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, 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”.
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 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”.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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?”
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.
Do you know any other Spanish terms of endearment?
Share it just below in the comments.