Terms of Endearment in Spanish
Here you can find a list of terms of endearment in Spanish for partners, friends, children, and more.
The Spanish language is incredibly colorful, with literally hundreds of different ways to express your affection toward someone. In fact, terms of endearment are so abounding that they are used in everyday conversations, not just romantic occasions or special moments.
However, not all of these terms of endearment are your typical lovey-dovey phrases. Keep reading for some romantic, ironic and other terms of endearment in Spanish.
- Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Significant Others
- Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Children
- Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Kids (ironic)
- Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Friends
- Slightly Offensive Terms of Endearment in Spanish
- Terms of Endearment in Spanish (Physical Appearance)
For pronounciation of these Terms of Endearment in Spanish check out Spanish Dict.
Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Significant Others
Mi amor (mee ah-mohr) My love
Te amo mucho mi amor / I love you a lot my love.
You will also hear just amor. Eg: Amor, ¿me traes la leche? / Love, can you bring me the milk?
Mi vida (mee bee-dah)- my life, darling, sweetheart or honey
Hola mi vida, ¿cómo te fue hoy? / Hello darling, how was your day today?
Mi cielo (mee syeh-loh)- my heaven, honey, my love or my darling
Eres mi cielo. You are my heaven.
You can also use just cielo for more day-to-day interactions. For example:
- Oye cielo, ¿sabes dónde están mis zapatos? / Hey honey, do you know where my shoes are?
Mi alma (mee ahl-mah)- my soul
Tu eres mi alma. / You are my soul.
Cariño (kah-ree-nyoh)- dear
Hola cariño, ¿cómo estás? / Hello dear, how are you?
Chulo/a (choo-loh/lah) cool, neat, cute
¡Hola chula! / Hey cutie!
You will often hear different versions of this word that change the meaning slightly. Here are a few examples:
- Chulado/a: gorgeous, cute
¡Mira esa chulada de mujer! / Look at that gorgeous woman!
- Papi chulo/mami chula: Hot stuff, lover boy
Hola papi chulo. Hey hot stuff.
Rey(rrey) King / Reina (rrey-nah) Queen
Eres mi reina. / You are my queen.
Corazón (koh-rah-sohn)- heart, sweetheart
¿Qué tal tu día hoy corazón? How was your day today sweetheart?
Mi luz (mee loos) my light, light of my life
Eres mi luz amor. / You are the light of my life love.
Querido/a (keh-ree-doh/dah)- dear, beloved
Buenos días querido. Good morning dear.
Precioso/a (preh-syoh-soh/sah)- beautiful, precious
¿Qué opinas tú, preciosa? / What do you think, beautiful?
Linda (leen-dah) pretty, cute, sweetie
Linda, ¿qué vamos a cenar hoy? Sweetie, what are we going to eat for dinner today?
Guapo/a (gwah-poh/pah)- handsome
Buenas tardes guapo. / ¿Tuviste un buen día en el trabajo? Good afternoon handsome. Did you have a good day at work?
Tesoro (teh-soh-roh) treasure, darling
¿Cómo te sientes hoy tesoro? How are you feeling today darling?
Mi sol (mee sohl) my sun/sunshine
¿Qué haría sin ti? Eres mi sol. / What would I do without you? You are my sunshine.
Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Children
As with your spouse or significant other, children are often showered with terms of endearment in Spanish.
Close family members regularly use the terms listed above for significant others to refer to children as well.
These terms of endearment below are specific to children and could be used by family members or friends.
Mi bebé (mee beh-beh) My baby
Hola mi bebé. Hello my baby.
You can also use bebé on its own or add a plethora of adjectives to mi bebé, and many of the other terms of endearment, to make them even more loving, such as: mi bebé hermoso/a, mi bebé chulo/a, mi bebé precioso/a, etc.
Mi chiquitín (mee chee-kee-teen/teen-ah) My little one
Ay que hermoso mi chiquitín. Oh my beautiful little one.
Mi niño/a (mee nee-nyoh/nyah) My child
¿Dónde está mi niño hermoso? Where is my beautiful child?
Principe (preen-see-peh)/princesa (preen-seh-sah)- prince/princess
¿Por qué lloras princesa? Why are you crying princess?
