Terms of Endearment – English Language Notes 15

{“en”:”On February 14, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. In honor of this holiday, I thought we’d have a lesson on terms of endearment. Those are words like “honey”…”baby”… They’re words of affection, and we use them to address the people we’re closest to: Every language has its terms of endearment. Some are widely used, and others are a little unusual because they’re made up. They’re used just between two people. We have a lot of terms of endearment in English. – So many that I can’t possibly tell you all of them. But I do plan to share many of them, and I have some notes to help me remember. We’ll start with a very common one: honey. It can be written two different ways as a term of endearment. We use “honey” with adults and children. As in, “Hi, honey. How was your day?” “Good job, honey. I’m so proud of you.” A short form? – Hun’ (hon’). Like, “Hon’, do yo have a second?” Variations? – There are a lot of them.

Some common ones are: Sometimes, especially in the case of honey, you hear a term of endearment in a situation where people are not close, but the situation is informal. For example, a friendly waitress might say, “Hon’, want some more coffee?” or “Can I get you some more coffee, ‘hon?” You need to be careful. You may hear this, and it can be appropriate in certain situations. My advice is not to use terms of endearment with people you are not familiar with or close to. Because then it could be taken as a form of disrespect.

So be careful. All right. Next one. “Baby.” “Hey, baby. What’s wrong?” We can use it with adults or children. Short form: babe. Variations: A very common term of endearment: sweetheart. For adults and for children. “Good morning, sweetheart.” “Sweetheart, it’s time for breakfast.” Variations: Again, like “honey,” there are a lot of variations. “Sweet pea” – usually for children. “Sweet lips” – for adults. “Love” – “Hi, my love.” For adults and for children. You might hear: “Darling.” You’ll hear a combination: Darling dear. My darling dear. In some accents, in some situations – songs, for example – you’ll hear people drop the “g.” And instead of “darling,” you’ll hear something like “darlin’.” “Dear.” You see this word also in messages and letters, “Dear Mr. Smith”…”Dear Mrs. Jones.” As a form of address, as a greeting in a letter, it has nothing to do with affection. It’s actually just a formal, polite way of starting out a letter or a message. But variations for terms of endearment would be: You can also hear “dearie,” and that could be spelled different ways, but when I think of “dearie,” I think of some elderly…kind, elderly woman who is maybe thanking a young person for helping her carry her groceries, “Oh, dearie.

Thank you so much.” So not as common. “Cutie.” “Cutie patootie” – definitely for children. “Sunshine.” This is one that I use. “Hey, sunshine.”…”Good morning, sunshine.” “Sunshine, time for school.” “Angel.” – Adults and children. Most of these are for adults or children. Okay. This one is probably more so for a romantic relationship. “Snookums.” – My snookums. We have some silly sounding terms of endearment. “Snookums” would be one of them. A similar one: “pookie.” It could be for kids, but I usually think of that in a love relationship.

“My snookums.” …”Pookie.” Another silly word, “boo.” Not like “Boo!” to scare you, but “Ooh, my boo! My little boo.” So terms of endearment can sound silly because they’re affectionate… We have many terms of endearment based on the names of animals. Usually cute little ones, like: Although bears are big, we might say: For a girl, you might call her “princess.” “What’s wrong, my princess?” We have terms of endearment based on good looks. We might use this for our children, for example. “Come here, gorgeous.” “Hey, beautiful.” “Handsome.” I sometimes say, “Where’s my handsome boy?” He’s getting older, so I have to be careful I can’t be too cute calling my nine-year-old a “cutie patootie” or “my handsome boy.” That’s not cool anymore. Also for kids, “munchkin.” We have other terms of endearment that end with “-kin.” It sounds cute: munchkin, pumpkin… Those are the ones I can recall right now.

Also, just like we have terms of endearment based on cute little animals, we have terms of endearment based on sweet things to eat, like: Gosh, there are so many. I think I’ll have to end there. But now you get a sense of how many terms of endearment are possible. Listen out for them. You’ll hear them in films, in TV shows, in songs… Maybe you’ll hear them said to you. Now I’d like you to take a very short true-false quiz to check your understanding of how terms of endearment are used. However, in general we’re very wary of strangers who do approach children. I believe there’s still one term of endearment I didn’t share with you yet. It’s something sweet.

“Sugar.” We can use this for adults for for children. Personally, I don’t use it. Or I don’t use it much. The only example that comes to mind is again that friendly waitress, maybe taking your order. “What can I get you, sugar?” All right. We’re going to end by taking the word “sugar” and putting it in a poem. I want to share a very common poem. In fact, it’s so common, it’s probably the first love poem that children learn in English. Maybe you know it. It goes like this: People love to play around with this poem and change the words. We usually keep the first two lines and change the last two. The variations can be funny. They can be cute. They can be romantic. A child might say: So you get the idea of how creative you can be.

I thought you might like to try this. If you want to create your own poem, try using the “Roses are red” poem. Keep the first two lines and change the last two. How would you end this poem? That’s all for now. Thanks for watching. Happy studies! And happy Valentine’s Day!. “}

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