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Most of us, probably all of us, use terms of endearment when speaking to people we care about whether we realize it or not. Sugar, sweetheart, buddy, dude. These are all ways that we might refer to someone that is dear to us instead of using their name. Every language has them, including Croatian.

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Why not switch some of your common terms of endearment over to Croatian? It’s a great way to help you assimilate and become more comfortable with the language.

In this post, we cover 25 different ways to express love and caring in Croatian including some examples of how to use them. Once you learn these, you may end up recognizing them when you’re eavesdropping on locals.

Croatian terms of endearment

anđele

Meaning: angelUsage: to express someone is like an angel to youGender variations (m, f, n): anđeleExample: Kad se vraćaš kući, anđele? (When are you coming home my angel?)

bebo, bejbe

Meaning: babyUsage: to call someone a baby because of loveGender variations (m, f, n): bebo, bejbeExample: Ne ljutim se na tebe, bebo. (I’m not mad at you, baby.)

bubica

Meaning: small bugUsage: no specific usageGender variations (m, f, n): bubicaExample: Kako si mi danas, bubica? (How are you today, little bug?)

dragi

Meaning: dear, darlingUsage: to express that you someone is dear to youGender variations (m, f, n): dragi, draga, dragoExample: Volim te, draga! (I love you dear!)

dušo

Meaning: sweetheart (literally “soul”)Usage: to express that someone is very close to youGender variations (m, f, n): dušoExample: Dušo, dodaj mi šećer. (Honey, pass me the sugar.)

frajeru

Meaning: dudeUsage: to express that someone is coolGender variations (m, f, n): frajeru, frajerice, n/aExample: Frajeru, ti si neustrašiv. (Dude, you’re fearless.)

kiki, kikić

Meaning: small kidUsage: to address someone like a childGender variations (m, f, n): n/a, kiki, kikić, n/aExample: Oni su još kikići. (They are still children.)

kolačiću

Meaning: cookieUsage: to show that someone is sweet to youGender variations (m, f, n): kolačićuExample: Kolačiću, jesi li gladna? (Cookie, are you hungry?)

kompa

Meaning: buddyUsage: to show the endearment to a friendGender variations (m, f, n): kompaExample: Kako si, kompa? (How are you buddy?)

kraljica

Meaning: queenUsage: to express that someone is like a queenGender variations (m, f, n): kraljica/kraljice, kralj/kralju, n/aExample: Kraljice, ti si super! (Queen you’re great!)

ljubavi

Meaning: loveUsage: to express that someone is your loveGender variations (m, f, n): ljubavi, ljubavExample: Što ćemo raditi večeras, ljubavi? (What are we going to do tonight my love?)

maco

Meaning: catUsage: to express endearment and that someone is gentle like a catGender variations (m, f, n): mačak, maco, n/aExample: Jesi li mi dobro, maco? (Are you okay cat?)

mala

Meaning: little girlUsage: to express endearmentVariations (m, f, n): mala, mali, maloExample: Mala, požuri! (Little girl, hurry up!)

mazo

Meaning: cuddly petUsage: to express that someone likes to cuddle or you like to cuddle themGender variations (m, f, n): mazoExample: Ti si moja maza. (You are my cuddles.)

mico

Meaning: little catUsage: to express that someone is kind like a catVariations (m, f, n): mici, mico, n/aExample: Mico, ajmo prošetati. (Little cat let’s take a walk.)

mila, milena

Meaning: likeable, sweet, gentleUsage: to express that someone is gentleGender variations (m, f, n): mila/milena, mili/mileni, milo/milenoExample: Mileni, puno te volim. (Mileni I love you a lot.)

mišiću

Meaning: little mouseUsage: to express endearmentGender variations (m, f, n): mišice, mišićuExample: Mišiću, idemo spavati. (Little mouse, let’s go to sleep.)

piliću

Meaning: little chickenUsage: to express endearmentGender variations (m, f, n): pilićuExample: Što se smiješ, piliću? (What are you laughing at chicken?)

ribice

Meaning: little fishUsage: to express endearmentGender variations (m, f, n): ribiceExample: Ribice, kad ćemo na kavu? (Little fish, when are we going for a coffee?)

šećeru

Meaning: sugarUsage: to express that someone is sweetGender variations (m, f, n): šećeruExample: Jako si mi lijepa, šećeru. (You are very pretty my sugar.)

srce

Meaning: heartUsage: to express that someone is a part of youGender variations (m, f, n): srceExample: Srce, bit će sve u redu. (My heart, everything’s going to be alright.)

srećo

Meaning: honey (literally “luck” or “happiness”)Usage: to express that you’re lucky to have someoneGender variations (m, f, n): srećoExample: Idemo na sladoled, srećo! (Let’s go get some ice cream honey!)

stari

Meaning: old manUsage: to express the feeling of kindness to a personGender variations (m, f, n): stari, stara, staroExample: Moj stari je odličan u biljaru. (My old man is great in billiards).

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sunce, sunašce

Meaning: sunshineUsage: to express that someone is your lightGender variations (m, f, n): sunce/sunašceExample: Ti si moje sunce. (You are my sunshine.)

zlato

Meaning: darling (literally “gold”)Usage: to express that someone means a lot to youGender variations (m, f, n): zlatoExample: Ti si moje zlato. (You are my darling.)

Which are your favorite terms of endearment in Croatian? If we missed one, let us know in the comments.