Animal Names used as Terms of Endearment

Monique wrote from France about terms of endearment used in French, Spanish and English that use Animal names…


In French, we use many animals names as endearment words.  We use:

Mon poussin (my chick)
Mon poulet (my chicken)
Ma poule/poulette (my hen/little hen – mostly for girls)
Ma cocotte (my hen – cocotte is baby talk for hen – mostly for girls)
Mon canard (my duck)
Mon lapin (my rabbit)
Mon biquet (my kid – for boys)
Ma biquette (my kid – for girls)
Ma caille (my quail)
Ma puce (my flea -yes!)

Down here in the South of France we also use "ma rate" (my rat) for girls and we say "ratou" for boys.  "Ratou" is from the Occitan word "raton" meaning little rat.  I doubt this expression is used all over France since the Occitan language is spoken mainly here in the south.

In Spanish there’s:

Bichito (bug)
Ratoncito (little/baby mouse)
Gatito (kitten)
Pollito (chick)
Osito (bear)

In English there’s:

Lovey dove
Tiger (a woman’s word for a man)

Which animal names do you use in your language as terms of endearment?

Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World

This article was posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014 at 4:41 pm and is filed under Australia, Countries & Cultures, England, English, France, French, Languages, Occitan, Occitan, Spain, Spanish, Term of Endearment, USA, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Animal Names used as Terms of Endearment”

  1. Sarah Barrett Says:

    German has an interesting mix of words they use as terms of endearment like “Mausi” my little mouse. They also use mein Schatz (my treasure) they tend to to use animal names more as insults!

    I have a language learning blog on my website. Do you have any blogs you’d like to share?

  2. Lene Says:

    In Danish, the only endearments for a child that has anything to do with an animal is Lille Mus and Lille Myr. That’s Mouse and Ant.
    You could call an overly coddling/protective mother Høne-mor, as in mother hen, or kyllinge-mor, as in Mother-of-chickens.
    Usually we use names that could just as well proper names for pets. Buller could be the name of the family dog, or an endearment for your son.
    Else we primarily use names relating to sweets or tobacco for endearments.

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