by Fiona McMurrey
Image courtesy of France Channel.

1. Mon coeur

This nickname can be used universally and quite literally translates to my heart. As simple as it is, I melt every time my partner says it which really goes to show that some things just sound better in French - with the exception of e.e. cummings, “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)”.

2. Mon amour

Another nickname that can be used for anyone, mon amour, or my love, is an easy way of declaring your affection for your partner!

3. Mon trésor

Mon Trésor translates to my treasure, which is a wonderful way of letting your partner know how invaluable they are to you, even if they complain first thing in the morning about the burst of cantankerous sound from the scooter below your apartment, or correct your pronunciation of French words, all day and every day.

4. L’amour de ma vie

This petit nom d’amour should be used selectively and sincerely otherwise you are a connard, and a menteur! L’amour de ma vie, or the love of my life, is a beautiful name for a long term partner or future spouse.

5. Mon bébé

Use mon bébé in the same context that you would use “baby,” in English! My French partner often forgets that you don’t need to add the possessive pronoun in front of “baby,” in English which turns into adorable iterations of “my baby,” and naturally I don’t want to correct him.

6. Mon chéri/Ma chérie

One of the most common terms of endearment, mon chéri/ma chérie, are the romantic versions of the more formal mon cher/ma chère. Consider the difference this way: mon chéri/chérie, is roughly the equivalent of saying ‘my darling,’ while mon cher/ma chère, is the same as writing “Dear so and so,” on a letter or in an email. As ubiquitous as it is, I still feel butterflies when my partner calls me ma chérie.

7. Ma raison de vivre/Ma raison d’être

Perhaps I’m not the most romantic person in this world because I find these two petits noms d’amour extremely cheesy but you do you, if your partner is your raison de vivre or être, in English, reason to live or be, then the more power to you! (This is not to say I am not absolutely in love with my partner, I am but I live for myself before him)

8. Mon rayon du soleil

Mon rayon du soleil, or my ray of sunshine, is similar to mon trésor, unless of course you prefer the rain and despise the sun but ma pluie just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

9. Mon dieu de sexe

Yes it means exactly what you think it means, my sex god. Use this one in all the right places and with discretion…

Practice your French by exchanging these petits noms d’amour with your loved one, maybe it might bring a bit of sensual excitement to ordinary terms of endearment!

Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons.