We recognize you love the beautiful language itself—that’s a dead giveaway, however how around a person, a French person?

It doesn’t need to be a French lover. It deserve to be a ideal friend, homestay mom or father, sister or brother.

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There are countless ways to display admiration for someone other than speak “je t’aime” (I love you) in French.

Like English, French regards to endearment with cute phrases attached come them space what aid emphasize comfort and also confidence in any kind of relationship.

As a French learner, component of your learning goal is to sound, talk and also act favor a native, the goes without being said. Vocabulary and also grammar are important—yes, but so is cultural immersion.

And believe it or not, part of thinking like a French native involves replacing name with terms that endearment!

Not only that, yet the French also quite enjoy adding small, small endings (the diminutive) to details words to merely make castle sound cuter.

We’re going come explore all of this here, so by the end of this post you should be feeling favor a natural-born French romantic!

Before obtaining into our perform of regards to endearment, we’re going to heat up by diving into French diminutive endings, i m sorry I mentioned above.

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What’s Le Diminutif (The Diminutive)

The diminutive in French deserve to sometimes gain out that hand, and also this goes for most Romance languages, i.e. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, etc.

While it may exist somewhat in English, it’s no at all the same. Two English instances using the diminutive go something choose this:

1. Itsy, bitsy

2. Tubsy, wubsy

The an initial one we often tend to associate through a spider: the “itsy, bitsy, spider.”

While the spider is probably not at all small, possibly the biggest, many disgusting, scariest ginormous spider we’ve ever seen—the diminutive go its project to aid ease the are afraid by including an itsy, bitsy (in this case) prior to the word spider.

Itsy, bitsy is replacing the common English native little.

See where this is going?

The second example, tubsy, wubsy, is well, a lighter, nicer means to call someone overweight.

Tubsy, wubsy is replacing words tub. Calling someone a huge bath tub is terribly mean, so by transforming it come tubsy, we room lightening the mood. The diminutive does its job-related here because while we’re straight up mentioning someone or something together “fat,” we space still sound cute. Thus, avoiding any kind of arguments, fights—you acquire the picture.

Are there any other English diminutive instances you have the right to think of?

In French, the diminutive is semi-similar, the distinction is the it could work for nearly any word, making it every the more confusing.

Some French diminutive words are even considered official thesaurus ones!

What they execute is include a suffix to the finish of regular French words. The lucky thing is that there are only two end to remember.

French Diminuitive Suffixes

1. –et (masculine)

2. -ette (feminine)

At the finish of woman words, an –et is added to do nouns (person, ar or thing) seem smaller sized (diminutive). And an –ette is added at the end of feminine native to do those it seems ~ smaller. Such as:

un livre (a book) can become un livret — a booklet (masculine)

un jardin (a garden) becomes un jardinet — a small garden (masculine)

une cuisine (a kitchen) becomes une cuisinette — a tiny kitchen (feminine)

une fille, une fillette — a small girl (feminine)

And so on…

While this dominion may be true for many French words—the rule do bend a bit, favor we see in all languages.

For instance, there room times as soon as a feminine suffix is added to the finish of a masculine word.

What’s that all about?

You’ll check out what I typical when we obtain to our perform of French regards to endearment—that reminds me. Let’s go ideal ahead and also not acquire too carried away here!

Just psychic to keep the diminutive preeminence under your belt so friend won’t obtain lost together we go over the list.

21 Must-Know French regards to Endearment for a Lover or Friend

Note: The list is in no details order, but I am organizing the words right into two groups. The first will it is in “the regulars” and the second will be “the pet names.”

Of every the thousands of funny, endearing pet names because that a lover or friend in French, this 21 are the many popular among native speakers. That can readjust though, depending upon regions within France—or even French Quebec, so don’t take it my entire word for it.

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Every video clip comes with clickable subtitles, flashcards and also fun quizzes so you learn new words while friend watch.

You have the right to even form the words below into the gimpppa.org search bar to uncover videos that use them. It’s a an excellent way come hear French terms of endearment in natural, indigenous contexts—like this Disney clip that provides the phrase ma chérie (more on that below!). To clock that video and the complete library v all the learning features, check out a free gimpppa.org trial.

So why 21 French regards to endearment? Well, due to the fact that 20 would be as well cliché—and so is the endearing term, mon amour—we all understand what the means! i beg your pardon is why ns didn’t include it in this list, if you’re left wonder later.

By the way, you have the right to learn even an ext French terms of endearment by discovering this YouTube video clip by gimpppa.org:

1. Mon cœur

English translation: mine heart

I take into consideration mon cœur another overrated endearing term, but I couldn’t skip it as result of its popularity, and also especially no after currently taking the spotlight away from mon amour.

