'Sugar' and 'angels': affectionate addresses most often used by Americans - ForumDaily
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'Sugar' and 'angels': Affectionate Calls Most Commonly Used by Americans

In many couples, families or even groups, instead of using names, people often call each other different nicknames: baby doll, fish, or something more rare and funny. Not without this, and in the United States, the newspaper writes. FluentU.

Фото: Depositphotos

Often people use affectionate nicknames to show their affection for you; domestic affectionate names that they use in a narrow circle are a symbol of especially close relationships. Some use endearing terms only to their wife/husband or beloved person. And sometimes you may be called “respected” or “my fish,” because they don’t know or have forgotten your name.

It is important to remember that in certain circumstances such treatment may be quite permissible and natural, but there are situations when it is completely inappropriate.

When can you use affectionate treatment

Everything has its time and place. Sometimes it is possible and even necessary to affectionately address a person, and sometimes it is not worth it. Women, especially older ones, use affectionate names more often than men, and when they say "baby" instead of a name, it does not annoy anyone.

When affectionate appeals and nicknames are appropriate:

  • when you are in a romantic relationship;
  • in the family circle;
  • с close friends;
  • with other people who themselves use different nicknames (this means that it is customary in their environment);
  • in informal situations (at a party, if you do not know exactly what the person’s name is);
  • with kids.

When to avoid using affectionate words or nicknames:

  • if you are not sure that the interlocutor will like it;
  • if you are a man and refer to a girl or woman (this may sound rude and humiliating);
  • with strangers;
  • in a professional environment - at work, school, etc.

Remember that these are not strict rules, but recommendations. Situations are different. Sometimes diminutive forms or phrases can be regarded as derogatory, as if in this way you are trying to show that you are older, smarter and higher in position. If you are not sure that a person will be glad to hear “sweetheart” or “baby” in his address, then you should not call him that.

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Why do Americans use affectionate treatment

All over the world, people call each other different kind words, especially if they are in a romantic relationship. According to some research, couples who call each other diminutive names or nicknames are happier than those who don't.

By calling each other special, we become closer and strengthen our relationship. This applies not only to those who are in romantic relationships, but also to married couples with children (and without), just friends.

What Affectionate Words Do Americans Use When Addressing Friends, Loved Ones, and Strangers


Many languages ​​have special diminutive suffixes that introduce the meaning of affection and diminution into the semantics of an already existing word. Such are the Russian suffixes -chka, -chik / check or Spanish -ito, -ita. In English, there are practically no such suffixes.

Instead, we use affectionate treatment - words with the general meaning of “baby” or “baby animal”.

  • Baby The word baby is usually used by people in close relationships. It is indecent to use this word in relation to unfamiliar or completely unfamiliar people.
  • Baby. In colloquial speech, babe is often called a beautiful woman, but it is perceived as dismissive and rude, like "heifer". In a close relationship, babe is an affectionate treatment, and not only to a woman, but also to a man. In this case, it can be translated roughly as "baby", "baby".
  • Bunny. It's hard to imagine anything cuter than a little bunny. Bunny is "bunny", "hare". This is how they call each other in close relationships. Do you want this word to sound even more tender? Here is an option - honey-bunny.


The names of sweets are also sometimes very helpful in expressing tender feelings. There are sweet pea, sweetie pie, and a lot of all kinds of desserts and sweets. Here are some of the more common sweet words:

  • Honey (direct translation - “honey”). What could be sweeter than honey? Sometimes this word is shortened to hon or hun, and it means "darling / darling", "darling", "darling" and "sweet". This word works in almost any situation. So you can call your beloved, and girlfriend, and child. Can you pass me my phone, honey? - sounds more affectionate.
  • Sweetheart (“sweet heart”). "My love", "sweet / sweet" and stuff like that. This word also has a broader meaning - "dear" and "dear person." In this sense, it can be used in relation to an unfamiliar person. For example, a nurse in the emergency room may call you sweetheart if she doesn't know your name.
  • Sugar (“sugar”). Sugar is spoken to strangers even more often than to friends and family. This is something like "sun" or "darling".

Couples very often call each other and other "sweet" names. The most common are muffin, cupcake, baby cake, sugar plum, and others.


