We’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite terms of endearment from different countries around the world. They’re sweet, romantic …and no, they aren’t “mi amor” [Spanish] or “habibi” [Arabic] kind of cliché.
Maybe you’ll start using them with your loved ones, or *ahem* a special someone.
Have a read and take your pick!
1. روحي [Arabic]
How it’s said: rouhi
Meaning: my soul
“Rouh” means soul in Arabic. If you add ‘-i’ to the end of the word, it’ll make it possessive, and it becomes“rouhi”, which means “my soul”.
You can also say “ya rouhi!” …You’re my soul. But, reserve it only for those who are extremely precious to you.
Make it look even cooler by writing it as “rou7i” in Arabglish/Arabizi.
2. Balım [Turkish]
How it’s said: ba-lim
Meaning: my honey
In Turkish, “bal” means honey. The ‘-ım’ annex is added to refer to first person possession (my) i.e. balım or “my honey”. The term is mostly used for loved ones.
3. Jaan [Hindi & Urdu]
How it’s said: jaan
You can say “meri jaan” (may-ri-jaan) which means my life. Mind you, the word “jaan” itself is a term of endearment. It can mean “life” and also “loved one”, “darling”, etc. in both Hindi and Urdu. People use it to express their loved one’s importance and how much they love them.
4. Καρδιά Μου [Greek]
How it’s said: Kar-Thia moo
Meaning: my heart
Well, love makes us all giddy and by calling your significant other “my heart” in Greek or “karthia moo”, you’ll surely warm his/her heart.
5. Mon Mignon [French]
How it’s said: mon min-yon
Meaning: my cutie
We can hear that “Awww”…Yeah, it’s a sweet and definitely cute one in French, plus it can be used for both men and women: “Salut (hello) mon mignon!”
6. Vita Mia [Italian]
How it’s said: vee-tah mee-a
Meaning: my life
This one is a very common (and powerful!) Italian term of endearment. In Italian, “vita” means “life” and “mia” means “my”. It’ll surely make your significant other melt.
Try to say this one: “tu sei tutta la mia vita”, which literally translates to “you’re my whole life” – or “you mean the world to me” …how sweet!
7. Süsser (M) ; Süsse (F) [German]
How it’s said: zu-sa (m) ; zu-se (f)
It can also mean “cutie-pie”. Süss means “sweet” in German.
Tip: you can also write it as süßer (m) ; süße (f)
“Mein Süßer!” (my sweetie!)
ß is a German letter known as sharp S or Eszett/scharfes S in German.
8. Lieveling [Dutch]
How it’s said: lee-ve-ling
This Dutch word can be said to either a best friend or a significant other. It rhymes with “darling” and that just makes it easy to remember!
Tip: Dutch “v” is pronounced like a mix of English “v” and “f”
9. Mi Cielo [Spanish]
How it’s said: thee-e’-lo
Meaning: my sky
You can use “cielo” (sky) on its own in Spanish. However, if you want to show more affection, you can say “mi cielo” which translates to “my sky”. Totally different and lovey-dovey.
10. Котёнок [Russian]
How it’s said: katyonok
It’s just so adorable to think about this one in Russian! And oh, it’s used towards both genders.
11. Kochanie [Polish]
How it’s said: co-ha-nye
The term is derived from “kocham cię” pronounced as “ko-ham-che” meaning “I love you”.
Moje kochanie = my sweetheart
Tip: The Polish letter “j” is pronounced like the English letter “y” in yet.
12. Bebe Ko [Filipino]
How it’s said: beh-beh ko
Meaning: my baby
“Ko” in Filipino means “my” and the word “bebe” is taken from the English word “baby”. Try saying it. It’s so cutesy, hey?
13. 亲 [Mandarin Chinese]
How it’s said: qīn
If you were to literally translate “亲”, it would mean “dear”– but, wait for it! The English counterpart of the word is the slang “bae” and it’s one of the most popular terms of endearment used on social media in China!
14. こいびと [Japanese]
How it’s Said: koi-bito
Meaning: lover; sweetheart
You can use it similar to how boyfriend/girlfriend is used: “this is my koibito”.
Go beyond knowing a term of endearment. Let your language journey begin!