Pet Names for Lovers… the good, the bad & the ugly


My hair nearly stood on end the other day as I was kissing the guy I’ve been dating goodbye when he said, “I’ll see you later, sweetie.” It was a) the first time he had given me a pet name b) the first time he had given me a cheesy pet name and c) I am many things, but “sweet” isn’t one of them. As per usual, I had no filter. “Sweetie?” I cried. “You called me “sweetie?”

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Quite understandably, my lovely new dude was confused. “Is there something wrong with that?” he asked. “What would you prefer?” For once, he had me stumped and speechless. I didn’t have an answer — and that is for the simple fact that I absolutely loathe all pet names.

I’m not the only one, either. A recent survey from revealed “babe” as the most hated pet name among women in the U.K. After polling 2,000 Brits between the ages of 18 and 60, the site determined that only one in five call their partner by their given names: the others are subjected to “snookums”, “sweet cheeks” and “baby doll.”

Gag me with a freakin’ spoon.

Whenever I hear stuff like “sweetie” or “hon” (as one male friend who is, in fact, four years younger than I continues to a annoyingly refer to me to this day — you know who you are), I shudder. The man you are dating should speak like a man, not like an 84-year-old waitress.

There are some pet names that are acceptable, of course, though they are far and few between. “Gorgeous” and “Beautiful” are always acceptable in my book (and the ladies of London apparently agree with me).

But guys, just an FYI: When in doubt, use our names. There’s nothing sexier than hearing you say our name.…so use it. OK, babes?

Top 20 Most Hated Pet Names For Women:

  1. Babe
  2. Sweet cheeks
  3. Snookums
  4. Baby doll
  5. Baby girl
  6. Muffin
  7. Ducky
  8. Baby cakes
  9. Sexy pants
  10. Pudding
  11. Angel pie
  12. Pumpkin
  13. Puppy
  14. Sugar lips
  15. Treacle (a type of syrup in the UK)
  16. Baby
  17. Pickle
  18. Honeybun
  19. Sugar pie
  20. Cupcake

Top 20 Acceptable Pet Names For Women:

  1. Gorgeous
  2. Beautiful
  3. Lovely
  4. Love
  5. Darling
  6. Honey
  7. Sexy
  8. Angel
  9. Dearest
  10. Precious
  11. Treasure
  12. Snowflake
  13. Blossom
  14. Sweetie Pie
  15. Sexy legs
  16. Lover
  17. Buttercup
  18. Flower
  19. Princess
  20. Sweetness



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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.

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