Home Education Language Learning 101 cute, romantic and obscure French terms of endearment
Last update on February 22, 2019
Written by Annie André

What’s the French word for love? When it comes to cute and romantic French terms of endearment, the French get pretty obscure – and a bit raunchy.

The French language has a lot of cute, romantic, quirky and even risque little pet names and terms of endearment.

Some French terms of endearment translate perfectly to English such as mon ange which means ‘my angel’. Others don’t translate very well at all like mon chou which literally means ‘my cabbage’.

Here is a list of all the French terms of endearment that could be found from asking French friends in France and my French Canadian family in Montreal and doing some good old fashioned internet research. You can find them organised into groups, such as top 10 most popular, obscure and sexual (skip to the end for those) and everything in between.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started first with the top 10 French terms of endearment.

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Top 10: Most popular French terms of endearment

Here are the classic and common terms of endearment you hear people use in France. You can say these terms of Frech endearment to either males or females, and in general most of these have the same general meaning as saying sweetie or honey. My favourites are chouchou and bébé.

Top 10 French terms of endearment:

Say to men, women and children

1.  Mon chou  My cabbage, but chou can be short for a French cream puff called chou chantilly.
2.  ChouChou
 Derived from chou; my favourite term, and most friends use this too.
3.  Mon ange  My angel
4.  Mon bébé  My baby
5.  Mon coeur  My heart
6.  Doudou  My blankie or cuddly thing
7.  Mon trésor  My treasure
8.  Ma Chèrie (to her)
Mon Chèr
(to him)
 My darling
9.  Ma chèr (to her)
     Mon chèr (to him)
 My dear: more formal than mon coeur; you might say this to friends.
10.  Ma puce  My flea


55 cute French words of endearment for honey, sweetheart and darling 

Many French terms of endearment sound strange to English speakers like calling your honey an ‘apple core’.

No matter what the literal translation, the following terms of endearment generally have the same or similar meaning to calling someone sweety pie, pooky face, honey bunny, cheeky poo… you get the drift. These terms can be used for him or her.

Cute French words for love, honey or sweety: 

Say to men, women (children, too)

11.  Mon biquet  My lamb
12.  Mon canard  My duck
13.  Mon colibri  My hummingbird
14.  Mon lapin  My rabbit
15.  Mon lapinou  Comes from lapin; rabbit
16.  Mon minou  My kitty
17.  Mon poussin  My chick; as in baby chicken.
18.  Mon sucre d’orge  My barley sugar, candy cane
19.  Mon trognon  My apple core or fruit core
20.  Mamour  My love; contraction of mon or ma with amour.

 

Cute French words for love, honey or sweety for him:

Say to men or boys

21.  Mon petit chou  My little cabbage
22.  Mon beau  My handsome
23.  Mon loup  My wolf
24.  Mon nounours  My teddy bear or plushy
25.  Mon ours  My bear
26.  Mon petit caneton  My little duckling
27.  Mon poulet  My chicken
28.  Mon râleur  My grumpy or complainer
29.  Mon homme  My man
30.  Mon loulou  No translation
31.  Mon lutin  My elf
32.  Mon saucisson  My sausage
33.  Mon bébé d’amour  My baby love
34.  Mon bibou  Means nothing, like ‘smoopy poop’
35.  Mon tigre My tiger
36.  Mon petit monstre  My little monster
37.  Mon vilain  My naughty one

 

Cute French words for love, honey or sweety for her:

Say to women and girls

38.  Ma caille  My quail
39.  Ma coccinelles  My ladybug
40.  Ma colombe  My dove
41.  Ma crevette  My shrimp
42.  Ma poule  My chicken
43.  Ma truffe  My truffle
44.  Ma choupinette  Closest meaning is cute
45.  Ma cocotte  My casserole
46.  Ma douce  My sweet
47.  Ma fée  My fairy
48.  Ma lolita  My lolita
49.  Ma loulotte  No translation
50.  Ma lutine  My elf, or maybe pixie
51.  Ma pepette  My money
52.  Ma petite sirène  My little mermaid
53.  Ma poupée  My little doll
54.  Ma princesse  My princess
55.  Ma tigresse  My tigress
56.  Mon papillon  My butterfly
57.  Ma grosse

