Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Do You Have a Pet Name for Your Significant Other?

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.52.34 AM

You wanna know what I call Drew?…

I call him Drew. Sometimes I call him Andrew, which is his full name. True story: He always, always went by Andrew until he started college and people began calling him “Andy.” He was, like, “Look, if you’re going to shorten my name, call me Drew, not Andy,” and he’s been Drew ever since. His family only calls him Andrew though, and, when he introduces himself to people, he usually goes by Andrew. To me, he’s both. But that’s it. He’s not honey or babe or sweetie or any other pet name (and he’s definitely not my “hubby”). And to him, I’m simply Wendy, or sometimes Wendy Kay. And that’s it. Once or twice in our entire relationship, I might have called him honey by accident and it felt so weird and foreign coming out of my mouth. I don’t have anything against it or other pet names; it just isn’t what we do. But what about you? Do you have a pet name or term of endearment for your spouse or significant other? Is there a special meaning behind it?

60 comments… add one
  • mylaray

    Mylaray October 5, 2015, 12:19 pm

    We do the babe/sweetie/dear/honey thing, but he has a few nicknames for me too. I’ve always gone by Myla but sometimes he calls me my legal name, Mallory, and also mylaray which is a funny way of mixing both. His first initial is C so we call ourselves the MC’s/emcees as kind of a family nickname.

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    ktfran October 5, 2015, 12:29 pm

    I just started calling the guy champ. I like to say ridiculous things to make people laugh. This was one of them, and it has kind of stuck. I don’t use it often. Mostly when we’re joking around or I want to make him smile.

    I don’t care for the normal terms of endearment, such as babe, honey, sweetheart, etc. So, I don’t use them and I’d prefer people don’t use them on me. However, I’m all for something funny like the above. Also, I would not call him this in public or around friends.

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      Ange October 5, 2015, 10:15 pm

      Haha my husband was very emphatic that I NOT call him champ, as apparently in the army it’s a bit of a derisive term. It’s hard as I love the word.

      Otherwise I call him hon, it’s always been strange to me to call him by his name. Feels formal or something. We also call ourselves a portmanteau of our surnames, the Chegstones.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray October 6, 2015, 5:07 am

      How is your boyfriend the Champ doing?? I’m gonna start calling him your champs aux lycée – don’t know why. Update us!

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes October 5, 2015, 12:29 pm

    Hi, Im Racoon Eyes, and Im a nickname-a-holic with my Dearest. NOT in front of anyone, I promise. (You know, since we arent in High School.) But over text and gchat and sitting around at home? His name rarely, if ever, passes my lips and the same for him. Over the course of a few man-friends in life, ehh let’s say 5-7 major ones, Ive been a user too. The nicknames are usually nonsense that just spills out of my mouth one day and I fixate upon it thereafter. Usually the guys didnt reciprocate, but Im very glad my Dearest is also a user. Strangely enough, he is the only one for which there are more than one nickname (and then the variables too).
    *
    And if it is anyone’s business, I call him (amongst a few others) Foofy Foo. He usually calls me Lovey Boo. There, I said it. I fee like this should have been in a deleted thread.
    *
    Anyway, to recap, Im Racoon Eyes, and Im a nickname-a-holic. There, I said it again.

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    • avatar

      ktfran October 5, 2015, 1:00 pm

      My college boyfriend… he was Joshalo (we met while working in Yellowstone so that was a take on buffalo) and I was ktfranbear.

      That’s possibly just as embarrassing.

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      • othy

        othy October 5, 2015, 1:30 pm

        Othello and I are both *first syllable of first name*-bears.

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        RedRoverRedRover October 5, 2015, 2:46 pm

        My son is *first-name*-bear! Or when we’re talking to each other we refer to him as “the bear”. As in “I’ll pick the bear up from daycare tonight”. And now my husband and I just generally refer to little toddlers as bears. Like when we see one do something cute we look at each other and go, aw, little bear.

