25 Spanish Terms Of Endearment For Family And Friends (2023)

Affectionate and endearing terms can convey how special and important your loved ones are to you, and this is no different in Spanish culture.

Spanish speakers are generally open, amorous, and warm people who will always greet you with love and kindness.

Terms of endearment are commonly used.

When you visit a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll notice that people even use besos and abrazos (that’s kisses and hugs) when greeting family and friends and give them two kisses on their cheeks.

If you’d like to learn a few Spanish terms of endearment yourself, read on.

Also see our guide on how to say “I love you” in Spanish.

Spanish terms of endearment used to address a loved one or partner

We’ve begun this article with extra special Spanish terms of endearment to address your soulmate, partner or other half.

Which of these phrases best describes your special someone?

Mi vida

Mi vida, a Spanish term of endearment, translates to English as “my life” and is used to address loved ones or partners with affection.

If you’re a parent, you can also use the phrase mi vida to address a young child, and in nursery schools, you’ll hear teachers sometimes adopt this term of endearment to address very young children as well.


Cariño means “darling” in English.

This Spanish term of endearment can be used to address your partner and can also mean “sweetheart”.

Mi amor

The Spanish term of endearment mi amor is the equivalent of saying “my love” in English.

Amor is a sustantivo or noun that literally means “love”, so you can couple it with the pronoun mi and address your loved one as mi amor.

Mi media naranja

This Spanish idiom is another Spanish term of endearment that shouldn’t be interpreted literally.

Its metaphorical meaning is what’s important as it translates to English as “my other half” or “my soul mate”.

You can remember this one by thinking of two halves of an orange, where the other half completes it (in the same way that your loved one or partner completes you).

Mi corazón

Mi corazón translates to English as “my heart”.


This endearment phrase can also mean “sweetheart” or “my love”.

Since the word corazón literally means “heart”, you can remember this one by imagining a love heart!


The Spanish term of endearment querido and its feminine equivalent querida both translate to English as “dear”.

Remember to use querido if you’re addressing a male and querida if you’re addressing a female.

It’s an affectionate word that you can use to show your love for your loved one.


We use chulo or chula to address a male or a female, respectively.

It’s an endearment term that translates to English as “cute one” or “cutie”.

Mi rey

The Spanish term of endearment mi rey means “my king” in English.

Use this phrase to address a male partner who you love, respect and admire, and show them how important they are to you.

Mi reina

Mi reina is the feminine equivalent of the Spanish phrase mi rey.

It means “my queen” in English and should be used to address a female partner to show them how much you love them.

Endearing terms to address family members

The next section in our article will outline eleven Spanish terms of endearment that you can use to address your family members.

Would you describe your family members using the Spanish equivalent of a “chubby cheek cutie” or a “little angel” or something else?

Find the best phrase in this section!


Muñequita means “little doll” in English.

You can tell it’s a cute way to address a family member because it has a diminutive suffix on the end (-ita).

You could use the sustantivo or noun without the suffix and address a family member with the Spanish term of endearment muñeca - this would translate as “doll”.


Conejito and conejita both mean “little rabbit”. Note the diminutive ito, which means “little”, and is tagged onto the end.

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It’s the diminutive that makes the word cuter! When you’re addressing a young girl in your family, you should use conejita, which is the feminine version of this noun.

If you’re addressing a young boy in your family, you should use conejito.


This Spanish term of endearment is used by families to address young children or babies.

Nene is used to address a young boy. Nena is used to describe a young girl.

But, in the eyes of the parent, the child will always be a little cutie—they never really grow up—so nene and nena are even used when addressing a son or daughter when they’re older as well.


We use gordito and gordita to address a young one in the family.

Technically, gordito and gordita mean “chubby little one” or “cute little fat one”, but they still count as Spanish terms of endearment!

So, if you hear someone calling you gordito or gordita don’t worry - it’s an affectionate word. Don’t take offence!


Cachetes translates to English as “big cheeks”. It’s a phrase that is super cute and is used to address cute toddlers. In English we’d say something like “chubby cheeks”, and this word is the Spanish equivalent.


