I just love that expression, a ‘Terms of Endearment’: a word or term used when talking to somebody that you care for. There’s universally common ones, ones that only crop up in certain countries or regions and even unique ones that you can relate to one person. Some folk use them lightly, have a term that they use without even thinking and everybody they meet is their “Darling”, “Honey” or some such.
I’m one of those who somehow ends up with a NEW Term of Endearment for that NEW special person in my life. My Hubby became “Baby” very soon after we met and I couldn’t tell you why that stuck but he uses the same term for me. I don’t think I’ll ever refer to him lovingly in any other way and I have never used that term with anybody else before or since. If I called him “Darling” or “Honey” now, it would be funny. It wouldn’t carry the same meaning and love that OUR Term of Endearment does. Interesting huh? .
Sickeningly Sweet Terms of Endearment
Ah, I can’t do these ones and I cringe when I hear them. Those made up, cutesy sweet pet names some couples make up for each other. I’m sorry if that’s you and I offend you, but “Fluffy Bunnykins” or “Poochie Face” is not something Hubby or I will ever call each other and if you and your partner use them, I think you should keep them for use at home!
And while we’re on couple names that should only be used at home, those names that refer to body parts, sexual prowess or even sexual preferences – please! With Terms of Endearment like that, we all know far more than we need or want to about your relationship methinks.
Is ‘Dear’ Patronising?
It seems so to me and if ANYONE calls me “Dear or “Dearie”, I just bristle. Say it whilst patting me on the arm or shoulder and you’ll be lucky to get your hand back. For some reason, this term strikes me as one used on someone who’s just not quite all there. You know what I mean?
American Dudes and British Mates
My friends and siblings are either “Dude”, “Mate” or “Man” regardless of sex and depending on the situation or mood. And I’m interested to note my influences here. “Dude”, to me, is an American word and one I suspect I’ve picked up from watching movies. “Mate” is very British so no surprises there. And “Man”, although used elsewhere, is very common here in South Africa. Who knew I was such a sponge!
Also common here in South Africa is “Bru”or “Boet” between male friends or siblings meaning Brother, or “Boetie” (between siblings) meaning little brother. An adult will often be heard referring to their child as “My Angel” or “My Boy” depending, of course, on the sex. Some Common African Terms are “Chommie” or “Chana” meaning my mate and from the Zulu word umshana, meaning nephew.
Alright My Loverrrrr?
Local Terms of Endearment crop up everywhere, I’m sure you know one or two that are particular to your country or even area. My Father’s from the South West of England, Devon to be precise and he has regional accent that includes specific, Devonian Terms of Endearment. To my Dad, every female or child in his life is lovingly referred to as “My Love” or “Darling” and he’d never think to use another term.
I’m interested to know, which loving words, phrases and Terms of Endearment to you recognise in your life as being pariticular to your country, region or to a person?