Some affectionate words represent praise or compliments. To make a person feel good, you mention something attractive about his / her appearance (eyes, hair) or just call him beautiful.

  • blue eyes. Can you name someone you like blue eyes (brown eyes etc.), and it will be affectionate ("my blue-eyed") - the person understands that you like this eye color. Eyes are what first of all pay attention to, because it's not for nothing that so many poems and songs have been written about them.
  • Beautiful. If you, referring to a stranger, call him or her beautiful, then you are flirting, and very simple. For example, it might sound like this: Hey there, beautiful ("Hey pretty girl!") So be careful with that word. Although a loved one will hear from you Hey there, beautiful it will be pleasant. This is usually how women are addressed. It is better for a man to say handsome ("handsome"). Hey there, handsome!
  • Gorgeous Gorgeous means "very beautiful" and "luxurious" and is used in much the same way as beautiful. The only difference is that men will also be pleased to hear it!
  • hotty. This is a sexually suggestive word, so use it sparingly. In relation to strangers, this is a very rude flirting. But in a close relationship, you can say hottie ("hot thing").

Different good things

Some messages are meant to show that you value the person you are talking to. For this, the names of a variety of things are used with a general positive meaning. Usually couples say this to each other, not friends, and certainly not strangers.

  • Prince / princess. Imagine a prince or princess: this is a beautiful young being in beautiful clothes. Right? That is why couples in love often call each other so. Just remember that if you are referring to a girl, the word “princess” may also have a negative meaning - they say, what a princess (capricious, spoiled). Therefore, be careful: when using it, follow the context and your intonation.
  • Angel. "Angel" is a kind, wonderful creature. When you call someone angel, it is very gentle.
  • Love. Love in America is quite a strong word, so they say to someone who is very dear to you. But in Britain, love is a very common appeal to any woman, including a stranger, and it means “lapula”, “darling”.
  • Lover boy / lover girl. This is a more intimate appeal. It is clear that you are unlikely to call an unfamiliar person a "lover". Lover is just a sweet word lover boy or love girl - pretty playful.

Youth slang

There are some affectionate words that young people use more often.

  • boo. One of the most common -boomeans boyfriend or girlfriend... In fact, it is a borrowed word from the French language beau, which means "admirer". This word is often found in the lyrics of popular songs.
  • Bae. This is an abbreviated form of the word babe with the value of boyfriend or girlfriend, it is often found on the net.
  • Main Squeeze. "My girlfriend" or "my boyfriend", that is, the person you most often squeeze squeeze in the arms. This is a very informal, slang expression that means "the most important person in my life."

Old fashioned buzzwords

Sometimes affectionate appeals go out of fashion; they are still used by the older generation, but they are already perceived as old-fashioned.

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  • Dear. Dear / Darling. This word, which is extremely common in English textbooks, especially old ones, can now be heard only from your grandmother (there is another option dearie - "darling"). Granny can tell you: Be a dear and help me, that is, "be smart, help grandma." Friends and girlfriends won't tell you that for sure.
  • Darling. This word now sounds mainly in the cinema from the lips of cutesy ladies who pronounce it with a breath. In real life, darling speaks of older people, especially women, to those who are especially dear to them.
  • Doll Doll is a "doll" or "darling". Also a little outdated address.
  • Poppet. “Baby” or “baby”. Now almost no one says so, but once in this way they turned to young children. Nowadays, older people rarely call their grandchildren.

Unique nicknames

Sometimes people call each other individual, unique nicknames. What are they most often associated with?

  • Food. Very often household names or other nicknames are associated with food (for example, lamb chop or muffin). Such a nickname could have arisen from a joke "for internal use", which only the initiated understands.
  • Geography. If you know where the person is from, you can use the place name as an address. For example, a friend in New York might be told: Hey, New York! What's up? ("Hello New York! How are you?")
  • All nonsense. Some nicknames mean nothing at all. These are just funny words.
  • Wacky nicknames. Sometimes words with negative connotations are chosen as a nickname for a loved one. For example, stinky ("stinky"). This does not mean that you treat him badly - this is done in love, and, as a rule, the nickname is directly opposite to the real state of affairs (for example, the bad guy can be called "my fat man", etc.).

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