Pet Names: Cool Or Uncool?

"Honey," "Sweetheart" and "Baby" are pretty respectable pet names. You can get away with those in public. But "Lovecakes," "Boo-Boo Bunny," "Snookums" and the like can make you persona non grata among your friends.

What you call your sweetheart and how you display your affection in public will determine whether your friends want to hang out with you two or start making excuses to stay away. These tips might help you find some balance so your girl knows how you feel but your friends don't feel like they're stuck in the middle of a gooey lovefest.

Limit the Sexual Innuendo
Calling your girl "Apple Bottom," "Honey Butt," or "Sweet Thang" is really not cool. You can talk to the guys about her best attributes in private, but blatantly focusing on them in a crowd makes everyone uncomfortable. If you want a pet name that highlights one of her best features, pick something that's visible in public. (No - Mardi Gras doesn't count!) For instance, "Blue Eyes," or "Red" (as in her hair) would be OK. However, borderline choices include nicknames such as "Mochalicious" for her light-brown skin or "Hot Lips" for her sensuous mouth.

Play It Safe Around Family
With close friends, "Sexy" is probably acceptable; however, around her family, stick to tamer terms. "Gorgeous" or "Beautiful" are excellent choices. "Hot Buns" is probably not your best pick, but "Honeybuns" might work, depending on how formal her family is. "Angel" should also be a safe one.

Avoid Backhanded Compliments
If you choose the wrong pet name to call your girl, you might alienate not only friends and family but also your sweetheart. For instance, "Princess" or "Dumpling" could be taken as a compliment or as a criticism. Likewise, "Shortcake" or "Sparkplug" could imply physical attributes that she's not happy to be called out on. So make sure you know her preferences and insecurities well enough to choose wisely.

Accept Regional Differences
Some guys adopt the British term "Love" for their girl - you can't go wrong with that one! Then there's the common Southern nickname "Sugar." That one's definitely acceptable with family and friends. "Darling" usually plays well in crowds, as does "Sweetie-pie."

If you call your girl "Love Bug" or "Babycakes," you're not so likely to be the target of your friend's humiliating mimickry. But if you choose awkward, attention-getting terms such as "Monkey," "Peanut" or "Love Biscuit," you're asking for some taunting by your buddies. If you still want to call her that pet name and rub noses in front of everyone, be prepared for the backlash and make sure she can handle the heat as well. Here's hoping you and "Sugar Plum" can enjoy that lovey-dovey smoochy-talk for years to come!

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Try These Pickup Lines

  • Your smile is as sweet as the sunlight.
  • OK, I'm here, what's your next wish?
  • My friend's nickname is Secret, strong enough for a man but made for a woman.
  • What planet are you from? 'Cause I've never seen anyone like you before!
  • Can I call you 'cotton candy'? You feel like cotton, and you taste like candy.