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Pet names are more or less unavoidable. Even if you have an agreement in your relationship to avoid calling each other “honey” or “baby,” it’s likely one of you will fall into the trap at some point.
Research has shown that using cutesy terms could be a result of your mother using them with you. Pet names are essentially a form of baby talk, which help infants learn languages while expressing love at the same time.
More good news is having adorable pet names for each other is a sign your relationship is strong.
People all over the world make up affectionate names for each other, some of which sound quite strange when they are directly translated to English.
Language experts at Babbel looked into alternative pet names from around the world and found they vary quite a lot.
Katja Wilde, Head of Didactics at Babbel, told Business Insider in an email: “We use different words in order to differentiate between affectionate language and common language, so that we can made our loved one feel special.
“Latin and Greek used diminutive forms to express affection 2,000 years ago, just as today’s languages do eg: -chen in German.”
Here are 12 of the most original and unusual pet names from around the globe:
1. “My little cabbage” — France
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People in France often call their loved one “mon petit chou,” which literally translates as “my little cabbage.” Alternatively, they also use “ChouChou.”
2. “Mousebear” — Germany
- Thomson Reuters
In Germany they fuse two cute animals together to come up with the word Mausebär, meaning “mousebear.”
3. “Egg with eyes” — Japan
- Chris Dlugosz / Flickr
Oval-shaped faces are considered particularly beautiful in Japan, so it’s a compliment to be compared to an egg with the name “Tamago gata no kao,” which translates as “egg with eyes.”
4. “Cute nose” — Sweden
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In Sweden, people call each other Sötnos, or “cute nose.”
5. “My little microbe” — Italy
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Microbes aren’t usually associated with being cute, but in Italy people sometimes call each other “Microbino mio,” which means “my little microbe.” Maybe it’s appropriate considering how many germs we exchange while kissing.
6. “Little elephant” — Thailand
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In Thailand, your partner might call you “Chang noi,” meaning “little elephant.”
7. “Half an orange” — Spain
- Unsplash/Toa Heftiba
In Spain they call each other “Media naranja,” or “half an orange.” It means that this person is your “other half.”
8. “Little Chip” — Netherlands
Dutch people might call you “Patatje,” which translates as “little chip.”
9. “Kitten” — Norway
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In Norway, you could get called “Pus,” which means “kitten.”
10. “Paw” — Russia
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In Russia, “Lapachka” translates to something like “sweetiepie,” but the word is actually derived from “lapa,” which means “paw.”
“Most honoured poison of my heart” — Tibet
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Tibetan people sometimes use the dramatic “Nyingdu-la,” which translates as “most honoured poison of my heart.”
“Breadcrumb” — Finland
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In Finland, people say “Muru,” which means “breadcrumb.”