LIST: The Most Common Spanish Terms Of Endearment
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Whether you are speaking with your partner, a family member, or even with close friends, learning the most common Spanish terms of endearment will allow you to sound more like a native speaker.
Most of the following endearment terms in Spanish have a literal translation, or even an English equivalent that you’ve probably heard, so knowing when and how to use them should be intuitive.
However, there are still some common terms that will likely confuse non-native Spanish speakers when it comes to knowing what the term means and the context in which it’s ok to use that term.
This post is going to clear up any potential confusion so that you can master the Spanish terms of endearment like a native speaker.
The Most Common Spanish Terms Of Endearment
|Dear, sweetie, honey
|My sky, my heaven
|Gordo / Gorda
|Flaco / flaca
|Negro / Negra
|Blackie / Sweetheart
|Viejo / Vieja
|Mijo / Mija
|My son / My daughter
Usually used with the possessive pronoun mi meaning my, mi amor is probably the most commonly-used term between romantic partners.
- Feliz cumpleaños mi amor – Happy Birthday my love
- Amor, quieres ir al cine esta noche? – Love, do you want to go to the movies tonight?
Cariño can be translated into English in many ways, but the most common and accurate ones are dear, honey, and sweetie. Once again, this is almost exclusively used for a romantic partner.
- Gracias cariño, la cena estaba deliciosa – Thank you honey, dinner was delicious
- Hola cariño, cómo dormiste? – Hi my dear, how did you sleep?
3. Mi vida
Literally translated as my life, mi vida is clearly used to express how important someone is to you.
- Hola mi vida, cómo estás? – Hello my love how are you?
- Gracias por el regalo mi vida, me encantó – Thank you for the gift my life, I loved it
4. Mi cielo
We all love a beautiful sky, and that’s what this phrase expresses: my sky or my heaven.
- Luces hermosa esta noche mi cielo – You look beautiful tonight my sky
- Hola mi cielo, te extraño mucho – Hello my heaven, I miss you so much
Corazón translates as heart, so this one is pretty self-explanatory. If someone is your corazón, then you’ve probably found love and a person who you cannot live without.
- Hola corazón, me alegra verte – Hello love, I’m glad to see you
- Vienes a la fiesta mañana? No puedo corazón, debo trabajar – Are you coming to the party tomorrow? I can not my love, I have to work
Bebé translates as baby, and is used with a romantic partner the same way you would use it in English.
- Bebé, llegaré tarde a la casa, tengo mucho trabajo – Baby, I’ll be late home, I have a lot of work
- Hola bebé, llevaré pizzas para cenar – Hello baby, I’ll take pizzas for dinner
Up until now, most of the words we covered are also commonly used in English. While some of the next few words may seem a little corny, they are widely used as terms of endearment in Spanish.
7. Mi rey
Mi rey translates as my king, and is normally used with a male partner.
- Qué quiere desayunar mi rey en su cumpleaños? – What does my king want to have for breakfast on his birthday?
- Do you want to visit your mother tomorrow my king? – Quieres visitar a tu madre mañana mi rey?
Your prince may refer either to a romantic male partner, or a younger loved one (maybe a son, nephew, or little cousin).
- My prince practices soccer every day after school – Mi príncipe practica fútbol todos los días después de la escuela
- Hello prince, I did not expect you today – Hola príncipe, no te esperaba hoy
9. Mi reina
You can probably guess that calling someone your queen likely refers to a romantic female partner.
- Cómo estás mi reina, tiempo sin verte – How are you my queen, long time no see
- I will give my queen a birthday surprise – Le daré una sorpresa de cumpleaños a mi reina
The term princess can be used with your female partner, daughter, niece, or little cousin.
- My princess has a sleepover with her friends – Mi princesa tiene una pijamada con sus amigas
- Princess, do you want to go to the beach on the weekend? – Princesa, quieres ir a la playa el fin de semana?
Now you know the most common Spanish endearment terms for showing affection towards a partner or loved one.
Next, we’re going to explore terms that require a little more mastery in order to use them correctly. We should preface the next section by saying that showing affection in Spanish can sometimes sound quite unusual, and even insulting at times.
For example, in the United States, you would never walk into your local convenience store and greet the cashier (who you know) with: Good morning, fatty!
However, in the right context, this term (and similar ones) can be used in an affectionate way to express endearment.
The key is knowing which context you can use this kind of term and also using the correct tone – otherwise, you could easily land yourself in trouble.
11. Gordo / Gorda
As mentioned above, in most places it would be offensive to call someone else fat or fatty. And still, be careful here, because it is also offensive in Latin America if your intent is malicious.
On the other hand, it is also one of the most commonly used words to express affection.
Native Spanish speakers use it for family, friends, and in certain cases, casual acquaintances (perhaps the person introduced themselves as gordo or gorda).