Papi (pah-pee)/mami (mah-mee)-
These technically translate to dad and mom. However, they are often used to mean baby or sweetheart as well.
Aquí está tu juguete papi. Here is your toy baby.
Mono (moh-noh) cute (or monkey so you might want to be careful with this one)
Mira tu vestido nuevo. / ¡Qué mono eres! Look at your new dress. You are so cute!
Peque (peh-keh) kid or little one
Tengo que llevar mi peque al doctor. / I have to take my little one to the doctor.
Muñeco/a (moo-nyeh-koh) doll, sweetie
Muñeca, recoge tus juguetes por favor. / Sweetie, pick up your toys please.
Mijo/a (mee-hoh) my child, dear, sweetie
Mijo, ¿hiciste tu tarea? / Sweetie, did you do your homework?
Nene/Nena (neh-neh/nah) kid, baby
Acaba tu cena nene. Finish your dinner baby.
Terms of Endearment in the Diminutive Form
You will often hear terms of endearment for children used in the diminutive form. That just means adding a suffix such as ito/cito to mean a smaller version of the original word.
¿Quién llamó mijito? / Who called my little child?
You could add the diminutive to almost any of the above terms of endearment. You may even hear diminutive added to the child’s name.
Mira Juanito, vino a verte Anita. / Look little Juan, little Ana came to see you.
Ironic Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Kids
Before we get into the less traditional forms of endearment, there is something you should know about the culture in many Spanish-speaking countries.
Although the culture and people are very warm and loving, one common way to show affection is through light teasing.
Often, this shows up in the form of nicknames.
If a person feels comfortable enough around you to grant you a nickname, that means the person cares about you, even if the nickname itself feels slightly offensive.
So, if you are ever called gordo, gringo, or even tonto, know that in the Spanish speaking world, that is a compliment.
These terms of endearment in Spanish for kids do not sound all that loving. However, the speaker is probably using them in a kind, loving way.
Cachetes/cachetón (kah-cheh-tehs) cheeks/chubby-cheeks
¿Estás listo para salir mi cachetón? / Are you ready to go my chubby-cheeks?
Gusanito (goo-sah-nee-toh) small worm
Ven con mami mi gusanito lindo. / Come with mommy my cute little worm.
Frijolito (free-hohl-eee-toh) small bean, jellybean
Mi frijolito está muy inquieto hoy. / My little bean is very restless today.
Pollito (poh-yee-toh) chick
Pon tus zapatos pollito. Ya nos vamos. / Put your shoes on little chick. We are leaving.
Terms of Endearment in Spanish for Friends
With friends, the terms of endearment lean more toward nicknames than traditional terms of endearment.
Depending on how close the relationship is, some of the terms listed above for significant others or children may be used for friends, especially among females.
This list of Terms of Endearment in Spanish below contains terms that are more neutral and could apply to any kind of friendship.
Chico/a (chee-koh/kah) kid
Oye chico, ¿vienes a mi casa hoy? / Hey kid, are you coming to my house today?
Jefe (heh-feh) boss
Tanto tiempo sin verte jefe. ¿Cómo te ha ido? / It’s been so long since I’ve seen you boss. How has it been going?
Note that if you were talking to your actual boss, you would probably not call him or her jefe. Unless you have a very close relationship with your boss, you would likely address him or her formally (señor/señora + last name).
Primo (pree-moh) cousin
¿Qué onda primo? / What’s up cousin?
This phrase can be used for your actual cousin or to refer to friends who are like family to you.
Hermano/a (ehr-mah-noh) brother
¿Ya encontraste trabajo hermano? / Did you find a job yet brother?
Just like primo, this phrase could be used for your actual brother or a close friend who is like a brother to you.
Pana (pah-nah) buddy, mate, pal
No es mi novia, es solo mi pana. / She’s not my girlfriend, she’s just my buddy.
Manito/a (mah-nee-toh) dude, bro, mate
Manito, ¿viste el partido de Barcelona ayer? / Bro, did you see the Barcelona game yesterday?
Paisa (pay-sah) compatriot (someone from the same country)
Mira, aquí viene mi paisa. / Look, here comes my compatriot.
Carnal (kahr-nahl) blood relative, friend, buddy
¿Qué me cuentas carnal? / What do you have to tell me friend?