You’ll hear Spanish speakers using pollito or pollita to address family members affectionately.

It means “little chicken”.

This adorable phrase uses the diminutive suffix as well, so you know that it’s a Spanish term of endearment as it’s really cute.

Mi cielo

Mi cielo is a Spanish term of endearment that means “my heaven”, and it can also mean “my sky”. It’s a commonly used affectionate phrase.

You might hear an abuela (that’s grandmother) use cielo to address their nieto (grandson), or a mother might use it to address their child.


El jefe or la jefa is actually a phrase that means “the boss”.

It’s a Spanish sustantivo that is used in the work environment, but it can also be used as a Spanish term of endearment.

Jefe or jefa can therefore be used to address the head of the family—jefe is used to address the male head of the family and jefa is used to address the female head of the family.


Burbujita is another Spanish term of endearment that uses a diminutive.

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The actual noun without its diminutive is burbuja, meaning “bubble”. But with the diminutive, the word burbujita means “little bubble”.

It’s an affectionate phrase used to describe family members.

Mi ángel

You might be able to tell that this Spanish term of endearment is a cognate.

It means “my angel” in English. You can use the phrase in a similar way to “my little angel” and address young children with this phrase.

Mi tesoro

Mi tesoro translates to English as “my treasure”.

Use this phrase to address your children with affection and to express how wonderful they are.

It will make them feel special, loved and appreciated.

Endearing ways to address friends

Finally, we’ve got five Spanish terms of endearment that you can use to address your friends.

What’s the best way to call your best friend a “dude”? Read on.


This Spanish term of endearment translates to “boy” or “girl”.

It can be used to jokingly address your friend as “man” or “woman”.

So just as you’d say “man, don’t worry about it”, that word “man” could be substituted for “chico” - and you’d say “chico, no te preocupes por eso”.

There’s a plural version as well that you’ll hear, which is chicos, and you can use it to address a group of friends


Although this literally translates to English as “brother-in-law” or “sister-in-law”, you can also use this one when addressing one of your best friends.

If you’re addressing a male friend, you’ll use cuñado; if you’re addressing a female friend, you’ll use cuñada.


Guapo and guapa translate to English as “handsome” and “beautiful”.

But you can use these two Spanish terms of endearment to address your friends.

When you’re greeting them, you might say, “hola guapa, ¿qué tal?”

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This Spanish term of endearment is used to address good friends.

If you put these words into a translator, you’ll get “uncle” and “aunty” as the translation.

However, you can use them to address good friends. In contexts like these, tío and tía mean “dude”.


Finally, the words primo and prima (just like tío and tía) also describe a family member and mean “cousin”.

You’d use primo when talking about a male cousin and prima when talking about a female cousin.

But you can also use these ones as Spanish terms of endearment and address a good friend as your primo or prima.

Use Spanish terms of endearment to show your love and affection

Spanish terms of endearment can make a person feel appreciated and loved, so learn how to use them.

Memorizing the ones in this guide will help you, and you can start by using them with people close to you right away.

For memorization, Spanish apps like Memrise can be super helpful.

Do you know any other Spanish terms of endearment?

Share it just below in the comments.

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What do Spanish people call their loved ones? ›

Spanish Terms of Endearment for Partners

Couples use them everywhere throughout Latin America and Spain. Mi amor ​– my love Page 3 Mi corazón​– my heart/sweetheart (similar to “my love” in English) Cariño/a​– darling/sweetheart/honey Querido/a ​– dear Mi vida​– my life.

What are some Mexican Terms of Endearment? ›

The following is a list of 10 of the most common Mexican terms of endearment you'll ever hear!
  • Mijo / Mija. Mijo, mija, mijito, and mijita are perhaps the most Mexican terms of endearment of them all. ...
  • Carnal / Compa / Cuate. ...
  • Mi vida. ...
  • Cielo. ...
  • Viejo / Vieja. ...
  • Gordo / Gorda. ...
  • Flaco / Flaca. ...
  • Cariño.
8 Mar 2021

Is mi vida a term of endearment? ›

Spanish Terms of Endearment for Partners

Mi vida – my life. A nice expression for showing your loved one how much they mean.

