Romantic words

101 cute, romantic and obscure French terms of endearment

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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.​

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.


Reprinted with permission from

AnnieAndre.comAnnie André moved to the south of France with her husband and three children in 2010 for a one-year family gap year that turned into a five-plus-years adventure. She shares what she's learned about the process of moving to France and gives tips on surviving French culture on her blog

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Christophe posted:

    on 29th September 2016, 18:30:05 - Reply

    Item # 45 - Ma cocotte is not a casserole but a hen. It's a children's word for "poule"
    item # 49 - It's not "Loulotte" but Louloutte" which is a diminutive for "loutre"or otter

    Great work. And it's really used. After 30 years of living together with my wife, i'm stil "mon nounours" and she's "ma ch