10 romantic German terms of endearment to woo your Valentine
The German language has the reputation of being a bit - ahem - harsh, but when put to good use it can woo with the best of them. From animals to jewels, with the odd compound noun thrown in, the Germans have a whole host of cute and delightful terms of endearment. Here are some of our favourites, to be used the whole year-round, not just for Valentine’s Day.
1. Schatz (treasure)
Let’s start with an old classic. Schatz, meaning “treasure”, is one of the most common terms of endearment you’ll hear in Germany, used equally among young lovers and couples who have been married for years, as well as for children. You can also mix it up by making it into a diminutive like “Schatzi” or “Schätzchen”.
2. Maus (mouse)
To some, they’re cute pets; to others they’re vermin that scurry and leave droppings; to Germans, a mouse is a widely-accepted fond nickname. You can also use the word in reference to the kids, but usually in the diminutive form (Mäuschen).
3. Bӓrchen (little bear)
You’ll notice that lots of German nicknames follow an animal theme. Calling someone your little bear (Bӓrchen) is a way to tell them you love them and think they’re super cuddly.
4. Knuddelbӓr (cuddle bear)
And if you think your partner is super-duper extra cuddly, you could always opt for a fantastic German compound noun (one that’s not likely to come up in your German course), and call them your cuddle bear (Knuddelbär). What could be cuter?
4. Schnecke (snail)
Not so cuddly, but equally endearing (to Germans at least), is the common garden snail. If your German partner calls you their little “Schnecke”, your impulse might be to get offended - after all, snails are quite slimy and slow - but really, your loved one just wants you to come out of your shell.
5. Perle (pearl)
If you’re not sure how someone would take being called a snail, you can always opt for a classic object of beauty: a pearl. This nickname isn’t heard all around Germany, but in North Rhine-Westphalia, you’re most likely to hear people calling their nearest and dearest their “Perle”.
6. Hase (bunny)
Another animal-based nickname is Hase (bunny), more commonly used for women than men. You might not have long ears or a twitchy nose, but you can't deny being called a bunny is cute.
8. Schnucki (darling / sweetie pie)
Not to be confused with Schnecke, Schnucki is a funny German term of endearment that can’t really be translated into English. The truth is, it doesn’t really mean anything - it’s often roughly translated as “darling” or “sweetie pie” - and so it’s the perfect term for someone you love so much that words fail you!
9. Biene (bee)
Calling your darling a bee is a sure-fire way to draw them to you - like a honey bee to a nectar-laden flower! A variation is “Honigbiene” (honey bee).
10. Süße(r) (sweetie)
If likening your loved one to an insect is a bit much for you, you could always go for a classic hit. You can’t go wrong with calling someone sweetie. If you’re writing a love letter, don’t forget to pick the correct ending (you don’t want to put off your prospective partner with bad grammar!) A woman is called a Süße while a man is a Süßer.
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