Endearments: How do you draw the line between cute and creepy?

Endearments.  Yes or No?

How do you feel about them being used in a romance novel?  Do you use them on a regular basis without even realizing it?  I admit I call my girls names like: hon; sweetie; babe or baby-doll – just to name a few.  But when is it appropriate to use them on adults, and how do you draw the line between cutesy and creepy?

While researching endearments for my latest Valentine’s romance, Finding Destiny, I came across a lot that I already knew and a few new ones that gave me a good laugh.  I thought I’d collect a list of my favs, including the absolutely ridiculous ones that I couldn’t bear to leave behind. 😉

Here are the ones that made the cut:

  • angel;
  • babe;
  • baby;
  • baby-cakes;
  • beautiful;
  • buttercup;
  • chicka – my high school French teacher used to call me this all the time;
  • cupcake;
  • cutie patootie;
  • cutie pie;
  • dahlin’ – yes, I have a thing for Pitbull;
  • darling – I still prefer that one ^^^;
  • dear – the only reason I kept this one in is because I will never forget the time my dad was cutting down cornstalks for Halloween one year and my mother yelled: “Dear, there’s a deer!”  My dad had no clue what she was saying and the deer ran right past him, without him knowing it. Lol. (Sorry, fun childhood memory);
  • dearie;
  • doll;
  • gorgeous;
  • gum-drop;
  • hon;
  • honey-bun;
  • hot stuff;
  • kitten;
  • love;
  • lover boy;
  • lover;
  • lovely;
  • munchkin;
  • old lady – I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my hubby’s called me this a time or two;
  • peaches;
  • precious – Lord of the Rings – hee hee;
  • princess;
  • pumpkin;
  • pussy-cat – I had to;
  • snookums;
  • snuggle bunny;
  • spunky;
  • stunner;
  • sugar;
  • sunshine – you make me happy when skies are grey;
  • sweet-cheeks – my hubby likes to call me this too;
  • sweetheart;
  • sweet pea;
  • sweet-thing;
  • sweetie;
  • sweetie-pie;
  • sweets – I’ve always liked this one for some reason.

There.  Did any of those make you cringe?  Lol.  This should make the ladies feel a little better.  😀

How would you like Skylar Knight to call you sweetheart?  He's my M/C in the Valentine's romance I'm wrapping up right now. :) Finding Destiny by Christa Simpson.

How would you like Skylar Knight to call you sweetheart? He’s my M/C in the Valentine’s romance I’m wrapping up right now. 🙂 Finding Destiny by Christa Simpson.  COMING SOON!!

How about these ones… the ones that didn’t make the cut:

  • Big daddy yum yum – Seriously????  Who came up with this one??
  • Cuddle-bear – I don’t know.  This one just sounds awkward to me;
  • Duck – can someone please explain this one to me, cuz I don’t get it;
  • Fruitcake – I’m sorry, but if someone called me a fruitcake I’d probably have to shoot them the finger behind their back;
  • Honey toast?  Really?  People actually use these?
  • Poopsy – I know I’ve heard this one before, but it doesn’t mean I like it;
  • Rag-beggar – No, I’m not making this shit up;
  • Rumpy-diddle – no comment;
  • Sugar-booger – just eww;
  • Last… and maybe even least: winky dink.

There you have it.  Have I inspired you?  Bahahaha.  Maybe you’ve coined your own endearment.  Or maybe I’ve missed one that you think should have made it on my list.  The comment box is your friend.  Don’t be shy.  Let me hear em.

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10 comments

  1. I love nicknames, and I love using them in my writing. I think everybody uses them at some point; I could be wrong, but I doubt it. 😉 I’ve actually read things before where women say they hate nicknames in romance novels because they find them condescending…I don’t get it. I think they exhibit an obvious affection between partners unless they are said in an unkind way – such as calling each other derogatory names (like a*hole, lol)! I call my son baby, sweetie, and brat (with a smile)…and he comes back with “I’m not a/your brat/sweetie/baby!” every single time, no matter what it is, LOL. Anyway, I like them 😛 and the ones that didn’t make the cut are just hysterical…

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    1. Right? But I agree with you, when used with the right tone, most of these endearments could work. Except for Big Daddy yum yum. Wtf. That one’s stuck in my head for good now. I’m almost tempted to rummage up some hair-brained scheme to slip it into one of my stories. Lol. In fact, I have just the man-whore to say it. Skylar’s brother could totally get away with calling himself that and making y’all smile your asses off. 😉 We’ll see. Lol.

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      1. In my opinion, it would have to come from a woman who is confident in giving that kind of compliment. “Good morning, Stunner. You should cancel your lunch appointment and join me for coffee…or we can skip the coffee and come back here.” No?

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      2. Here I was thinking it would have to be a man saying it, but I see where you’re coming from. That works.

        I wish I didn’t have to test myself all the time, but I do. And I think I know just the (fictional) girl to use that. She’s a secondary character in my current WIP and she’s not so patiently waiting for her own story. I always take little notes like this and save them for later use. Thanks for your input!

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  2. This was a great post! The ones that didn’t make the cut (and with good reason) were absolutely hilarious! “Big daddy yum yum” had be laughing for an eternity! Because of the kind of writing i do (fantasy, sci fi) i don’t use/know much endearments but this post definitely introduced me to some great ones. 😀

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