Terms of Endearment

Whoever was the first person in a relationship to call their significant other “baby” deserves a good old-fashioned kick in the face.

Seriously, y’all, when did this happen? It’s EVERYWHERE, and so very annoying.

In “There With You,” Shannon’s high school rival is a cheerleader named Emma Wilcox. Emma is dating Mark (Shannon’s fellow time traveler and supposed-to-be rival) and since we’re all supposed to hate her already, having Emma call him “baby” was a no brainer.

This got me thinking: what would be a term of endearment that is sweet, but not sickening?

My friend Sam made the very good point that the most meaningful ones are those that are inside jokes or relating to moments between the people using them. His example was something like if a couple goes on a date and eats a dish with a lot garlic, it’s sweet for them to call each other “garlic breath.” (At first he suggested things like “garlic breath” without fully explained context. I was horrified. Me: “That’s a terrible name! Who would want to be called that??” Explanations are super important, you guys. 😉 )

Anyway, I think he has the right idea. I’m going to be writing some stuff pretty soon and want to try using a term of endearment between my characters. Hopefully something within the story will lend itself to a good one, but I’d like some suggestions, too.

Here are some that I am called:

  1. Fest Before my nephew could correctly say Stef, this was what he said. Mainly my sister (Natalie, who I call Noodle, which is a long story – her name went through various stages before I landed on that) and friend Jasmine (Jazz, but that’s an obvious one) use it.
  2. Sugar My dad and grandpa say this to just about everyone. I think it’s so cute and Southern.
  3. Slugger This one’s pretty much retired. I earned it after a particularly strong serve during a game of water volleyball. Instead of simply sailing the ball to the team on the other side of the net (which is, you know, the idea), I launched that sucker across the yard so that it hit the fence. What can I say? My arm has a mind of its own.
  4. Kippy My dad uses this one when he’s offering encouragement to me or my sister. It’s hilarious. Do y’all remember when Kerri Strug was on SNL with her twin brother, Kippy? (Played by Chris Kattan.) He was all insecure about his gymnastics skills, and Kerri told him in her squeaky voice, “You can do it, Kippy.” Dad wrote many a note with those words during dance team tryout days, and he’ll dust it off every once in a while now. So funny.

Do y’all have any fun nicknames or sweet little endearments? How did you get them?


5 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment

  1. nat – obviously a shortened form of my name, which most people call me once they know me for a while
    napkin – some weirdo in elementary school called me this, still not sure why
    baby nat – my friend called me this whenever i wore my glasses because it took her back to our 3rd grade days
    natal – because my signature does not include the “ie” on the end

  2. My daddy calls me babygirl and always has no matter how old I am. The only other person that calls me that is my Tia- his best friend. I love it. He also used to call me jobber b/c I used to help him with anything and everything- I always wanted to be his helper when he worked and never left his side. Missy- a neighbor had a hard time saying Marissa so my family has always called me Missy since this kid. Funny thing is- it only caught on with the family and with neighbors I grew up with. Friends called me Mer in highschool short for Marisa and other names have always been Risa, Mars, and Mari. My favorite of all time have been the ones the hubs created- Bubs (long story there), Boss (b/c obviously I’m in charge around here)

    • I like Boss!! I might have to use that one. My female character definitely acts like she’s in charge… it would be funny for the male character to call her that. Thanks!

  3. SLUGGER! Yes! Mija is also a good one. I’ve used Bubba before, it was an inside this which definitely makes things special. I do think baby is a weird one, but I tend to use Babe the most. I also think it’s weird when people say Daddy. That one really freaks me out.

    People have called me Sam, Sammie, Samonela, S-Lo (pronounced ess- low) Sammie Whammy, Whammy, Whammers, Sam Sam, Sam Bam, Samantha Rae (my mom when I’m being scolded), Sammie Rae.

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