Home Education Language Learning 100 cute, romantic, and obscure French terms of endearment
Last update on June 19, 2020
Written by Annie André

Your new bae is French and you want to find the perfect French term of endearment for them? Pick from this list of pet names you can call the men, women and children you love.

From the cute and quirky to the romantic and even risqué, some French terms of endearment convert perfectly to English, such as mon ange which means “my angel”. Others, however popular, don’t translate so well at all, like mon chou which literally means “my cabbage” (swoon!).


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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 French endearment to either men (M), women (F) or children (and, why not, even cats and goldfish), and in general most of these have the same general meaning as saying sweetie or honey.

  1. Mon amour: my love
  2. Mon chou: My cabbage, but chou can also be short for a French cream puff called chou chantilly or chou à la crème.
  3. Chouchou: Derived from chou
  4. Mon ange: My angel
  5. Mon bébé: My baby
  6. Doudou: What kids call their favorite toy or blankie
  7. Mon coeur: My heart
  8. Mon trésor: My treasure
  9. Ma chérie (F), mon chéri (M): My darling
  10. Ma puce: My flea

25 more cute French words of endearment for honey, sweetheart and darling

Many French terms of endearment sound strange – sometimes even like insults – to English speakers, and apparently were born on a farm.

French terms of endearment for family

No matter what the literal translation, the following terms of endearment generally have the same or similar meaning to calling someone sweetie pie, pooky face, honey bunny, cheeky poo… you get the drift. Most can be used for men (M), women (F), or children.

These start with mon (M) or ma (F), depending on the noun’s gender:

  1. Biquet (M), biquette (F): My goat
  2. Chaton (M): my little cat
  3. Canard (M): My duck
  4. Petit caneton (M): My little duckling
  5. Lapin (M): My rabbit
  6. Lapinou (M): Comes from lapin, rabbit
  7. Poussin (M): My baby chicken
  8. Poulet (M), poule (F): My chicken
  9. Cocotte (F): Childish word for chicken
  10. Caille (F): My quail
  11. Crevette (F): My shrimp, often used for people of small stature
  12. Biche (F): My doe, as in doe a dear
  13. Bibiche (F): Derived from biche
  14. Bichette (F): Derived from doe
  15. Mon petit chou: My little cabbage
  16. Ma choupinette (F): Derived from chou and choupine, which means cute
  17. Mon loulou (M), ma louloute (F): No translation
  18. Mon bébé d’amour: My baby love
  19. Mamour: My love; contraction of mon or ma with amour
  20. Poupée (F): My little doll
  21. Poupette (F): Derived from poupée, my dolly
  22. Princesse (F): My princess
  23. Belle (F): My pretty, like the Beatles song Michelle, ma belle
  24. Ma pépette (F): My money
  25. Mon rayon de soleil: My ray of sunshine

30 less common French pet names

All these French terms of endearment can also be used as nicknames or to refer to the people you love:

  1. Mon sucre d’orge (M): My candy cane
  2. Trognon (M): My apple core
  3. Beau (M): My handsome
  4. Loup (M): My wolf
  5. Mon nounours: My teddy bear or plushy
  6. Mon ours: My bear
  7. Râleur (M), râleuse (F): My grumpy or complainer
  8. Lutin (M), lutine (F): My elf, my pixie
  9. Mon tigre (M), ma tigresse (F): My tiger
  10. Mon petit monstre: My little monster
  11. Coccinelle (F): My ladybug
  12. Colombe (F): My dove
  13. Ma truffe: My truffle
  14. Mon colibri: My hummingbird
  15. Douce (F): My sweet
French pet names and terms of endearment
  1. Ma fée (F): My fairy
  2. Ma petite sirène (F): My little mermaid
  3. Mon p’tit bout: literally, “my little bit”. Especially used for small children.
  4. Mon papillon: My butterfly
  5. Mon bijou: My jewel
  6. Ma mie (F): Not the crust but the soft white part of bread. Very old fashioned.
  7. Ma raison de vivre: My reason for living
  8. Ma raison d’être: My reason for being
  9. Mon étoile: My star
  10. Mon ciel étoilé: My starry sky
  11. L’amour de ma vie: Love of my life
  12. Ma foi: My faith
  13. Mon bonheur: My happiness
  14. Mon préféré (M), ma préférée (F): My favorite
  15. Ma chère (to her), mon cher (to him): My dear – more formal than ma chérie; you might say this to friends.

For lovers only: intimate French terms of endearment

  1. Mon amoureux (M), mon amoureuse (F): My lover; some people will say this to children, as it does not necessarily mean someone you bed, but it’s honestly a little creepy.
  2. Mon homme (M): My man
  3. Ma nana (F): my girlfriend
  4. Ma nénette (F): same as above, but a little more outdated
  5. Mon mec (M): my boyfriend
  6. Mon jules (M): as above, but a bit outdated
  7. Ma meuf (F): same as above. Used to be ghetto but is now used quite widely
  8. Ma moitié: My half, similar to my better half
  9. Mon fiancé (M), ma fiancée (F): does not necessarily mean you are engaged
  10. Mon prince: My prince. Unlike the female version (princesse), it is mostly used to speak of your lover and not so much of a child.
  11. Mon roméo: My romeo

Strange or risqué French phrases

The French often like to tease those they love, so it’s no surprise that you’ll run into many pet names that would horrify anybody else.

strange french pet names

We saved the best (or worst, depending on how you look at them) French terms of endearments for last:

  1. Mon gros (M), ma grosse (F): My fat one – don’t be offended, it’s a very common term of endearment in French
  2. Mon vilain (M), ma vilaine (F): My naughty one
  3. Ma crotte: Literally means my turd; Belgians use this to refer to their women, like ma chérie.
  4. Ma quéquette: A childish or cute name for penis, like willy.
  5. Ma chatte (F): Be careful: this means pussy cat and it has the same double meaning in English.
  6. Mon petit poil de cul: Literally means ‘my little butt hair’. This is not widely used, but it’s been heard!
  7. Ma couille: Literally means my testicle, but you can use it to refer to your friends, like ‘hey d*ckhead’.
  8. Mon dieu du sexe (M), ma déesse du sexe (F): My sex god/goddess; don’t use in public unless you want to perk some ears up.
  9. Mon chaud lapin (M): literally, “my hot rabbit”. However, it means a man who likes to get it on.
  10. Mon minou: My kitty – this is especially used by older generations as the term has grown sexual undertones (minou = pussycat)