When Dr. Gary Chapman first published The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts in 1992 he had no idea he was about to strike a national cord that would keep him on best-selling lists for the next two-plus decades.
Dr. Chapman argued that everyone communicates with a primary love language — a way in which they give and receive love with partners. The five languages? Quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and words of affirmation.
Of those five, many psychologists agree that words of affirmation through terms of endearment is one of the easiest ways to boost your relationship. Co-authors of The Normal Bar even found that out of 100,000 Americans polled, 76 percent who consider themselves extremely satisfied in their relationships use pet names with their significant other.
So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite terms of endearment from around the globe.
1. Tamago gata no kao (Japan)
Translation: Egg with eyes
While the exact translation may not sound very romantic, this term is often used to compliment physical beauty, especially in women, as having an oval-shaped face is a desirable feature in Japanese culture.
2. Petit chou (France)
Translation: Little cabbage
Chou literally means “cabbage,” but it can also mean anything little, round, and cute. This term of endearment loosely translates to darling or sweetheart.
3. Mausbär (Germany)
This pet name truly embodies its intention. The term is meant to convey both the cuteness of a small mouse, and the cuddliness of a big bear.
4. Media naranja (Spain)
Translation: Half an orange
You’ve certainly heard the term “my better half.” Similarly, to call someone half of an orange suggests that they complete you.
5. Gordo(a) (Ecuador)
This term is used both in familial relationships and in romantic relationships, and there’s nothing malicious about it. In fact, the term actually has nothing to do with weight at all — rather, it means cute or “cutie.”
6. Microbino mio (Italy)
Translation: My little microbe
Science might be the last thing on your mind when swooning over a significant other. But despite what the translation may indicate, this Italian term of endearment actually means “little one,” or “tiny thing.”
7. Chuisle (Ireland)
Translation: My pulse
This Gaelic term of affection indicates your romantic partner is your very heartbeat. It is another way of saying “my love” or “my darling.”
8. Kruzynko (Poland)
Similar to Italy, Germany, and France, all things (and people) little and round are deemed sweet and lovely in Poland.
9. Buah hatiku (Indonesia)
Translation: Fruit of my heart
This Indonesian term is meant to capture the sweetness of love, and is more often used when describing affection toward children or family members than romantic partners.
10. Poepie (Netherlands)
Translation: Little poop
If you’re trying to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day, we recommend starting with any of the previous nine terms of endearment. But, if you find yourself in the Netherlands on February 14, remember that being called a “little poop” is nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, it’s a very common term used to express affection for children and lovers alike.
While sugar pie honey bunch certainly gets the job done, some things just sound more romantic when spoken in another language. With all of these new pet names in your arsenal, the only other thing you’ll need to complete this Valentine’s Day is a box of chocolate and a bottle of wine.