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.
- Mon amour: my love
- Mon chou: My cabbage, but chou can also be short for a French cream puff called chou chantilly or chou à la crème.
- Chouchou: Derived from chou
- Mon ange: My angel
- Mon bébé: My baby
- Doudou: What kids call their favorite toy or blankie
- Mon coeur: My heart
- Mon trésor: My treasure
- Ma chérie (F), mon chéri (M): My darling
- 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.
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:
- Biquet (M), biquette (F): My goat
- Chaton (M): my little cat
- Canard (M): My duck
- Petit caneton (M): My little duckling
- Lapin (M): My rabbit
- Lapinou (M): Comes from lapin, rabbit
- Poussin (M): My baby chicken
- Poulet (M), poule (F): My chicken
- Cocotte (F): Childish word for chicken
- Caille (F): My quail
- Crevette (F): My shrimp, often used for people of small stature
- Biche (F): My doe, as in doe a dear
- Bibiche (F): Derived from biche
- Bichette (F): Derived from doe
- Mon petit chou: My little cabbage
- Ma choupinette (F): Derived from chou and choupine, which means cute
- Mon loulou (M), ma louloute (F): No translation
- Mon bébé d’amour: My baby love
- Mamour: My love; contraction of mon or ma with amour
- Poupée (F): My little doll
- Poupette (F): Derived from poupée, my dolly
- Princesse (F): My princess
- Belle (F): My pretty, like the Beatles song Michelle, ma belle
- Ma pépette (F): My money
- 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:
- Mon sucre d’orge (M): My candy cane
- Trognon (M): My apple core
- Beau (M): My handsome
- Loup (M): My wolf
- Mon nounours: My teddy bear or plushy
- Mon ours: My bear
- Râleur (M), râleuse (F): My grumpy or complainer
- Lutin (M), lutine (F): My elf, my pixie
- Mon tigre (M), ma tigresse (F): My tiger
- Mon petit monstre: My little monster
- Coccinelle (F): My ladybug
- Colombe (F): My dove
- Ma truffe: My truffle
- Mon colibri: My hummingbird
- Douce (F): My sweet
- Ma fée (F): My fairy
- Ma petite sirène (F): My little mermaid
- Mon p’tit bout: literally, “my little bit”. Especially used for small children.
- Mon papillon: My butterfly
- Mon bijou: My jewel
- Ma mie (F): Not the crust but the soft white part of bread. Very old fashioned.
- Ma raison de vivre: My reason for living
- Ma raison d’être: My reason for being
- Mon étoile: My star
- Mon ciel étoilé: My starry sky
- L’amour de ma vie: Love of my life
- Ma foi: My faith
- Mon bonheur: My happiness
- Mon préféré (M), ma préférée (F): My favorite
- 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
- 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.
- Mon homme (M): My man
- Ma nana (F): my girlfriend
- Ma nénette (F): same as above, but a little more outdated
- Mon mec (M): my boyfriend
- Mon jules (M): as above, but a bit outdated
- Ma meuf (F): same as above. Used to be ghetto but is now used quite widely
- Ma moitié: My half, similar to my better half
- Mon fiancé (M), ma fiancée (F): does not necessarily mean you are engaged
- 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.
- 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.
We saved the best (or worst, depending on how you look at them) French terms of endearments for last:
- Mon gros (M), ma grosse (F): My fat one – don’t be offended, it’s a very common term of endearment in French
- Mon vilain (M), ma vilaine (F): My naughty one
- Ma crotte: Literally means my turd; Belgians use this to refer to their women, like ma chérie.
- Ma quéquette: A childish or cute name for penis, like willy.
- Ma chatte (F): Be careful: this means pussy cat and it has the same double meaning in English.
- Mon petit poil de cul: Literally means ‘my little butt hair’. This is not widely used, but it’s been heard!
- Ma couille: Literally means my testicle, but you can use it to refer to your friends, like ‘hey d*ckhead’.
- 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.
- Mon chaud lapin (M): literally, “my hot rabbit”. However, it means a man who likes to get it on.
- Mon minou: My kitty – this is especially used by older generations as the term has grown sexual undertones (minou = pussycat)