What do Spaniards call their friends? ›

In Spain, to call someone “tío” or “tía” is a friendly way to refer to friends or even close acquaintances. It's a show of closeness and trust and can be translated to “pal, bro, buddy”.

What do Spanish people call their best friends? ›

amigazo. Similar to amigo (friend), the word amigazo, is also an informal reference to a buddy, pal or close friend.

What do Mexicans call their friends? ›

Cuate, Compa, Cabrón & Carnal

Cuate is slang for 'friend', as is compa, carnal and cabrón. They tend to be used to varying degrees depending which part of Mexico you're in, and cabrón can also be used as an insult at times.

What do you call friends in Mexico? ›

Amigo is the common generic translation for friend in Spanish and from that word you can get some variations such as amigazo, amigocho (Mexico), amigui (Chile) and amigucho.

What are the unique endearments? ›

Languages of love: 10 unusual terms of endearment
  • Little cabbage (French)
  • Pumpkin (Brazil / Portuguese)
  • Egg with eyes (Japanese)
  • Lump of sugar (Spanish)
  • Fruit of my heart (Indonesian)
  • My flea (French)
  • Gazelle (Arabic)
  • Little elephant (Thai)
30 May 2013

What does mi papi? ›

What does Papi mean? Borrowed by English, papi is a Spanish colloquialism for “daddy,” extended as a general term of endearment like “buddy” for a friend or “my man” for a romantic partner.

What does Gordito? ›

I also remember being called "gordito" – meaning "little fat kid" – every time someone would address me because in the Latino culture "gordito" is considered a term of endearment.

What is Mi Amore? ›

To call someone “my love” in Spanish, you can say mi amor.

What is the best endearment for friends? ›

Nicknames for Girl Best Friends
  • Bestie.
  • BFF.
  • Queen.
  • Senorita.
  • Girly.
  • Gal.
  • Friend for Life.
  • Forever Friend.
13 Mar 2020

What is a romantic name in Spanish? ›

Amor – love. Corazón – heart. Cariña/o – darling. Mi reina/rey – my queen/king. Mi alma/vida/cielito – my soul/life/heaven.

What are the sweetest nicknames? ›

Romantic nicknames
  • Sweetie.
  • Sugarplum.
  • Honey Pot.
  • Sweetheart.
  • Baby Boy.
  • Baby Love.
  • Cupcake.
  • Honey Bun.
20 Jul 2022

What is a slang word for friend? ›

Buddy. This one is definitely more common in the US and Canada. In a way, it's almost the North American equivalent to the term "mate." In some instances, this word might be shortened to "bud," which essentially means the same thing.

How do two friends greet each other in Spain? ›

Spaniards greet each other with a kiss on each cheek. It is likely that even if you just get introduced to someone, they will just reach out to kiss you on the cheek. This does not happen among men but mostly among women and between men and women.

What does Mami mean in Spanish? ›

mami (plural mamis) (chiefly Latin American, Philippines) mommy, mother. (chiefly Latin American) attractive woman; momma. (chiefly Latin American) a term of affection for a woman.

What's a cute nickname in Spanish? ›

Spanish has plenty of cute nicknames for girls and boys, too. The most popular are: Chiquito / chiquita – “Little boy” and “little girl” Chulo / chula – “Cutie” Chica / chico – “Kid” / “girl” / “guy” (This one can also be a nickname for friends!)

What does bestfriend mean in Spanish? ›

best friend n

(closest companion) mejor amigo, mejor amiga adj + nm, adj + nf. My dog is my best friend. Mi perro es mi mejor amigo.

What is Spanish slang for awesome? ›

1. Chido. Chido means cool, awesome.

What do Puerto Ricans call their friends? ›

The word “corillo” is the Puerto Rican slang for friends or a group of friends. You might hear someone say, “Vamos! Salgamos con el corillo!”