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        snoopy128 October 5, 2015, 3:06 pm

        With my dog, she’s Maia-bean. So I’m —bean or mommy-bean, the bf is M—-bean or daddy-bean. We also just call her “bean” when we discuss her. “can you take bean out?” “bean is going to need to pee soon”

        With my parent’s dog he’s B-boots or “boots”; So i’m —boots, my mom is momma-boots, my dad is daddy-boots.

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        RedRoverRedRover October 5, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Hahahahah you sound like us. Except I don’t want to be called momma-bear because that already has a meaning, and I don’t think it describes me at all. My husband called me that once and I made him stop. But we definitely would have been doing it if it didn’t already have a meaning. 🙂

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    • othy

      othy October 5, 2015, 1:29 pm

      I’m Othy, and I too am a nickname-a-holic. Othello is rarely called Othello in our household. I’m too embarrassed to repeat what we call each other. We’re so bad that it throws me for a loop every time he calls me Othy in private (I, like you, don’t use most of our nicknames in front of others).

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes October 5, 2015, 3:53 pm

        Phew!!! I was a bit worried I was the only one around here. 😉

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      _s_ October 5, 2015, 2:01 pm

      My husband and I NEVER call each other by our names. We don’t do “dear” or “honey” or any of the nicknames people usually think of – most of them are nonsense syllables strung together into “words,” or other terms. Like seriously, we NEVER say each other’s names out loud, to the point where it’s really awkward to do so when required (like when trying to get each other’s attention in a crowded public place or across the room at a party or something).

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes October 5, 2015, 3:56 pm

        Ahahaha, same for us! I actually cannot even recall exactly how he sounds saying my name! He claims I emphasize the wrong syllable in his actual name (he is ooooobviously wrong about this fact), but he didnt point it out to me early enough in the relationship for it to catch on in my head…so I suppose we are lucky that we’re really only used to our nicknames. Or something. lol

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja October 5, 2015, 12:50 pm

    we def. have pet names. of course they’re weird random things that no one gets, but it works for us 🙂

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet October 5, 2015, 12:50 pm

    “Babe” is pretty much the only thing we call each other. At least 90% of the time. I’ll occasionally refer to him as his actual name (usually if we’re at a party or out in public), and maybe he does the same, but I honestly can’t remember the last time he used my actual name.

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  • kare

    kare October 5, 2015, 1:04 pm

    My pets have pet names…does that count? Monty gets referred to as Monty Cuddles, Monty Burns (usually sung), Sugar Plum, etc. Luna gets called Luna Moon, Sweet Pea, and Sugar Lumps.
    *
    So yeah, I use pet names a lot. It’s really embarrassing the more I go back through my list. Eek.
    *
    Also, I’m southern – I throw sweetie or honey into everything when addressing friends (or strangers if I’m drunk).

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      snoopy128 October 5, 2015, 1:59 pm

      My dog is Maia-bean, baby-bean, baby girl, beanigan, lovely lady, etc etc . I have to remember to use only her real name when I’m calling her or doing training

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      SpaceySteph October 5, 2015, 2:17 pm

      I wrote below about using ridiculous pet names for our dog, too. Shortly after I started calling him doodle, my husband linked me to this:
      https://xkcd.com/1535/

      Let’s just say that within a year of having the dog I skipped from “his name” to a mixture of “coherent words” and whatever is outside of that. I am very advanced that way 😉

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      • othy

        othy October 5, 2015, 2:41 pm

        That xkcd came out a couple of weeks after we got our dog. We had already passed the fourth year state with him.

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        snoopy128 October 5, 2015, 2:44 pm

        Yup. My family dog answers to his name as well as: butt-head, stinky-boy, Mooey, Moo-moo, bubba etc. 🙂

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      Ange October 5, 2015, 10:18 pm

      Only one of our cats has nicknames, Leroy the idiot boy cat just gets his name. Penny on the other hand is pen-pen, tiny cat, pin head, pendulum, the angry penguin and probably a few others I’ve forgotten.

