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Languages - terms of endearment

 Language Learning Forum : Philological Room Post Reply
13 messages over 2 pages: 1
mick33
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4832 days ago

1335 posts - 1632 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Finnish
Studies: Thai, Polish, Afrikaans, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Swedish

 
 Message 9 of 13
31 May 2013 at 9:11am | IP Logged 
In Afrikaans there is the word "liefling" which means "darling". "Bokkie" is also used to mean "darling", but is literally a diminuitive form of "bok". I think "bok" usually means "goat".
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liammcg
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Ireland
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Speaks: English*, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, French
Studies: German, Italian

 
 Message 10 of 13
31 May 2013 at 12:11pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Probably also Celtic (and IE, thus related to Latin, but different).
Breton has kaer,
which means the same (and also some other things).


Which manifests itself in Goidelic as "cara" meaning friend?

Irish has some nice terms of endearment such as "a stór" or "a mhuirnín" both meaning
beloved or darling. Another nice one is "a chuisle", meaning "pulse". I think that one
made an appearance in some Hollywood film?

edit: It was "Million Dollar Baby", though it appears in an anglicized form as Cuishle.

Edited by liammcg on 31 May 2013 at 12:17pm

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pandorabrooks
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Japan
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Studies: Spanish
Studies: Japanese, French

 
 Message 11 of 13
07 June 2013 at 6:51am | IP Logged 
Japanese typically don't seem to have many terms of endearment. "Anata" is used by married women to their husbands. Recently young people have been using the English word "darling" but of course with a Japanese pronunciation.

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tennisfan
Triglot
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United States
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 Message 12 of 13
07 June 2013 at 7:53am | IP Logged 
I've noticed that there are at least a few other languages besides English that use the word "baby" as a term of endearment. I've heard it used both in Romanian and Hungarian, among others.
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Lakeseayesno
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Mexico
thepolyglotist.com
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Speaks: English, Spanish*, Japanese, Italian
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 13 of 13
09 June 2013 at 5:57am | IP Logged 
Tedmac278 wrote:
In Argentina some men use "gordi" with their girlfriends as a term of endearment. It literally means "fatty".
Only country I'm aware of where you can get away with calling a woman fat!

Haha! Well, I can't speak for the rest of Latin and Central America, but I've heard "gordita" (full version of "gordi", I'd guess) in Mexico as well. It seems the most common one in here is a very generic "mi amor" ("my love"), but there's also a ton of less generic ones hailing from the north and southwestern regions (where Spanish is strongly mixed with native words).

There's also one the diabetes-inducing, sickeningly corny term "cuchi". Young couples don't usually say it so I guess it's outdated (I've only heard it once or twice in my life). I heard it became part of the lingo because the Flinstones were pretty popular back in the day, and in the Spanish dub, Betty called Fred "cuchi-cuchi"... as to why THAT stuck, I haven't got the foggiest idea.

RE: the article posted by the OP, I think whomever wrote that was more than slightly skewed in his judgment. I HAVE heard 'terron de azúcar', but only in old movies and as an ultra-exagerated expression of affection (more or less on the same level of exageration as "who's my poochie-poo?!").

As for Japanese, "tamago-gata no kao" isn't a term of endearment (it literally means 'egg-shaped face', which can't be too flattering in ANY language...), it's a facial beauty standard that defines people with oval faces.

Like pandorabrooks said, Japanese language is naturally lacking in terms of endearment: instead, most people in a close relationship give each other nicknames based in their names or surnames, or add the suffixes -chan or -san after their names. As a note, most people studying the language think -san is too respectful and distant, but some couples still do use it; from what I've seen, it sort of depends on upbringing and region. I know a Japanese family for who the biggest sign of love and trust is to be called by your unadulterated name (without suffixes or nicknames).

That said, the most generic terms of endearment are all pronouns meaning 'you' (anata/anta, kimi, and omae, which a lot of modern women hate because it is essentially equivalent to "hey, you") generally lose out to the endless variations of nicknames that people in such a relationship can give to each other.


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