What you call your significant other and what it says about you

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary it was common for ye olde English people to use assorted fish species as terms of endearment. Whiting, prawn and my little codfish – all were popular. Or bawcock, from the French beau coq, literally translated as “fine cock”. Thankfully nowadays we just use the shit emoji.

Babe

Initially, you were just doing it ironically, testing the water with a “bbs” over Whatsapp, and it just kind of caught on.

Baby

Unless you’re a mid-noughties R&B singer from Los Angeles, calling anyone “baby” makes you sound like a 40-year-old man in wraparound sunglasses leaning out of the driver’s window of a Ford Transit.

Babes

You met them in Revs, you both come from the depths of inner Essex and you go for evening drives together where you shag in the back of his Honda Civic. You only use babes in two contexts: “I’m just facking saying babes, yeah?” and “She means fack all to me babes you’re the only one babes I promise”. Do not reproduce.

Babycakes

Babycakes was a fairly cutesy but acceptable pet name until, in 2004, 3 Of A Kind came along and ruined it for all of us with a vanilla melody and images of slutty French maids making eclairs.

Baby girl

Chances are you’re from a very middle class suburb and went to a fairly good uni. As a longtime, but distant admirer of urban culture, you’re the sort of person that refers to your privately educated friendship group as “mandem” and still says “safe” in a non MIC way. A 2017 Posh Kenneth if you will.

Beautiful

Your life is brilliant; your love is pure. You saw an angel; of that you’re sure. As insufferable as the eponymous James Blunt ballad, you’ve taken to calling your partner “Beautiful” even though it makes everyone in the vicinity visibly gag.

Darlin’/treacle/anything else best left in the 1950s East End

Drop the Mockney you went to Dulwich Sebastian.

Love

It’s really hard to say this one without sounding really passive aggressive. If you can manage that, you have won the right to produce. Congratulations great communicator of modern times.

Lil one

“Aw, this lil one!!” you say patronisingly as you rub their lil old head scruffing their lil hair up. They’re not even that small!!!!

The missus

Are you Dapper Laughs?

This is what Dapper is up to these days

Big man

Got a hunk there, haven’t you? ‘Hello big man’ you say, as you lean towards him, elbows on the table with your hands framing your face. You imagine him picking you up and marching you into the bedroom.

Hun

Time is racing toward us, ‘til the Huns arrive. Heed my every warning and you might survive!

This one (dinner with this one, can’t believe this one got me my fave Michael Kors bag for V Day!!!)

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Chicken

Said in a sing-songy way “chicken” is used for when your “chicken” is sad/confused. When used sincerely it is easily the most twee pet name of all.

Pig

You’re very comfortable with each other. You talk about each other’s bowel movements, and fart and burp in front of each other, and yeah you laugh it off because you’re so chilled. You go on a date to a farm and see a pig and he tags you in a photo, but you’re not bothered. Honest, it’s chill, he doesn’t think I’m fat. So what if we eat maltesers out of each other’s belly buttons?

Buh

Your relationship is insufferable, your Facebook posts contain way too much information, and everyone in your inner circle will laugh when the inevitable accidental pregnancy comes along.

Bubba

You brush each others hair, bake cakes in your onesies while talking in baby voices and love to tell everyone how they’re the cutest person in the world.

?/poo

Not sure if you can really describe that as a term of endearment or an affectionate nickname. Our only conclusion can be that you have a well ingrained hatred of your partner and that, in short, you think they are a shit.

Petal

Your girlfriend calls you this if she’s a bit mumsy. That, or you’re northern and your southern boyfriend is taking the piss out of you. Petal is, normally, what the old lady next door used to call you when you were a kid.

Angel

Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady

Life is one big party when you’re still young
But who’s gonna have your back when it’s all done
It’s all good when you’re little, you have pure fun
Can’t be a fool, son, what about the long run
Looking back Shorty always mention
Said me not giving her much attention
She was there through my incarceration
I wanna show the nation my appreciation

Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady

You’re a queen and so you should be treated
Though you never get the lovin’ that you needed
Could have left, but I called and you heeded
Begged and I pleaded, mission completed
Mama said that I and I dissed the program
Not the type to mess around with her emotion
But the feeling that I have for you is so strong
Been together so long and this could never be wrong

Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady

Girl, in spite of my behavior, said I’m your savior
(You must be sent from up above)
And you appear to me so tender, say girl I surrender
(Thanks for giving me your love)

Girl, in spite of my behavior, well, you are my savior
(You must be sent from up above)
And you appear to me so tender, well, girl I surrender
(Said thanks for giving me your love)

Now life is one big party when you’re still young
And who’s gonna have your back when it’s all done
It’s all good when you’re little, you have pure fun
Can’t be a fool, son, what about the long run
Looking back Shorty always mention
Said me not giving her much attention
She was there through my incarceration
I wanna show the nation my appreciation

Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady

Girl, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me, baby
Shorty, you’re my angel, you’re my darling angel
Girl, you’re my friend when I’m in need, lady

Boo

It’s likely you buy your other half “Me To You” teddy bears from Clinton’s for every occasion (they still love them, they’ve now got at least five) and probably put on your “silly” voice when you say “boo”. Cute?

B

You don’t like typing. Or each other.

Their name with a ‘y’ on the end (Benny, Tommy, Gracey)

You want something, don’t you?

Squishy

Daddy

Choke me daddy.

Pumpkin

They don’t love you, they fucking hate you.

Prin

If you’re gonna define me as princess at least have the decency to say the whole word like the royalty I am.

Sweetness

Where are you hiding the bodies.

Boy/girl (boy done good)

Tickets to Paris! Boy done good!!!!

Hunny bunny

A psychotic pet name for a psychotic diner-robbing girlfriend. You’re either using this as a joke or you’re middle-aged, because anyone in their twenties would be dumped on the spot if they genuinely called their other half this.

Flower

Unless your name is Fleur and he’s no good at French, this is a bit OTT.

Bae

No one says this seriously, do they?

With contributions from Josh Kaplan, Lucy Woodham, Bella Eckert, Daisy Bernard, Roisin Lanigan, Tom Jenkin and Bobby Palmer.

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