 My fat one (no one better call me this)

58.  Mon bijou  My jewel
59.  Ma belle  My pretty, like the Beatles song Michelle, ma belle
60.  Ma bohême  My bohemian
61.  Ma râleuse  My grumpy or my complainer
62.  Ma bibiche  Derived from biche
63.  Ma biche  My doe, as in doe a dear
64.  Ma bichette  Derived from doe
65.  Ma mie  Not the crust but the soft white part of bread
66.  Ma poupette  Derived from poupée, my dolly


27 thoughtful and romantic French phrases for her or him

You are my daily pleasure, you are my desire and my happiness: these are all french terms of endearment that we dream or wish someone would use on us.

These are much more serious and can be used on your lover, but you can also use many of these on your children, for instance, you are my star or my strength.

 French romantic words for her or him:

Say to men and women (children, too)

67.  Mon étoile  My star
68.  Ma raison de vivre  My reason for living
69.  Mon ciel étoilé  My starry sky
70.  L’amour de ma vie  Love of my life
71.  Ma foi  My faith
72.  Ma force  My strength
73.  Ma moitié  My half; similar to my better half.
74.  Ma passion  My passion
75.  Ma perfection  My perfection
76.  Ma raison d’être  My reason for being
77.  Mon amour
 My love; this is popular.
78.  Mon amoureux
 My lover; you can say this to children, does not necessarily mean to bed someone.
79.  Mon avenir  My future
80.  Mon bonheur  My happiness
81.  Mon désir  My desire
82.  Mon destin  My destiny
83.  Mon essentiel  My essential
84.  Mon exception  My exception
85.  Mon idéal  My ideal
86.  Mon indispensable My essential or indispensable one
87.  Mon plaisir quotidien  My daily pleasure
88.  Mon préféré  My preferred one
89.  Mon rayon de soleil  My ray of sunshine
90.  Mon rêve  My dream
91.  Mon souffle  My breath
Just for the guys
92.  Mon prince  My prince
93.  Mon roméo  My romeo
94.  Mon superman  My superman

Warning: Strange and risqué French phrases 

I saved the best or worst French endearments, depending on how you look at them, for last.

Risqué French terms of endearment:

Say to men and women

95.  Ma crotte
 Literally means my turd; Belgians use this to refer to their women, like ma chérie.
96.  Ma quequette
 A childish or cute name for penis, like willy; my girlfriend sometimes calls me this (weird?).
97.  Me nénette
 My slut (no comment!)
98.  Ma chatte
 Be careful: this means pussy cat and it has the same double meaning in English; nevertheless, I know friends that use this term.
99.  Ma couille
 Literally means my testicle but young men use it to refer to their friends, like ‘hey d*ckhead’, only it would be ‘hey testicle’.
100. Mon petit poil de cul
 Literally means ‘my little butt hair’; to be honest, I know no one that uses this but found it on a French forum from someone who said she uses this to address her boyfriend.
101. Mon dieu de sexe
 My sex god; don’t use in public unless you want to perk up their ears and get a smile.


Le fin

There you have it: 101 French terms of endearment for any occasion and any person. There are probably 100 more that aren’t include but these should take a while to memorise.

Note: Most of these French terms of endearment are widely used but just as in English, some are more obscure.

How to use

A simple way for you to use these terms is by appending a phrase in front of any of these French term of endearment:

  • Come here ma belle. (my beautiful)
  • What are you doing ma foi? (my faith)
  • I went to the movies with mon prince.

It may feel weird at first but after a while it becomes second nature. Try it and see for yourself or add your French terms of endearment in the comments.