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.|
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)
|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.
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.