • with close friends;
  • with other people who themselves use different nicknames (this means that in their environment so accepted);
  • in informal situations (at a party, if you don’t know exactly how a person’s name);
  • with children.

When not to use a pet name or nickname:

  • when you are sure it will appeal to the interlocutor;
  • if you are a man and speak to the girl or woman (it may sound rude and demeaning);
  • with strangers;
  • in a professional environment at work, school, etc.

Remember that this is not strict rules and recommendations. The situations are different. Sometimes a diminutive form or the words can be regarded as humiliating, as if in this way you are trying to show that you are older, smarter and superior. If you are not sure people will be glad to hear in his address “my dear” or “babe”, you don’t have to call him that.

Why do Americans use the pet?

Around the world people call each other affectionate words, especially if they are in a romantic relationship. According to some studies, couples who call each other little pet names or nicknames, happier than those who don’t.

Calling each other in a special way, we become closer and strengthen their relationship. This applies not only to those who is in a romantic relationship, but couples with children (and without), just friends.

What gentle words used by Americans turning to friends, loved ones and strangers


Many languages have special diminutive suffixes that add to the semantics of an existing word the value of affection and humanistically. These are Russian suffixes -ish, -chick/cheque or Spanish-ito and-ita. In English these suffixes are almost there.

Instead, we use gentle handling – the words with General meaning “child” or “young animal”.

  • Baby. The word “baby” (baby) usually call each other people who are in a relationship. Improper to use that word in relation to strangers or complete strangers.
  • Babe. In colloquial speech the word “babe” is often called a beautiful woman, but perceived it as dismissive and rude, like “cow.” In close relations, “babe” — a term of endearment, and not only to female but also to male. In this case it can be translated roughly as “baby”, “baby”.
  • Bunny. It’s hard to imagine anything more cute than little Bunny. “Bunny” is “Bunny”, “hare”. So call each other in a relationship. Want this word sounded more tender? Here is an option — “Honey-bunny”.


Names of sweets also sometimes help to Express tender feelings. Here and “sweet pea” (sweet peas), and “sweetie pie” (sweet cake), and a number of all kinds of desserts and sweets. Here are some of the most common “sweet” treatment:

  • Honey.What could be sweeter than honey? Sometimes this word is shortened to “hon” or “hun” and it means “darlingdear”, “sweetie”, “dearie” and “sweetie”. This word works in almost any situation. So you can call and a beloved, a girlfriend, and child. “Can you pass me my phone, honey?” sounds more kindly.
  • Sweetheart. “My love”, “sweetheart/sweetie” and stuff like that. This word has a broader significance as “dear” and “honey man.” In this sense, it can be used in relation to an unfamiliar person. For example, a nurse in the emergency room may call you “sweetheart”, if you do not know your name.
  • Sugar.“Sugar” talking to strangers more often than friends and relatives. It’s something like “sweetheart” or “darling”.

Couples often call each other and other “sweet” names. Very common are: “muffin”, “cupcake”, “baby cake”, “sugar plum” and others.


Some gentle handling are a praise or a compliment. To make a nice person, you mention something attractive in his/her appearance (eyes, hair) or just call it beautiful.

  • Blue eyes.You can call a nice man, “blue eyes” (“brown eyes”, etc.), and it will be affection (“my blue-eyed”) – the person understands that you this eye color like. Eyes what first of all pay attention, no wonder about them there are so many poems and songs.
  • Beautiful. If you talk to a stranger, call him or her””beautiful”, you flirt, and very uncomplicated. For example, it may sound like this: “Hey there, beautiful” (Hey, gorgeous!), so be careful with that word. Although a close person to hear from you “Hey there, beautiful” will be pleased. So usually appeal to women. Man should I say “handsome” (handsome). “Hey there, handsome!”
  • Gorgeous. “Gorgeous” means “very beautiful” and “luxurious” and is used almost as much as “beautiful”. The only difference is that men are to hear it, too, will be nice!
  • Hottie. This word with sexual overtones, so use with care. In relation to strangers is very rude flirting. But in a relationship to say “hottie” (hot) can.

Different good things

Some are designed to show that you appreciate your companion. For this purpose, the names of different things with an overall positive meaning. Usually say to each other couples, not friends and certainly not strangers.

  • Prince/princess. Imagine a Prince or Princess: this beautiful young creature in beautiful clothes, right? That is why each other is often called couples. Just remember that if you turn to the girl, the word “Princess” can be a negative sense – say, Oh, what a Princess (naughty, spoiled). So be careful using it – follow the context and his tone.
  • Angel.“Angel” is a kind, lovely creature. When you call someone “angel”, this is a very gentle treatment.
  • Love. “Love” in America is a strong word, so say someone who you really care for him. But in Britain, “love” is a very common appeal to any woman, including strangers, and it means “sweetie”, “honey”.
  • Lover boy/lover girl. It is a more intimate appeal. It is clear that “lover” you can hardly call an unfamiliar person. “Love” is just a gentle word, “lover boy” or “lover girl” is quite playful.

Youth slang

There are some gentle handling, which are often used by younger people.

  • Boo. One of the most common “boo”” means “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. In fact, it is borrowed from the French word “beau” which means “fan”. This word is often found in the lyrics of popular songs.
  • Bae. A shortened form of the word “babe” with a value of “”boyfriend” or” girlfriend”” is often found in the network.
  • Main Squeeze. “My girlfriend” or “my boyfriend”, that is the person you often clench (squeeze) to embrace. It is very informal, slang expression that, in General, means “the most important person in my life.”

Old-fashioned words

Sometimes the pet go out of fashion; they still use the older generation, but they are already perceived as old-fashioned.

  • Dear. “Dear/expensive”. This word is extremely common in English textbooks, especially the older ones, now can be heard except from his grandmother (there is another version of “dearie” – darling). Grandma might tell you: “Be a dear and help me”, that is, “be good, help grandma”. Friends you won’t say for sure.
  • Darling. This word is now used mainly in cinematography from the mouth of the genteel ladies who utter it breathlessly. In real life, “darling” they say older people, especially women, to those who are especially dear.
  • Doll.“Doll” — a “doll” or “darling”. Also a bit outdated treatment.
  • Poppet. “Babe” or “baby.” Now almost nobody says that therefore appealed to young children. In our time elderly people occasionally call their grandchildren.

Unique nicknames

Sometimes people call each other an individual, unique names. What they most often associated?

  • Food. Very often Pets nicknames or other nicknames related to food (e.g., “lamb chop” or “muffin”). Such a nickname could arise from jokes “for internal use”, which is known only to the initiated.
  • Geography. If you know where people come from, it is possible the name of the place to use as treatment. For example, a friend from new York might say, “Hey, New York! What’s up?” (Hello, New York! How are you?)
  • Gibberish. Some nicknames mean nothing at all. This is just a funny word.
  • Stupid nicknames. Sometimes as a nickname for a loved one out words with negative connotations – for example, “Stinky”(Stinky). This does not mean that you are bad think about it – it is done with love, and usually, the nickname is the opposite of the real situation (for example, lean can call “my fat boy”, etc.).