How do Mexicans greet friends? ›

When greeting someone in Mexico, it is customary to make physical contact, rather than simply saying “hello.” A handshake is the most common form of greeting between strangers, though friends will usually greet each other with a single kiss on the cheek. The same physical gestures are repeated when you say goodbye.

Why do Mexicans say Mija? ›

Literally meaning “my daughter,” mija is used as a familiar and affectionate address to women, like “dear” or “honey,” in Spanish.

What does Esse mean Spanish? ›

Ese is a Spanish slang term which means comrade, pal or friend. Young teens often use this term to refer to their circle of friends.

What do Mexicans call each other slang? ›

Güey. This word is at the forefront of Mexican slang. Similar to “dude” in English, “güey” is commonly used for friends or acquaintances, and in some unpleasant situations, refers to strangers in a sarcastic way.

What does chica mean in Mexico? ›

Borrowed from Spanish chica (“girl”).

How do you call your loved ones? ›

  1. darling.
  2. favorite.
  3. heartthrob.
  4. honey.
  5. love.
  6. loved one.
  7. lover.
  8. pet.

What are the cutest nicknames? ›

14 cute English nicknames
Cuddle bunny
Cutie patootie
10 more rows
18 Feb 2021

What is a popular term for endearment? ›

Pet names like “sweetheart” and “honey” have been around for hundreds of years (since the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, respectively), while newcomer “bae” is a twenty-first-century invention. Popular terms also vary greatly from culture to culture.

What is Zaddy in Spanish? ›

This is the equivalent of an English-speaking person calling their partner “daddy” or “zaddy,” but it is generally used to refer to an attractive man. The term papi chulo is a masculine phrase and is used exclusively to refer to men.

Is Papi Chulo offensive? ›

But generally, calling someone papi chulo is in reference to their appearance and their confidence, either with a negative (Rico Suave) or positive connotation (a hunk). Attitudes toward the term papi chulo are mixed among Latinx Americans, given chulo's history as a derogatory, racialized term in American English.

Is Chulo an insult? ›

(Oddly enough, across the world in Spain, chulo/chula means “cool”—with both positive and negative connotations, depending on context.)

What is Hijole? ›

1 Translation result for ¡híjole! in English

wow!, good grief!

What is ojitos? ›

little eyes, the ~ Noun.

What is BAE Spanish? ›

1. (= sweetheart) chico (chica) m/f. as a term of address) cariño ⧫ nene (nena) (inf) m/f. I didn't mean it, bae no iba en serio, nena.

Is Tesoro romantic? ›

Tesoro is usually used by one adult to another, or by one adult to a child. It can have a romantic meaning, an affectionate meaning, a patronizing meaning or it can be used to talk about something wonderful and/or valuable.

What does Mi Tesoro mean? ›

“Mi tesoro” means “My treasure,” a term of endearment similar to “ Mi vida" (My life) or “Mi cuchicuchi" (My cuchicuchi).

What are 4 best friends called? ›

90 Group Chat Names For 4 Besties Who Have Lots To Taco 'Bout
  • The Fantastic Four.
  • Fun-tastic Four.
  • Sex And The City.
  • The Ghostbusters.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • My Entourage.
  • We're Off To See The Wizard.
  • Turtley Awesome Crew.
28 May 2019

What do you call flirting with friends? ›

A flirtationship is a hybrid of the words “flirtation” and “friendship.” Basically, it's a relationship between two friends who flirt for fun. People get into flirtationships with their friends, classmates, coworkers, and anybody they regularly see and flirt with.

What Spanish name means love? ›

Maitea: Maitea is a Spanish name meaning 'love'.

What is a unique Spanish name? ›

Unique Spanish names attracting attention in Spain and Latin America include Alba, Carmen, Laia, and Triana for girls, along with Dario, Thiago, Gonzalo, and Izan for boys.

