Endearments are words that express a sense of affection and care. Words of endearment are used to show appreciation. They can also be considered thanksgiving sayings. You can use endearment words at a graduation ceremony, a wedding, to your parents, partners, and a lot more to express sweetness towards people.

Endearment words create a warm atmosphere and space for people to get closer. In relationships where parties do not use words of endearment, they turn to get bored and lose interest or start to feel that their partners do not love them enough. 

This article on endearment would assist you in creating a loving and friendly atmosphere with people and make your relationships warmer and more complementary.

What does endearment mean 

Endearment means to show love or affection to another person. They are sweet words we use to show somebody that we care about them, for example, calling your spouse baby, honey, or my love. 


When to use words of endearment

Cute terms of endearment can be used almost anywhere. It is common to use it with close friends and family, with your spouse or partner, but some cultures even use them when speaking to absolute strangers. It is an excellent way to make people feel comfortable and at home around you. 

Sometimes when endearment words are okay to use, include:

  • With your romantic partner 
  • With your family.
  • With people who are fond of nicknames
  • With your close friends.
  • At a party or other informal gathering 
  • When speaking to kids.

Sometimes when it is not okay to use terms of endearment are:

  • When you are not sure that your audience would be ok with it.
  • If you are a man speaking to a woman you are unfamiliar with. It may come off as rude. 
  •  With a stranger 
  • In a formal gathering like school or work

Make sure to read the room correctly to know when your audience is more formal and severe. 

Every language has endearment words Endearments. It’s not an “English thing.” They exist in other languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Korean, German, etc. Your partner would find it lovely if you use endearment words in other languages.

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Speaking with love: how to use endearment terms 

You can learn endearment terms from watching rom-coms, reading books, or learning by yourself online. You can also opt for a teacher to guide you through the process. 

italki is a language-based online site with well-trained teachers who can help you show that special someone you care about by teaching you the sweetest words. You can learn the right words to woo a person you’re interested in, tell your parents you care, and what to say to make your loved one feel special. 

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italki provides the opportunity for those willing to learn, one-on-one tutoring with teachers through video chats. It enables learners to find tutors who can suit their learning style and their schedule. The lessons are also very affordable and have varied prices.

Investing your time and effort in learning how to make the people around you feel special with the right words is a small price to pay for their happiness. Don’t you think? 

Learn English online with expert teachers who are professional and skilled. With their help, you’ll be talking circles around people in no time. The learning process is under guidance and supervision, which enables your efficiency in learning, and you can also monitor your progress better. 

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List of terms of endearment 

Here’s a list of some of the most adorable terms! Learn how to melt the hearts of the people you love by using these words.

Old-fashioned endearment terms

Words of endearment are constantly evolving as ages pass. These words date back to the 800s, and In English, one of the oldest endearment words is darling which older people still use. Some old-fashioned endearment terms are; mum/daddy, honey, and darling.

  • Mum/daddy

Many older adults still use this to call their partners. It has been used over time, and it is still commonly used. Both parties are known for calling themselves this way, not only as a romantic gesture. They use it so the baby can understand who to call mummy or daddy.

  • Honey

As sweet as the name sounds, it is not common today among lovers. Partners used honey based on its taste. It is a lovely way to represent their loved ones as sweet as honey.

  • Darling

Darling dates back to the 800s. It is one of the oldest endearment words in English. People often use it for people who are dear to them or a favorite.

New endearment terms

From words like darling, mum/daddy, and honey, endearments have evolved as centuries go and come. Today we hear and say words of endearment like; love, sweetheart, baby, boo, bae, my heart, chocolate, and Hun, in the English language.

These words can be used for happy expressions and are not only used towards people whom you have a romantic affiliation with. They are used among friends, family, and colleagues. It creates a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere amongst the people around us.

Some older people have even begun using new forms of endearment. They find it more romantic and lovely and so they use it amongst themselves and even their grandchildren and children.

British terms of endearment

It would help if you remembered that words of endearment are used primarily amongst people close to each other. It is also used mainly by those in relationships as a sign of affection.

Some frequently used British terms of endearment are; Cutie, Sweetheart, sweetie, pet, baby, Hun, and dear. A brief explanation of this endearment is found below.

Cutie is often used amongst friends and circles of people they find physically adorable. It is not just for close people. 

Sweetheart and sweetie are alike. They are used even on children, especially when they want to pamper them to stop crying or to console them if they are hurt. Couples and friends also use the word.

Pet as a British endearment is a playful term for someone you feel affected by and find very endearing.

Baby is an endearing term used by couples who are dating. They call themselves this as an expression of their affection. 

Hun is a modern way of saying honey. People use this because honey seems too long to pronounce, and Hun serves as an excellent short pronunciation.

Dear is also another British endearment word. Although it is used in addressing the person we send a formal letter to, it is also used to refer to those we are close to and those that are close to our hearts.

Slang terms of endearment 

There are some slang affectionate terms that are typically used by the younger generation. They include:

Boo: this is a very common slang term used to mean girlfriend or boyfriend. The word originates from the French term beau, an admirer (a person interested in you romantically). You’ll frequently hear this word in prominent music.

Bae: Bae is also used to mean boyfriend or girlfriend, a contracted form of the word ‘babe.’ Many Gen-Zers and Millennials on the internet seem to be using the word. 

Main Squeeze: It’s ok if this word is unfamiliar. It isn’t as popular as the previous two. The main squeeze is used when talking to somebody about your significant other. It is a very informal term that describes your love for a person by implying that they are the ones you love to squeeze (hug) the most. For peace of mind, think of the main squeeze as the ‘most important person’. 


As much as endearing words are lovely, it is not for everyone. Avoid using endearing words on strangers to spare yourself embarrassment. Not everyone likes to be called honey, sweety, bae, or boo. 

Make it a habit to use endearing words to make people around you feel cared for and special. 

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