French Terms of Endearment for Children

Written by melissa sherrard
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French Terms of Endearment for Children
Many French-speaking parents use terms of endearment to address their children. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The French are known for their art, wine and beautiful language, the last of which is not lost when adults speak lovingly to children and "bebs." So the next time you want to shower your little ones with special terms of endearment, using one of these French phrases will make you look tres chic!

"Ma Petite"

French parents will often call out "ma petite" to their children, as the phrase simply means "my little one." When speaking to young girls, "ma petite" is used while "mon petit" is used for boys. Parents will often personalise this basic phrase by adding words like "coeur," "bijou," and "amour," respectively saying "my little heart," "my little jewel" and "my little love."

"Mon Petit Chou"

"Mon petit chou" may seem an odd choice for a child's pet name, as the phrase translates to "my little cabbage," but the French have been using this term of endearment longer than even they can remember. The origin of this phrase, which remains the same when addressing boys and girls, is a topic of debate to this day. Some believe the word "chou" refers to how a cabbage can resemble a green rose, and others claim it refers to a sweet cream puff called choux à la creme.

"Mes Poulettes"

French women who feel like a mother hen tending a flock will often be heard calling their children "mes poulettes," which literally means "little chickens." When addressing a single child, parents will call a boy "mon coco," meaning "my rooster," and a little girl "ma cocette," which means "my hen." You might hear French parents calling out "mes poulettes" when they want to keep their children together or on their best behaviour.

"Mon Cheri"

Perhaps one of the best-known phrases of the French language, this term of endearment literally means "my dear" or "my darling." French parents who want to show their love and affection will often be heard calling a little boy "mon cheri" and a little girl "me cherie." This French term of endearment isn't reserved for children alone, so don't be afraid to call everyone you care about "cheri!"

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