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 beautémy beauty 
mon bébémy baby 
ma bellemy beautiful(informal)
ma bichemy doe 
ma bichettemy little doe 
mon biquet
ma biquettte
my kidas in baby goat
   
ma caillemy quail(informal)
mon canardmy duck 
mon chatonmy kitten 
ma chattemy cat(familiar)
mon cher
ma chère
my dear 
mon chéri
ma chérie
my dearie 
mon chou
ma choute
my cabbage/pastry(informal)
mon chouchoumy petas in "teacher’s pet" (informal)
mon choupinet
ma choupinette
  
mon cochonmy pig 
mon cocomy egg 
ma cocottemy hen(informal)
mon cœurmy heart 
ma colombemy dove 
ma crevettemy prawn 
ma crottemy droppingalso a small, round goat cheese
   
ma fifillemy little girl(informal, old-fashioned)
   
ma gazellemy gazelle 
mon grand
ma grande
my big guy
my big girl
 
mon grosmy big guy 
   
mon jésusmy Jesus(for children)
   
mon lapinmy rabbit 
ma lolotte  
mon loulou
ma louloute
my spitz(familiar)
ma loutremy otter 
mon loupmy wolf 
   
ma miemy dear/loveLiterally "my female friend"*
mon mignonmy cutie 
ma mignonnettemy cutie pie 
mon mimimy pussycat(informal)
mon minet
ma minette
my pussycat 
mon minoumy kitty 
ma moitiémy half 
   
ma nénettemy chickie 
mon nounoursmy teddy bear 
   
mon oursmy bear 
   
mon petit
ma petite
my little guy
my little girl
 
ma poulemy hen 
mon pouletmy chicken 
ma poulettemy pullet(informal)
ma poupéemy doll 
ma poupoune
ma poupounette
my dollie(for little girls)
mon poussinmy chick(informal)
ma pucemy flea(informal)
   
mon ratmy rat 
   
ma sourismy mouse 
mon sucre d’orgemy barley sugar 
   
ma toutoune
ma toutounette
my dollie(for little girls)
mon trésormy treasure 
mon trognonmy (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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