Expressing Affection in French


Last Updated: February 22, 2023

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Looking for something else to call your loved ones beside the usual nicknames like sweetie, honey, darling or sweetheart?Then perhaps we can interest you with their French counterparts; just like mon amour which is my love in French! This article lists down 80 French terms of endearment for the special man, woman, or little child in your life.

Not only are French words considered by many to be the epitome of romance, it will also help  you level up your game and steer you away from the tired and dull terms that everybody else uses.

French Terms of Endearment

A Quick Background

French terms of endearment are more than just mon amour or ma chèrie that you hear in movies. There are loads more where that came from.

In general, the French like to use words related to food and animals (perhaps because French people love food more than anything else and care deeply about pets, too). That, and of course, the truly romantic ones that are dripping with love. Ooh la la!

Gender Agreement

Take note that the possessive adjectives mon and ma which means “my” need to agree with the gender of the word being used in the terms of endearment and not with:

  • the gender of the speaker, and
  • not necessarily with the gender of the person you are speaking to.

This is why we say mon amour or mon coeur even to the ladies (for example, a man could call his wife mon amour). This is because the gender of the word amour is masculine and not because of the gender of the speaker or the person he is talking to.

For a little review of how French possessive adjectives work, check out this short article.

In general, the masculine terms of endearment work for both men and women, unless the word associated with it make it strictly for male (i.e. mon homme or my man). Female terms of endearment, however, can only be used for women.

To make it easier for you, we’ve segregated the terms based on its usage: whether it can be used for male, female, and children, or solely for men and boys, or for women and girls.

Using Petit/Petite

Another thing to remember is that you can basically add the word petit/petite (little) in most of the terms here. This will make it even cuter, such as ma petite chérie or mon petit chou.

English Equivalents

Some of the words here are direct translations from words you already know and use in the English language, but you’ll find that some can be quite quirky and silly. Take for example, ma crotte. It means something like “my poo” (or even worse, ‘turd’). Now that’s something you wouldn’t call someone in English, but in French it’s a sweet yet silly nickname.

French nicknames for men, women, and kids

L'amour de ma vieLove of my life
Ma crotteMy poo
Mon rêveMy dream
Ma moitiéMy (other) half
Ma passionMy passion
Ma perfectionMy perfection
Ma puceMy flea
Ma raison d'êtreMy reason for being
Ma raison de vivreMy reason for living
MamourMy love (shortened for mon amour)
Mon amourMy love
Mon amoureuxMy lover (does not necessarily have sexual connotation)
Mon angeMy angel
Mon bébéMy baby
Mon biquetMy lamb
Mon bonheurMy happiness
Mon canardMy duck
Mon chatonMy kitten
Mon chouMy sweetie (lit. cabbage; my pastry)
Mon chouchouMy favorite
Mon ciel étoiléMy starry sky
Mon cochonMy pig
Mon cocoMy egg
Mon coeurMy heart
Mon destinMy destiny
Mon étoileMy star
Mon lapinMy rabbit
Mon lapinouMy bunny
Mon mignonMy cutie
Mon mimiMy pussycat
Mon poussinMy chick (baby chicken)
Mon rayon de soleilMy ray of sunshine
Mon sucre d'orgeMy barley sugar, candy cane
Mon trésorMy treasure

Nicknames for women and girls only

Ma belleMy beautiful
Ma bibicheMy little doe
Ma bicheMy doe
Ma bichetteMy little doe
Ma cailleMy quail
Ma chèreMy dear
Ma chèrieMy darling
Ma choupinetteMy cutie
Ma cocotteMy hen
Ma colombeMy dove
Ma douceMy sweet
Ma féeMy fairy
Ma fifilleMy little girl
ma grandeMy big (girl)
Ma lutineMy elf/ my pixie
ma mieMy dear
Ma minetteMy pussycat
Ma petiteMy little love
Ma petite sirèneMy little mermaid
Ma pouleMy hen
Ma poupéeMy little doll
Ma poupetteMy dolly
Ma princesseMy princess
Ma tigresseMy tigress
Mon bijouMy jewel

French terms of endearment for men and boys only

Mon beauMy handsome
Mon bébé d'amourMy baby love
Mon cherMy darling
Mon chériMy dear
Mon grandMy big guy
Mon hommeMy man
Mon loulouMy little one
Mon loupMy wolf
Mon lutinMy elf
Mon minetMy pussycat
Mon nounoursMy teddy bear
Mon oursMy bear
Mon petitMy little love
Mon petit canetonMy little duckling
Mon petit chouMy little cabbage / chou
Mon pouletMy chicken
Mon princeMy prince
Mon roméoMy romeo
Mon supermanMy superman
Mon tigreMy tiger
Mon vilainMy naughty

You can also get this list in PDF format.


French nicknames can be sweet or silly or totally romantic. Which one is your favorite? And which one would you like to try out with your sweetheart? Feel free to share in the comments the French terms of endearment you like!

Check out some related readings here:

Romantic French Words and Phrases to Melt your Lover's Heart

French for Parents 101: Baby Talk, Vocabulary Lists, and More!

Learn 20,000+ French words with our French Vocabulary Mastery Course. 

Here are some FAQs about French Terms of Endearment

How do you say “my love” in French?

“I love you” in French is je t’aime.

How do you say “sweetheart” in French?

“Sweetheart” in French is chérie.

How do I say “Hello my love” in French?

To say “Hello my love” in French, you say Bonjour mon amour. Bonjour is “hello” and mon amour means “my love.”

How do I say “Good morning, my love” in French?

To say “Good morning, my love” in French, you say Bonjour, mon amour! Bonjour can mean “hello,” “hi,” or “good morning” and mon amour means “my love.”

How do you say “Goodnight, my love” in French?

“Goodnight, my love” in French is bonne nuit, mon amour. Bonne nuit means “good night” and mon amour is “my love.”

How do you say “I love you, my love” in French?

You say, “Je t’aime, mon amour” if you want to say “I love you, my love” in French.

About the author 

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

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