Mon cœur (my heart) is merely not regularly supplied at every in English, do you agree? I’ve literally only heard that in a movie:

And you’re my heart, kid. Now, can I live without my heart?

That’s a line from the movie “Blow”and that’s around it.

I would certainly say the mon cœur translates—though no literally—to, “my sweetheart.”

Both of this puffed up terms (mon amour and mon cœur) should exclusively be sincerely stated within a loving, unconditional, passionate relationship.

I to speak unconditional because it’s really common for parents (in France and also other Romance-language speak countries) come constantly refer to their kids as mon cœur, mon amour or even ma vie (my life).

I believe this endearment-expressing quality is common amongst English-speaking dwellings too though.

On the other hand, the French do also enjoy flaunting this somewhat serious phrases to anyone, and I median anyone.

The French are much better lovers right? Well, that’s a little bit too simple, since they’re part of a different society altogether. They can be more verbally friendly 보다 anything else, yet that’s approximately you to decide when you visit France someday.

2. Ma moitié

English translation: My various other half

While the is an ext literally analyzed as “my other half” in English, I’d favor to put it together “my far better half” instead, because this is exactly how English speakers typically say it. Doesn’t it simply click and sound somewhat much more natural?

In translation, the crucial is to discover the exact feeling a word provides you, or the closest identical idiom because that a phrase. Return we favor to be exact most that the time, it’s good to forget around the literalness of points sometimes.

I’m no saying the you can’t analyze ma moitié to “my various other half,” it makes perfect sense.

But for part reason, the more popular English version, “my far better half,” feeling the have to make our other halves more special by placing them increase on a base (even though few of our stubborn selves may not actually believe our other halves are better than us).

To be honest, I choose the French version way “better.” Simply, ma moitié.

Je besoin de ma moitié ! I require my other fifty percent (better half)!

Ma moitié is, favor in English, usually said to a “partner in crime,” or a “main squeeze”—whether it it is in your ideal friend, sister, brother or lover.

3. Doudou

English translation: mine blankie or mine cuddly thing

I know what you’re thinking…

Doudou sounds like—but ns promise you! It’s not!

And it’s untranslatable! Great. So what does the literally mean?

It’s a child’s many cherished, unable-to-let-go item together a toddler, normally a stuffed animal or blankie castle can’t sleep, live or breathe without. And girlfriend guessed it, it’s a widely provided term that endearment through the French.

Unfortunately us don’t have precise equivalent—and that’s too negative because ns really prefer the sound of it.

So whereby does this endearing doudou derive from?

Creole roots.

According to international French speakers, specifically from afri countries, such as the West Indies, doudou is a slang/casual term offered to refer to a girlfriend or wife, and it’s technically only claimed to females. This may define why this particular day the French use it as an expression of endearment.

Keep in mind that regardless of its creole roots, it can be stated to both sexes when provided as an endearing ax in France and also other French-speaking countries.

I’d say the closestly word come doudou in our English endearment dictionary is “pookie,” which, favor doudou, is a fun, wacky, yet cute method to contact a lover.

Viens ici mon doudou ! Come here, mine pookie!

I mean, might you you re welcome tell me why we use “pookie” in English?

It’s simply one that those stunner inexplicable words.

Note: Don’t get doudou puzzled with dodo. If you know what dormir means, then you must understand what dodo means. It’s a shorter/slang variation of dormir, which equates to, “sleepy bye-bye.”

Dodo is no at all the very same as doudou, but one method to mental the both is choose this:

Pas de dodo sans ton doudou ! No sleep without her blankie!

4. Ma chérie

English translation: My darling

We have a perfect, to win translation in English! Yay!

Before girlfriend go and also start celebrating, allow me remind you the the French indigenous chérie is more complicated than you think.

Can friend tell me the difference between chérie, chéri, cher and chère? Man, that’s a lot of chers (I can’t stop thinking around the singer! Is that wherein she gained her surname from? good Google question).

Now back to chérie

Ma chérie and also mon chéri both refer to “my darling,” the endearing term i am sharing with you here. The difference is the one is feminine (ma chérie, i m sorry is said to a female) and also the other is masculine (mon chéri, which is said to a male).

The following two, ma chère (feminine) and mon cher (masculine) both translate to “my dear.” This would be the appropriate word to use when writing a letter or just calling someone, “my dear.”

Like mon cœur and also mon amour, ma chérie or mon chéri is stated with an innocent, loving ton to either a lover or child, and even sometimes to a friend—especially in France.

Easier 보다 you thought?

Tu es ma chérie to water toute la vie. You’re mine darling for every eternity.

5. Mon trésor 

English translation: My treasure

Mon trésor reminds me that a “The mr of the Rings” movie. Mental Gollum/Schmiegel, who’s always saying “my precious”?

