Characters using French words of endearment

You may already know how to say “I love you” in French – but when it comes to expressing your feelings, it may not always be enough. Sometimes, you need more than just three words to show all your fondness, and that is when pet names and words of endearment come into play.

Fortunately, when it comes to words of endearment, French is full of them! There are so many different words to express affection and love that you may be surprised at how many there are.

In this article, we will explore some of the most beautiful and poetic French words for love as well as some classic French pet names. So whether you are looking for a new way to say "I love you" or just want to learn more about French culture, read on!

10 Most Common French Terms of Endearment

Mon petit chou / Mon chou / Chouchou

Native

Translation

Mon petit chou / Mon chou / Chouchou

My little cabbage

Mon petit chou is a term of endearment that is used to refer to someone you love. It can be translated to mean "my little cabbage" or "my darling". The word “chou” in this phrase actually relates to a chou à la crème, a sweet and yummy cream puff.

This term is typically used for someone who you are very close to, such as a spouse, partner, or child.

Mon amour

Native

Translation

Mon amour

My love

Mon amour is another term of endearment that means "my love". This is a more general term of affection and can be used for anyone who you care for deeply, including friends and family members.

Characters using French words of endearment

Mon beau / Ma belle / Ma beauté

Native

Translation

Mon beau / Ma belle / Ma beauté

My beautiful

Ma belle and mon beau are French terms of endearment that can be translated as "my beautiful" or “my handsome” accordingly. Mon beau is typically used for a boyfriend, but can also be used for a close friend or family member, while ma belle is for women. My beauté can be used for both female and male loved ones.

Ma chérie / Mon chéri

Native

Translation

Ma chérie / Mon chéri

My dear

Ma chérie and mon chéri are feminine and masculine forms of the French word that can be translated as "my dear," "my darling," "my sweetheart." These terms can be used for both friends and romantic partners.

Mon bébé

Native

Translation

Mon bébé

My baby

Mon bébé is a French pet name that means "my baby". You can use it for both children and adults but is typically used for anyone you care for.

Ma poupée

Native

Translation

Ma poupée

My doll

Ma poupée is a French term of endearment that means "my doll". This term is typically used for young girls, but can also be used for any female loved one. To make it even cuter, you can say “ma poupette.”

Mon bijou

Native

Translation

Mon bijou

My jewel

Mon bijou is a phrase that means "my jewel". This term can be used for both male and female loved ones.

Mon cœur

Native

Translation

Mon cœur

My heart

Mon coeur is a French term of endearment that means "my heart". You can say it to both good friends and romantic partners – just make sure to pronounce it correctly.

Characters using French words of endearment

Mon trésor

Native

Translation

Mon trésor

My treasure

Mon trésor means "my treasure". This term can be used for anyone who you cherish and hold dear to your heart.

Ma moitié

Native

Translation

Ma moitié

My other half

In English, you would say this as “my better half.” In French, you would use the phrase “ma moitié.” It literally means “my other half” and can be used to refer to best friends and significant others.

French Love Nicknames for Women

Let’s say you fall in love with a French lady. When it comes to French pet names for women, there are quite a few to choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:

Native

Translation

Ma colombe

My dove

Mon canard

My duck

Ma cacahuète

My peanut

Ma cerise

My cherry

Ma chout / choupinette

Is derived from “my chou”

Ma biche, ma bichette

My doe

Ma puce / pupuce

My flea (a very strange yet very common in French)

Ma chatte

My cat (just be careful with this one: just like the English word “pussy”, it has two meanings).

Ma gazelle

My gazelle

Ma crevette

My shrimp

Characters using French words of endearment

Native

Translation

Ma poule, ma poulette

My hen

Ma sardine

My sardine

Ma souris

My mouse

Mon sucre d’orge

My little candy

These are all affectionate terms that you can use to call your girlfriend, wife, or female friend. And yes, most of them sound pretty funny and even silly in English, but in French, they are pretty sweet.

French Love Nicknames for Men

But what happens if you fall in love with a French man? What should you call him? When it comes to French pet names for men, there are also quite a few to choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:

Native

Translation

Mon chat

My cat

Mon choupinet

Derived from “mon chou”

Mon loup

My wolf

Mon loulou

No translation, but the name is believed to be derived from “loup”

Mon ours

My bear

Mon nounours

My teddy bear

Mon lapin

My bunny

Mon lutin

My elf

Mon poussin

My baby chicken

Mon gros

My fat one (it sounds rude in English, but in French it’s a common term of endearment)

Mon homme

My man

French Love Nicknames for Children

Let’s say it all works out and you have some beautiful French babies. Here are some of the most common French pet names for children:

Native

Translation

Mon ange

My angel

Characters using French words of endearment

Native

Translation

Mon bébé

My baby

Ma petite sirène

My little mermaid

Mon vilain

My naughty one

Mon petit monstre

My little monster

Of course, these are not the only French terms of endearment for kids – you can also use those mentioned earlier above, just be careful with the ones that have double meanings.

Other Terms of Endearment to Use in French

Pet names can be fun to use for everyone – whether for loved ones, kids, friends, or just people you care for, here’s another batch of French words to use:

Native

Translation

Mon rayon de soleil

My ray of sunshine

L’amour de ma vie

The love of my life

Ma raison de vivre

My reason for living

Mon doudou

My cuddly toy

Mon rêve

My dream

Mon mignon

My cutie, my little one

Mon ciel étoilé

My starry sky

Mon plaisir quotidien

My daily pleasure

Final Thoughts

The French language is full of words that convey affection and love. Whether you’re talking to your significant other, a best friend, or a child, there’s sure to be a term of endearment that fits the bill. And if you ever find yourself out of nicknames, don’t worry – you can always make up something that sounds cute.

So go forth and express your love in French!