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  • avatar

    K October 5, 2015, 1:09 pm

    No pet names for us!

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  • avatar

    Ale October 5, 2015, 1:12 pm

    He calls me a million different ways. So, when he calls me by my name it’s super weird.
    I only call him by his name.

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  • avatar

    Kate October 5, 2015, 1:18 pm

    We call each other “boo” but call the dog by his actual name.

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    Bubbles October 5, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I call him “honey” mainly because our son is a Jr. and so in order to not confuse the family when calling for one of them from another room, I would call out “honey” for my husband and my son’s name if I was calling him. (If I had to do it over again, I would not name my son after his father because of this and many other confusions, UGH!). He calls me “sweetie.” Over the years, to be cheesy if I called him honey, he’d respond with bunny. LOL

    Also at times when we’d argue, he’d make a statement and then end it with “SWEET—HEART” and because of the way he’d say it, I’d think to myself, oh hell no he did not just call me that! HA!!

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 October 5, 2015, 1:29 pm

    I’m close enough to the south that Sweetheart, Sweetie and Honey just automatically roll off the tongue for me with significant others. The guy i’m dating right now calls me babe every once in a blue moon. Some women hate that but I secretly love it.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 October 5, 2015, 2:28 pm

      In terms of nicknames for actual Pets – my cat is Tiny Satan, and the beagles are anything from Betty Spaghetti to Boogey sugey pooper face

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  • Portia

    Portia October 5, 2015, 1:47 pm

    We call each other “boo,” no idea how that started. Occasionally I’ll call him “boo boo” in a Yogi Bear way “Hey boo boo!”

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  • Miel

    Miel October 5, 2015, 1:48 pm

    We say dear or darling. Nothing else. We pretty much never use each other’s name.

    The only time I might use his name is to wake him up because he’s snoring.

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    Firestar October 5, 2015, 1:48 pm

    He calls me my full first name. No one else does though. Everyone else usually shortens it to my nickname. He only calls me dear when he is exasperated. I call him his full Name …or honey if I want something or am trying to exasperate him. I have 20 different things I call my daughter though.

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    mertlej October 5, 2015, 1:50 pm

    We call each other buddy. Apparently my family seriously thought we were using buddy more along the lines of a “i’m not your buddy, pal” tone, but no, we legit mean buddy.

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      SpaceySteph October 5, 2015, 2:12 pm

      When my husband and I were first flirting, he called me “man” in like a “no way, man” kind of way. And I thought “no way does he like me like me, if he’s calling me ‘man.'” But he did, it was just a weird vocal tic.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 October 5, 2015, 2:08 pm

    We use our names. I often slip up and call him “babe” at which point he gets annoyed or replies back with something over-the-top cutesy. When I catch myself calling him “babe”, I will turn it into the scene from Hot Rod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKnr_9V0K48

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph October 5, 2015, 2:15 pm

    My husband and I aren’t really into pet names for each other. We call each other “husband” and “wife” sometimes, and like Wendy and Drew, his mom and I call him Daniel but most people call him “Dan.”
    We have tons of pet names for our dog though, so I guess we get them all out that way. The latest is “Doodle” or “Puppy Doodle.” I do not know why we do this, we sound like idiots. Also recently my husband slipped and called (our something- German Shepherd mixed mutt) “Poodle” as a weird combo of puppy and doodle.