One quirky thing to note is that a person doesn’t need to be physically fat to receive this label. It can be used with a person who has big cheeks that people like to grab, or something like that.
- Es un día especial, es el cumpleaños del gordo – It’s a special day, it’s Carlos’s birthday (Carlos is the person who’s being called fat)
- Este es tu hijo? que gordo tan bello – Is this your son? what a beautiful baby (“what a cute little fatty“)
12. Flaco / Flaca
Flaco is the opposite of the previous term, meaning skinny.
However, never call an obese person flaco to express sarcasm, as it’s seen to be completely disrespectful (strange rules, I know).
- Mi flaca (mi hija) aprobó primer grado, estoy muy feliz – My skinny (my daughter) passed first grade, I am very happy
- Flaco te llamé ayer para ir a la fiesta – Skinny (Man), I called you yesterday to go to the party
13. Negro / Negra
This might seem like a controversial term, especially from an English speaker’s perspective.
It should be emphasized that this is not the equivalent to the n-word in English.
The meaning is closer to blackie or sweetheart, and for this reason, you’ll notice that native Spanish speakers use it casually.
Of course, once again, depending on the tone and context, it can be said as a term of endearment or as an insult.
It’s common for native Spanish speakers, in the right context, to use it freely with family, friends, and acquaintances. It’s not always used to refer to people with a particular color of skin, but is also used with a person that you care about, or you’re really attached to in general.
- Luces hermosa con ese vestido mi negra – You look beautiful in that dress my girl
- Lo logramos negro, compramos nuestra casa – We did it honey, we bought our house
14. Viejo / Vieja
Viejo and vieja are used to express affection for our elders (mom, dad, grandma, etc), while also giving some respect and understanding that they have much more experience and knowledge than us.
- My old man is the best, he would do everything for him – Mi viejo es el mejor, haría todo por él
- Hello old lady, over the weekend we will visit you – Hola vieja, el fin de semana iremos a visitarte
15. Mijo / Mija
Mijo is a Spanish contraction of the words mi hijo, meaning my brother, while mija is short for mi hermana meaning my sister. These Spanish terms of endearment are used on kids, between romantic partners, and even among close friends. This is such a popular term that we even have a dedicated post explaining mijo and mija in Spanish.
- Wake up honey, it’s time to get ready for school – Despierta mija, es hora de prepararse para la escuela
- Come and give your grandma a hug, boys – Vengan y denle un abrazo a su abuela, mijos
Latin America Endearment Terms
Most of the Spanish terms of endearment we’ve covered so far are used in both Latin America and Spain. However, there are some terms that you will only find in certain Spanish speaking countries. Let’s look at these local terms by country. We also include links to our dedicated posts on each country’s best slang!
This one is definitely Venezuelan slang.
|Pana (Masculine or Feminine)
These are good examples of Colombian slang.
|Papito / Mamita
|Daddy / Mommy
|Parcero / Parcera
|Friend, Dude, Girl
These terms are Chilean slang that, despite their similarity to “pollo,” have nothing to do with chicken!
|Pololo / Polola
|Boyfriend / Girlfriend
Spanish slang from Spain is often very different from Latin America.
|Boyfriend / Girlfriend
Here are a couple of examples of Argentinan slang, including flaco that we saw above.
|Flaco / Flaca
|Nene / Nena
|This prefix is added to emphasize any adjective
- ¡Che! ¡Esa mina es relinda! – Dude! That girl is really beautiful
If you ever hang out with Mexicans, you’ll surely recognize these Mexican slang terms!
|Wey / Guey
Combining Spanish Endearment Terms And Diminutives
Learning how to use Spanish diminutives is a fun way to expand your vocabulary, and make you sound like a fluent speaker.
Native speakers normally use diminutives to indicate a small size, youth, or affection.
For example, carro, meaning car, when used as a diminutive becomes carrito, which means little car, or possibly even a toy car.
Although there are some exceptions, a quick rule for forming diminutives is that for masculine words, we drop the –o and add –ito to the ending.
- Brother: Hermano
- Little brother: Hermanito
For feminine words, we drop the –a and add –ita to the ending.
- House: Casa
- Little house: Casita
As we said, Spanish diminutives are generally used to illustrate some extra sweetness or affection for something, or for someone being smaller or sweeter.
Although you could use the word little before or after a Spanish endearment term, it’s much more common to use diminutives.
Now let’s end with some diminutive examples of the Spanish terms of endearment we saw above:
- Amorcito – Little love
- Mi cielito – Little sky
- Corazoncito – Little heart
- Princesita – Little princess
- Gordito / Gordita – Chubby little boy/girl
- Flaquito / Flaquita – Skinny little boy/girl
- Negrito / Negrita – Little honey
- Viejito / Viejita – Little old lady
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