Yep! That’s what i would interpret mon trésor to!

Although it literally means “my treasure,” in English, us don’t really use the word “treasure” to describe a love one. Jewels and also stones can be precious, choose “treasure”—see the correlation?

The only fault ns would give my personal translation is the truth that it’s generally only said to females in English. Really rarely do we hear women call men, “precious.”

But if a mommy calls a boy “precious” in English, it would certainly still it is in plausible.

In French, mon trésor can be claimed to both males and also females, friends, family and also children.

No one is going come look in ~ you like you have ten heads for calling a dude a item of “treasure.” If he’s a hunk the a French man, go best ahead and call the mon trésor!

X marks the spot!

6. Mon ange

English translation: My angel

Here’s an additional of those obvious ones.

In English we usage “my angel” together a favored term of affection.

Other creates include, “angel face,” “my sweet angel,” etc.

And its French counterpart, mon ange, is just as favored. It can be provided for both sexes and toward children.

Elle est mon âme, elle est mon cœur, elle est mon ange.

She is mine soul, she is my love, she is mine angel. (Lyrics from a song called “Elle” by Mélissa M).

7. Mon chou

English translation: mine cabbage

This is the only endearing indigenous on the list that’s concerned food.

Yes, chou means “cabbage,” however what this phrase actually conveys is “my favorite one.”

This is wherein things begin to get a small tricky, due to the fact that there are various other variations of mon chou to make them sound cuter (remember the diminutive lesson?).

List of arrays include:

ma choupette (f)  here mon chou is converted into the feminine form, i beg your pardon is supplied for females only.

mon choupinou (m) / ma choupinette (f)  this provides the phrase even cuter.

mon chouchou (m) / ma chouchoutte (f) — another method to do the name sound cute.

mon petit chou (my small cabbage)  can just be said to males or little boys.

English equivalent?

I’d say “pumpkin,” “pumpkin pie, “baby cakes” or any other surname referring to food.

8. Mon bébé

English translation: My baby

Notice that the word bébé is masculine—it can’t be changed!

You’re more than likely asking yourself, “how to be I an alleged to know when come covert?”

It’s a knowledge that comes with practice and learning. You’re no a French native just yet—don’t be so hard on yourself!

French natives are technically born through this knowledge, therefore they just know once masculine words can readjust and be offered toward females or not, etc. They likewise practice many in school.

Bébé is up on the “obvious” list with mon cœur, mon trésor, ma chérie and mon amour—typical.

Anyone have the right to be a baby. And as in English and French, this nickname deserve to be provided to nearly anyone, even your cats or dogs!

Speaking of animals…let’s move on to some French terms of endearment with animal names.

9. Mon chaton

English translation: My kitten

Mon chaton—just like that, deserve to be claimed to both sexes.

Similar to mon chou, mon chaton also has countless cute varieties:

mon chatounet (m) / ma chatounette (f)

minou (masculine only)

minet (m) / minette (f)

mon p’tit chaton (my small kitty, unisex)

All of these mean “little kitty,” but only specific ones deserve to be stated to males or females.

Tu es ma minette. You’re my kitty witty (said just to a woman).

10. Mon lapin

English translation: My rabbit

Mon lapin is quickly unisex, provided for children and all.

Like chaton, over there are also other diminutive version of lapin that aid make the French endearing hatchet sound every the cuter:

lapinou (m)

lapinet (m)

Just to litter it the end there, according to my French source, mon lapin is typically said come males and also young boys.

Young girls, daughters for example, have the right to be referred to a lapin, but unfortunately over there isn’t a feminine conversion for this endearing name (as you might’ve noticed). That still doesn’t typical that a mrs can’t it is in a honey bunny!

“Honey bunny” is the perfect equivalent, don’t friend think?

11. Ma puce

English translation: mine flea

Yes, a feminine word!

I understand I stated that no one of these to be in any details order concerning popularity, but as for an individual experience, ma puce is quite popular.

I’ve heard it through my own ears, among friends, lovers and children.

And as with most pet names, ma puce likewise has the diminutive varieties:

ma petite puce (f) — little flea

ma pupuce (f) — tiny, tiny flea

What’s so cute about a flea? win me. Because they’re small?

The French have actually their ways.

We don’t have actually an equivalent, so I’d speak “sweetie” fits just fine.

Note: Ma puce have the right to be said to both males and also females, also if it’s a feminine word!

Je t’aime ma petite puce! i love girlfriend sweetie pie!

12. Mon poussin

English translation: mine chicky

Poussin actually translates to “chick,” not favor a “hot babe, chick,” yet a “baby chicken.”

We’re talking about animals here.