    Also my sister’s fiance calls her “baby-girl” all the time and I just cannot. deal. I hate that so much.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana October 5, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I call him handsome 99% of the time and he calls me beautiful sometimes, or sweetheart which is my favorite- he will use baby a lot for me but I don’t use that as much, just handsome. It’s funny because my mom, and both sisters we all call our significant other’s handsome and it came from my mom calling my dad that growing up, I guess its something we just all did super instinctually. I also am the only person to call him by his full name vs. his last name or the shortened nickname of his name. That is because when we first started to date, we both have long names that are frequently shortened and I made sure to ask what he likes to be called, so its his full name and same with me.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo October 5, 2015, 2:38 pm

    We have had literally hundreds of pet names for each other over the years, usually trenchantly insulting or somewhat provocative. Many of them arose from this swell Smashmouth song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT0Aa_BJPoE. Not usually in public, but sometimes. I recall that early in the relationship, M liked to call me Bucky the Wonder Horse. I include this for its comic value only, not with any assertion of its biological appropriateness or factuality. Nowadays, sadly, she most often refers to me as Gaseous Clay. (Never marry a smart-mouthed woman, I swear.) Her sobriquets and superhero alter-egos have been Demolition Girl (on account of her ability to cause chaos and destruction in a domestic environment) and Anxiety Girl.

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  • othy

    othy October 5, 2015, 2:44 pm

    Othy is the name of my World of Warcraft character, and I play with a lot of real life friends. So they bounce between calling me by my name, calling me Othy, and calling me a variation of my husband’s WOW character’s name. It’s great fun when those friends meet my non-video game playing friends, because they look at me sideways when I’m called Othy.

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    lindsaybob October 5, 2015, 3:08 pm

    My husband used to call me Sweetie a lot, but I didn’t really like it and he doesn’t do it often now. He mostly calls me My Love (which I think is super cheesy, but it doesn’t really bother me). I call him by his name. I guess I’m pretty unromantic.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster October 5, 2015, 3:21 pm

    Babe and baby, although I say his first name more than he says mine, I think. And on social media we call each other bae in a tongue-in-cheek kinda way.

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      snoopy128 October 5, 2015, 3:36 pm

      Bae used in a non-sarcastic way makes me want to vomit.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster October 6, 2015, 11:17 am

        I actually find bae to be sweet, but I wouldn’t use it seriously with my current boyfriend because it would feel weird for a number of reasons. My ex called me bae throughout our 7 year relationship. But, he’s black (I’m white ftr) and bae’s been a part of African American vernacular for a long time- long before it blew up the internet. The rise of ‘bae’ in mainstream media truly baffled me at first since I did not see it as a new or saccharine word. This is a good breakdown of the bae distortion/appropriation into the popular lexicon: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/14/white-people-declared-bae-over-black-people-can-use-it

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        snoopy128 October 6, 2015, 11:54 am

        That’s cool. I never knew the origins of bae. And it makes me like the use of it even less in mainstream white culture. From the context of black culture (as described in your link), I can see bae as sweet. When it’s used as ‘Before All Else’….nah, no thanks. I guess I don’t like the version of it appropriated by white culture (says the white girl).

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    Alex October 5, 2015, 3:43 pm

    My boyfriend hates the traditional pet names and so he calls me “lady pants”. I cannot really say how it started because it was so long ago, but I am his lady pants. He generally shortens it to lady. Sometimes I call him “man pants”, but generally I call him by his name or I call him my honeybun cause it annoys him and that makes me giggle.

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    • avatar

      Winterskye October 8, 2015, 11:14 am

      As a fan of Hot in Cleveland, this made me laugh out loud. 🙂

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    anonymousse October 5, 2015, 3:45 pm

    We use “baby. ” Our relationship started as FWB, with a pretty good amount of sexting, so I think it probably carries over from that (wince!)

    It’s getting confusing now, as I’m 7 months + pregnant, and we have a toddler.
    One of his words is baby, and he knows what a baby is, mommy and daddy call eachother baby…and yikes! We do try to use mommy and daddy or our first names around our son and in public.