Compadre(kohm-pah-dreh) godfather, buddy (for males only)/Comadre (koh-mah-dreh) godmother, close friend (for females only)
La cena te quedo deliciosa comadre. / The meal you made is delicious friend.
The shortened version of this word is also very common:
Compa (kohm-pah) buddy
Voy a ir a jugar fútbol con mi compa. / I am going to play soccer with my buddy.
Cuate (kwah-teh) buddy/twin
Voy a salir hoy con mis cuates. / I am going out today with my buddies.
Amigazo/a (ah-mee-gah-soh) good buddy/pal
Ella es mi amigaza. Le puedo contar lo que sea. / She is my good friend. I can tell her anything.
Understanding Slightly Offensive Terms of Endearment in Spanish
As mentioned above, in Spanish one way to show that you care about someone is by giving him or her a nickname.
Often, these nicknames relate to the physical appearance of a person.
Although in many cultures this would seem mean-spirited, in Spanish speaking cultures, it is the opposite.
Basically, if a person feels comfortable enough to tease you, they trust and value you as a friend.
It is also very common for a person to be given a nickname in a group of friends and be referred to by their nickname instead of their actual name.
La Güera y el Negro van a la casa del Chino hoy. / The fair-skinned girl and black boy are going to the Chinese man’s house today.
For most of you reading this, that sentence sounds horribly racist. Yet, talking about skin color, or categorizing people by skin color, in most Spanish speaking cultures is not nearly as taboo as it is in many English speaking cultures.
The intention for Spanish speakers is generally not racist. They are simply pointing out an aspect of your appearance.
The people receiving these nicknames may also not fit 100% into these categories.
For example, el negro may just have darker skin than most latinos and el chino may have Chinese looking features but not actually be Chinese. Chino is also used to mean curly-haired in some countries, as you will see below.
This is also not an all-inclusive list of nicknames/terms of endearment in Spanish. There are many more that are not quite so family friendly. Especially between males, the closer the relationship, the more vulgar the nicknames can become.
Remember, the people calling each other these names have close relationships and are not offending one another with their nicknames.
To be safe, if you are not a native Spanish speaker, allow others to give you nicknames and avoid being the one bestowing names on others.
If you aren’t sure if it is OK for you to address someone by their nickname, ask first.
Terms of endearment in Spanish Related to Physical Appearance
Negro/a (neh-groh/grah) black
¿Viene la negra a la fiesta? / Is the black girl coming to the party?
Moreno/a (moh-reh-noh) dark-skinned, dark-haired
No he visto la morena en un mes. / I haven’t seen the dark-skinned girl in a month.
Güero/a (gweh-roh/rah) fair skinned
¿Cómo está mi güera hoy? / How is my fair-skinned girl today?
Gringo/a (green-goh) blonde, Yankee, foreigner
¡Ya llego mi gringo favorito! / My favorite foreigner has arrived.
Chato (chah-toh) flat nosed, narrow, or short
El chato ya se fue a trabajar. / The flat nosed man went to work.
Viejo/a (byeh-hoh) old
Viejo ¿tienes dinero para el taxi? / Old man, do you have money for the taxi?
Gordo/a (gohr-doh) fat/thick
Te extraño mi gordo. ¿Cuándo nos vemos? / I miss you my fat man. When can we see each other?
Chino/a (chee-noh) Chinese or curly-haired
Ven acá chino, necesito tu ayuda. / Come here curly-haired man, I need your help.
Rizos (rree-soh) curly
Oye rizos, ¿terminaste la tarea? / Hey curly, did you finish the homework?
Cuando llega mi flaca del trabajo le pregunto. / When my skinny girl gets home from work I will ask her.
Chaparro/a (chah-pah-rroh) short
¿Viste que el chaparro compró un carro nuevo? / Did you see that the short guy bought a new car?
Spanish Terms of Endearment
As you can see, there is a wide variety of terms of endearment in Spanish. Some are sweet terms of endearment, some are funny, and some are slightly rude.
However, no matter what kind of relationship you have, you can most definitely find a fitting term of endearment in Spanish if you look hard enough.
Author: Vanessa Ruiz is a language lover and freelance writer with a BA in Spanish and English as a Second Language. She is raising a bilingual child and also supports immigrant families raising bilingual children.