Terms of Endearment

French terms of endearment
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Termes d’affection

You probably know the expressions mon cher et ma chérie, but French has many more interesting ways to refer to their dears and darlings – mostly terms related to food and animals.

Click any term for the sound file, and don’t miss the endearing modifiers at the end.

mon amour          my love
mon ange   my angel
ma beauté my beauty  
mon bébé my baby  
ma belle my beautiful (informal)
ma biche my doe  
ma bichette my little doe  
mon biquet
ma biquettte
my kid as in baby goat
ma caille my quail (informal)
mon canard my duck  
mon chaton my kitten  
ma chatte my cat (familiar)
mon cher
ma chère
my dear  
mon chéri
ma chérie
my dearie  
mon chou
ma choute
my cabbage/pastry (informal)
mon chouchou my pet as in "teacher’s pet" (informal)
mon choupinet
ma choupinette
mon cochon my pig  
mon coco my egg  
ma cocotte my hen (informal)
mon cœur my heart  
ma colombe my dove  
ma crevette my prawn  
ma crotte my dropping also a small, round goat cheese
ma fifille my little girl (informal, old-fashioned)
ma gazelle my gazelle  
mon grand
ma grande
my big guy
my big girl
mon gros my big guy  
mon jésus my Jesus (for children)
mon lapin my rabbit  
ma lolotte    
mon loulou
ma louloute
my spitz (familiar)
ma loutre my otter  
mon loup my wolf  
ma mie my dear/love Literally "my female friend"*
mon mignon my cutie  
ma mignonnette my cutie pie  
mon mimi my pussycat (informal)
mon minet
ma minette
my pussycat  
mon minou my kitty  
ma moitié my half  
ma nénette my chickie  
mon nounours my teddy bear  
mon ours my bear  
mon petit
ma petite
my little guy
my little girl
ma poule my hen  
mon poulet my chicken  
ma poulette my pullet (informal)
ma poupée my doll  
ma poupoune
ma poupounette
my dollie (for little girls)
mon poussin my chick (informal)
ma puce my flea (informal)
mon rat my rat  
ma souris my mouse  
mon sucre d’orge my barley sugar  
ma toutoune
ma toutounette
my dollie (for little girls)
mon trésor my treasure  
mon trognon my (fruit) core (for children)

* This is an old-fashioned term contracted from mon amie > m’amie > ma mie. Incidentally, mie also refers to the soft part of bread – the opposite of croûte (crust).

Endearing modifiers

  • Make the term of endearment cuter by adding petit (little) in front: mon petit chou, ma petite minette ….
  • Sweeten the pot by adding en sucre (made of sugar) to the end: mon cœur en sucre, mon trésor en sucre ….

 Note that the possessive adjectives mon and ma (my) always agree with the gender of the term of endearment, which may not match your gender or the gender of your beloved. When there is a masculine form and a feminine form, use the term that corresponds to the gender of your beloved. When there’s only one gender, the general rule is that masculine terms of endearment can be used for boys and girls, but feminine terms of endearment can only be used for girls.

 Related lessons

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French terms of endearment

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