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  • barleystonks

    barleystonks October 5, 2015, 4:40 pm

    My husband is hard of hearing and can’t generally hear soft consonants, which is all his name has, so he can’t identify when people say his name. I think I only actually use his name when I’m talking about him to other people. I think “Hon” sometimes slips out, but usually I just don’t use a name around him, I just start right in with talking. Sometimes if I’m having significant issues getting his attention, I’ll go “Dad!” because it’s one word he can reliably hear, and he is a dad, so he turns, but I think the whole “Daddy” “mommy” as pet names is kinda creepy under normal circumstances, and I am barely older than his kids, so…

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    bparker October 5, 2015, 6:00 pm

    We use babe/baby a lot when we’re alone. We both have a bunch of nicknames from various friends so depending on who is around we use whatever our name is according to that friendship. I use ‘honey’ a lot for other people, friends and strangers, so I don’t like using that for my boyfriend.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 5, 2015, 7:14 pm

    At this point?
    .
    Fictitious.
    .
    Sigh…

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    Samantha October 5, 2015, 7:47 pm

    My boyfriend’s name is Paul, and I often call him Paulderaan or Paulpatine, from Star Wars. He gets annoyed with it, but he also refers to me as Butt Butt or Spam. I always end up calling my friends and family weird names, though. I love puns, and I just can’t help making puns out of people’s names.

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    joanna October 5, 2015, 8:03 pm

    He calls me “Babies”. Yes I am plural. I call him “Yum Yums” or more recently “Banana Duck” and there’s a funny story how that one came about.

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    vizslalvr October 5, 2015, 8:12 pm

    He calls me Gooey/Goo or Gorgey and I call him Goo. The gooey came about from a weird autocorrect from “honey,” and gorgey is short for gorgeous. Usually we call each other by our first names, but if we use pet names its those.

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  • avatar

    d2 October 5, 2015, 11:08 pm

    Nope, never had nicknames.
    I always preferred being called by my full first name (not by the common shortened nickname variant), so I always called SOs by their full first name.

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  • avatar

    jilliebean October 6, 2015, 7:26 am

    My husband is from another country and his name is kind of hard to pronounce. So I started calling him “babe” long before our relationship was at that level because it was much easier to say, ha!

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  • shanshantastic

    shanshantastic October 6, 2015, 8:18 am

    I’m always “Honey”, said in varying tones of exasperation. 🙂 He is usually honey or babe, or Daddy when talking to the kids, but most often B (his first initial) – even our son calls him B, it’s funny.

    Our son is A or Boo (for Boo Radley), or sweet pea if I’m talking to him. Our daughter is Z or Infanta or 8 million other happy words that babies smile at.

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    PumpkinSpice October 6, 2015, 8:48 am

    I call my husband by his nickname, his full name and I call him babe. He calls me babe too. Usually, if he uses my name we are arguing or mad at each other. When he calls me by my name, it is just weird bc it is always babe. Lol.

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    ohsoridiculous October 6, 2015, 8:54 am

    My husband and I have “pet” names for each other but they are nothing along the lines of honey or baby, etc. We were at his grandmother’s house years ago going through her old yearbooks and making fun of some of the old-timey names of her classmates. Eventually, we started calling each other those names.

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  • avatar

    Something More October 6, 2015, 10:52 am

    I call him my Honey Bear. Other than that, we really don’t do nicknames.

    My daughters and dog have the nicknames.
    Brody (dog): Bro, Bro-bro, Brody-puppy, Gentleman Brody (when he lays with his paws crossed), Bro-pup, Jerk

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    Lydia October 8, 2015, 11:46 am

    We occasionally use Babe as a lazy way of saying each others names…But I do call him Timmy, short for Timothy or TimTim…He just says my Birth name….I have a pet name for my Boyfriend because he acts like a baby sometimes….

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    Winterskye October 8, 2015, 11:57 am

    My husband is probably the most reserved man you could ever meet, but he’s Swiss and he can’t resist cute nicknames. Most are just German nouns with “li” added at the end to make words like “little hare” or “little mouse”, or sometimes more specific terms like Schnüggerli (snuggle bunny), usually when he wants to cuddle etc. Mostly, though, we just call each other “cupcake”. Words like “dear” or “honey” would make us both cringe, but somehow “cupcake” never does.

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