What are clever nicknames? ›

Funny Best Friend Nicknames
  • Nugget.
  • Teacup.
  • Oldie.
  • Shortie.
  • Kiddo.
  • Smarty.
  • Boomer.
  • Scout.
19 Jun 2022

What is a love name? ›

Along with Esme and Amara, other top girl names that mean love include Mila, Amy, Amanda, Mabel, and Philippa. Top boy names that mean love include Rhys, Philip, Lev, and Hart. Names that mean love or beloved in languages other than English include Carys, Querida, Rudo, and Sajan.

Whats a good Spanish nickname for a girl? ›

Names for Lovers
  • Mi alma. The Spanish are known for being romantic. ...
  • Papi chulo. Chances are you've heard this one before. ...
  • Cariño/a. This one is used quite frequently and is most similar to how we say “dear” or “darling” in English.
  • Hermosa. ...
  • Mi amado/a. ...
  • Príncipe / Princesa. ...
  • Mi cielito. ...
  • Mi vida.
9 Sept 2022

What do Spanish girlfriends call their boyfriends? ›

Papi or Papacito and Mami or Mamacita

Although these words come from papá (dad) and mamá (mom), they are variants that are often used to nickname girlfriends and boyfriends. They are playful and give you a tropical feeling.

What can I call my Spanish boyfriend? ›

Spanish pet names for your partner in public
  • Amor – love.
  • Corazón – heart.
  • Cariña/o – darling.
  • Mi reina/rey – my queen/king.
  • Mi alma/vida/cielito – my soul/life/heaven.
4 Nov 2022

What is another word for lover in Spanish? ›

Lover: amante . Marriage: matrimonio ( matrimonio can also mean “married couple”). Husband: marido , or esposo . Wife: mujer , or esposa .

Is there a word for sweetheart in Spanish? ›

sweetheart → cielo, cariño, amor, cariña, amante.

What are flirty nicknames in Spanish? ›

Names for Lovers
  • Mi alma. The Spanish are known for being romantic. ...
  • Papi chulo. Chances are you've heard this one before. ...
  • Cariño/a. This one is used quite frequently and is most similar to how we say “dear” or “darling” in English.
  • Hermosa. ...
  • Mi amado/a. ...
  • Príncipe / Princesa. ...
  • Mi cielito. ...
  • Mi vida.
9 Sept 2022

What do Latinos call their boyfriends? ›

Mi Rey. Mi rey directly translates to “my King” and is used as deeply loving and respectful nickname for your boyfriend.

What does BAE mean in Mexico? ›

1. " before anyone else'", colloquial. bebe {interj.} bae.

What is Mi Rey? ›

mi noun, pronoun. my, myself, mi, E. rey noun. king.

What does Papi mean in Spanish? ›

Papi is a colloquial term for “daddy” in Spanish, but in many Spanish-speaking cultures, particularly in the Caribbean, it is often used as a general term of affection for any man, whether it's a relative, friend, or lover. The English “baby,” used as a term of endearment for spouses and children alike, is similar.

What is the most romantic word in Spanish? ›

The following Spanish love words are essentially for your better half, a very dear and close friend, or family member.
  • Cariño (Darling)
  • Bebé (Baby)
  • Mi Amor (My love)
  • Mi vida (My life)
  • Mi cielo (My heaven/sky)
  • Corazón (Sweetheart/Literal translation: Heart)
  • Mi tesoro (My treasure)
  • Mi rey/Mi Reina / (My king/My Queen)
18 Sept 2022

Is there a word for soulmate in Spanish? ›

Eres mi alma gemela

In Spain they have the concept of soul mates, but the translation is a little more nuanced since gemela actually means twin. So the more literal translation would be 'you are my soul twin'.

What do you call a lover of life? ›

[ bahy-oh-fil-ee-uh, -feel-yuh ] noun. a love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life forms.

What is a Querida? ›

Definition of 'querida'

1. a person loved by another. informal. a lovable, generous, or obliging person.

What is Mexican sweetheart? ›

querido, el ~ (m) Noun. cariño, el ~ (m) Noun.

What is Spanish in love? ›

Let's start with the basics. I love you in Spanish is te amo. This is the most direct translation of “I love you” there is.


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