And so together it goes, while it’s a masculine indigenous it’s tho unisex with diminutive varieties!

mon poussinet (m) / ma poussinette (f) — A cuter variation of “chicky” through a feminine variation as well.

Our English translation because that this cuter version? I think “chicky-poo” could suffice.

13. Mon loulou

While loulou doesn’t actually average anything, it’s believed to have from loup, i m sorry in French way “wolf.”

Loulou could technically be the diminutive of loup, but both are completely separate from each other.

Unfortunately there’s no translation for mon loulou.

Other versions execute include:

ma louloute (f) /ma louloutte (f) — both median the same, just preference of order (female version).

mon loup (m) — my wolf (said to males only)

Keep in mind that mon loulou and mon loup are only said to males or boys—no exceptions.

I would say the mon loup is the equivalent to “sparky.” You wouldn’t yes, really sincerely speak to a mrs “sparky” now, would certainly you?

14. Mon oisillon

English translation: My little birdie.

Oiseau is the word for “bird” in French, so oisillon is the diminutive.

Another expression includes:

mon petit oiseau — my little bird

Both mon oisillon and mon petit oiseau are commonly said come males and also females. There’s no preference.

English equivalents might include “my tiny lovey dovey,” “my small birdie” or “my tiny dove.”

15. Mon nounours

English translation: My teddy bear

Although the technical phrase is mon ours (my bear), the diminutive variation here, mon nounours, is an ext popular.

French natives are much more likely to usage mon nounours because it’s cute, duh.

And favor mon loup, it need to only be provided toward males—females space excluded indigenous this one (sorry, ladies).

English translations include, “my tiny teddy bear” or “my teddy bear.”

Demain je sors avec mon petit nounours. morning I’m walk out through my little teddy.

16. Ma biche

English translation: mine doe

Okay, now here’s one because that the ladies!

And I know at first glance the French word may look a tiny off, however it doesn’t have actually anything to execute with female dogs!

It’s actually a female deer—a doe, a deer, a female deer!

Other written layouts include:

ma bichette 

ma bibiche

Both because that females only!

17. Ma Caille

English translation: My quail

These next four terms the endearment ~ above the list all have to do through the bird species, so that renders a full of five, consisting of mon poussin. 

Ma caille (another feminine word) deserve to be typically said come both women and men. There space no various other variations the ma caille (my quail) in French.

It’s difficult to interpret considering we don’t really have actually an equal in our own language.

Tu es la to add belle caille de toutes. You room the many beautiful “chickie-poo” the all.

Another note:

The indigenous caille has a double meaning in French. It’s slang for “freezing,” so don’t gain the two mixed up!

Ça caille ! It’s freezing!

18. Mon coco

English translation: My hen

I know you recognize a “hen” is a female bird, therefore you’re probably wondering why the word coco is masculine. That’s just the means it is!

Mon coco, “my hen,” does have actually a mrs version: Ma cocotte.

So, if you’re thinking around calling your French female lover a hen, don’t forget to transform it!

19. Mon caneton

English translation: My duckling

Canard, as many of you might know, method “duck” in French.

It’s a group pleasing dish uncovered on many French menus—is it all coming ago to you now?

Mon caneton, “my duckling,” is the charming, cuter means to express love while quiet talking about ducks.

There room no variations for this phrase, however it can be used for both males and females.

Disregard the “masculinity” of the word.

20. Ma poule

English translation: My chicken

What’s the attend to poultry in France? They eat a hell of a many it, so that can describe why there room so many endearing terms the pay homage come French cooking culture.

Ma poule, choose mon poussin, refers to “chickens,” and also endearingly means “chickie-poo.”

Although ma poule is unisex, other variations include:

mon poulet (m) — this version deserve to only be claimed to males

ma poulette (f) — females only

21. Ma crevette

English translation: My shrimp

Last yet not least, ma crevette. It’s a feminine word through a diminutive ending! just how sweet!

This one can go both ways—animal-related or food-related endearing name. The best English equivalent I’d offer it is “munchkin.”

Shrimps are a kind of food few of us eat, and so space munchkins! (From Dunkin’ Donuts). It’s small, cute and fun, which is why I chose that translation.

We simply don’t speak to our lovers or friends “little shrimp” come express love and also fondness.

In fact, a “little shrimp” in English is the opposite. It degradation a person, implying that they’re weak, squirmy and also small. This does not host the same an interpretation in French.

So let’s leaving it at “munchkin!” Ma crevette have the right to be for both the guys and also gals.

Je t’aime ma petite crevette! ns love you my tiny munchkin!

So, over there you have it!

21 methods to please let someone you’re dearly fond of lock in French.

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And that still doesn’t end there.

Like language, the list keeps going, so keep exploring!

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