Society Magazine

Pet Names That Will Land You in the Doghouse…

Posted on the 31 August 2012 by 72point @72hub

Pet names like ‘Babe’ ‘Treacle’ and ‘Pickle’ have been voted amongst the most hated names for couples to call one another, it has emerged. The research into the most loved and hated terms of affection found ‘Babe’ to be the most loathed way to refer to a loved one.

‘Sweet cheeks’ isn’t likely to win any favours, while being called ‘Snookums’ ‘Muffin’ or ‘Pumpkin’ were all voted likely to prompt a cold shoulder from the 2,000 Brits studied.

While terms like ‘Gorgeous’, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Lovely’ are still acceptable, referring to your loved one as ‘Sugar lips’, ‘Ducky’ or ‘Honeybun’ is now deemed too sickly sweet.

The research, which was commissioned by domain name giant, found the biggest reason to abandon a pet name is because it sounds too false, while soppiness or risk of offending follow closely.

Although, one in seven risk-taking Brits regularly calls their partner a name they don’t like as a bit of a tease.

A spokesman commented on the findings:

“Pet names between partners are usually used as a way to show a little regular affection but some are clearly better than others.

“Whether using the more common terms like ‘babe’ or ‘darling’ or some of the more modern terms, the research shows the ones we choose for our partner can have very differing impacts.

“There’s a lot of power in a name and each one throws up different connotations so it’s important to know which ones will flatter a partner and which are definitely not going to have the right effect.”

The Americanised terms of ‘Baby Girl’ and ‘Baby Doll’ don’t seem to wash with Brits either and make the most-hated list, while modern pet names like ‘Babycakes’ and ‘Sexy Pants’ will also backfire.

Only one in five Brits actually calls their partner by their full name most of the time, with the same number reserving a private nickname they use when it’s just the two of them.

The men studied admitted they refer to their partner with names they would only use while she was out of earshot.

‘The Mrs’ or ‘The Wife’ are common terms still used by men today, while one in six men quietly refer to their partner as ‘The Boss’.

‘Her indoors’ is a popular name for an absent wife or girlfriend, while a braver one in 14 refer to their partner as ‘The ball and chain’ (and the 3% of men who say they refer to their wife as ‘The Wicked Witch of the West’ are also living dangerously).

A softer one in ten blokes admitted they let their partner call them a soppy nickname that they would dread their mates ever finding out.

However, one in ten Brits has been found out on a private nickname – 44% used it accidentally when others were around, while friends accidentally reading private texts or cards stumbled brought it out in the open for three in ten.

The spokesman continued:

“Of course personal nicknames, when born out of affection, are a nice thing for partners to have between one another.

“Although as we’ve seen they aren’t always names we want shared publicly.”

“There’s a lot to be read from a name and sometimes using too strongly clichéd or overly-soppy pet names for someone we like will just be seen as insincere.”


  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. Muffin
  12. Angel pie
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Puppy
  15. Sugar lips
  16. Treacle
  17. Baby
  18. Pickle
  19. Honeybun
  20. Sugar pie

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