Friday, March 26, 2010

anything better than a "love cub"?

You might think that I disliked my son's name, based on how many other things I tend to call him--Griffy, Griffo, Spiffy Griffy, Nifty Grifty, Darlin', mon lionceau (my lion cub, because a gryphon is half lion, half eage), mon amour, mon chéri, mon chéri amour [n.b. as even Stevie Wonder knows, "mon chéri" is used when the recipient of your adoration is male; say "ma chérie" for females]. And when he's misbehaving or being particularly silly*, I roll my eyes and exclaim "Child!" with exasperation in my best southern accent.

But my favorite pet name for him is my own creation, an amalgam of "mon amour" (my love) and "ourson" (baby bear): mon amourson.

While I like thinking that my kid is the only one in town (in the country?) being called an "amourson," I do wonder what diminutives and baby-talk names native speakers of French use with their children. The only one I've heard often is "fiston" for a boy child, which for some reason just doesn't appeal to me.

Care to share any others or a link to a relevant website? My "love-cub" and I thank you in advance!

*By the way, I'm also in the market for a good equivalent of "silly" in French. Nothing seems to fit--"capricieux" has negative connotations, "bête" even more so, "rigolo" and "amusant" and "drôle" don't cut it either. I'm looking for an adjective that conveys my appreciation for his whimsy and silliness. Any ideas?


  1. How funny! I've been looking for a good "silly" equivalent in German!

  2. I love nicknames. My youngest has a million. If I think of a good word for silly, I'll let you know.


  3. Silly, hmm, something like a combination of drôle, bébête, fripouille, petit filou, malin? Regarding nicknames for munchkins, if I think about it for a moment I realize there are tons: mon coeur, mon canard, mon poussin, mon ange, mon bonhomme (or tit-homme), mon chou (or chouchou), mon petit lutin, ma puce (ou pupuce), mon lapin d'amour, mon trésor, mon chaton, mon petit loup (often becomes mon ti-loup, mon loupiot, mon loulou, or ma louloutte for girls), mon coco or ma cocotte for girls, mon grand or ma grande, mon minou (ma minette), mon poupon, mon pitchou/ma pitchoune, ma choupinette/poupoune/poupinette for girls... And these are just some relatively common ones. Every parent makes up others like your darling "amourson".

  4. @Sarah--Wow! Thank you very much for this comprehensive list! This is just the sort of vocabularly lesson I was looking for. I love the idea of "mon petit lutin"--"my little elf."

  5. Hey, Sarah, ave you heard of "coquin"? My kids have both deserved it from day 1 at the maternite from the nurses..."T'est un coquin, toi!"
    I don't sense it as negative, I think it translates well "silly", just with a drop of maliciousness!
    I was wondering, will you submit an (this? ) entrY for the Carnival? I'm hosting it this time around (Deadline is tomorrow!). Gros bises! Clo

  6. Salut Clo! Thanks for the "coquin" suggestion. I hadn't realized that it works so well for kids (and doesn't have a negative connotation). I'm planning a new post for today that I will submit to the Carnival--thanks for the reminder.