“Babe” and “honey” will only get you so far. This Valentine’s Day, pour a little international sugar on your lovebug with these 16 ways to say sweetheart in other languages.
IRISH: A chuisle mo chroí (pulse of my heart)
Lub-dub. Lub-dub. If your loved one gets your blood racing and your heart pumping, try on this Irish phrase for size.
GREEK: ματάκια μου [“matakia mou”] (my little eyes)
When they peer up (or down) at you with those shiny peepers of theirs, do you just melt? So do the Greeks.
SWEDISH: Sötnos (sweet nose)
I’ve nibbled an earlobe or two in my day, and I’m particularly fond of my love’s splendid collarbones. But if you’re all about the schnoz of your sweetie, this Swedish term of endearment is just for you.
ARABIC: عيون غزال [“ywn ghzal”] (eyes of a gazelle)
They also go in for eyeballs in Arabic, especially big doe-y ones reminiscent of savanna-dwelling ungulates.
GERMAN: Mausbär (mouse-bear)
Are they big and hairy or are they small and soft? Do they eat up everything in the fridge or are they dainty about their munchies? This compound German pet name is perfect for your paradoxically delightful love.
FRENCH: Ma puce (my flea)
Does your love leave you, um, itchy? You just might be French at heart. And you might want to get that checked, too.
HUNGARIAN: Bogárkám (my little bug)
To continue the beloved creepy-crawly theme, enamored Hungarians liken each other to little bugs. Adorable. Don’t call pest control.
PERSIAN: Moosh bokhoradet (may a mouse eat you)
Don’t get a Persian together with a Hungarian, or your beloved little bug may end up a feast for a hungry rodent.
FLEMISH: Mijn Bolleke (my little round thing)
Better than a little pointy thing, I suppose. Maybe you can use your love to play marbles.
TIBETAN: Nyingdu-la (most honored poison of my heart)
Things can get dark fast for lovers in Tibet.
Maybe use this one if you have a relationship where they’re dosing themselves out in small doses to you to help you build up immunity? That’s pretty weird, and so is this phrase.
JAPANESE: Tamago gata no kao (egg with eyes)
Are said eyes on the outside of the shell? Or are they suspected somewhere in the albumen? Use this one if your love is mysterious, and maybe a little creepy too.
CHINESE: 沉鱼落雁 [“chényú luòyàn”] (diving fish, swooping geese)
The internet tells me this comes from an old Chinese folk tale. If your love is beautifully ineffable, you might try the fish/geese combo on for size.
DANISH: Min guldklump (my gold nugget)
Does your love make you feel like a million bucks? Or perhaps you are quite literally in love with a lump of gold? I’d recommend cuddling with a flesh-and-blood person over a precious metal – but to each their own.
GERMAN: Schnuckiputzi (cute-sweet)
Go on, try to say it without snickering. Schnuckiputzi. D’awww.