Germans are usually not considered to be very passionate people, unlike Italians or Spaniards for example. But don’t let these stereotypes fool you. They might not be the most passionate lovers, but Germans have a romantic and caring side as well. To prove this theory, we will talk about some Love Words in German in the following article.
German Pet Names
Pet names are an expression of love and appreciation. Couples can use them to please their partner. They create intimacy because the pet name is a kind of romantic insider. Unusual or unique pet names bond especially well and create a level of trust. Whether you use them publicly or only when you’re in private, is up to you. Personally I don’t mind using common pet names in public, but I save the more affectionate ones for those intimate moments.
Many couples use classic pet names like “honey,” “darling,” or “bunny” for everyday use. But if you’d rather use something less common or if you have a German speaking partner, how about a German pet name?
German Pet Names for both Sexes
- Angebetete / Angebeteter
Could be translated as my “adored” (female / male form).
Though the expression is a bit old-fashioned it does have a nice touch. It means “eye star” and originally was a poetic way of describing someone’s eyes (in the sense of “bright as the stars”). But soon lovers started to use it as a description of the whole person as well.
- Geliebte / Geliebter
My “beloved” (female / male form).
- Hase / Hasi / Häschen
Rabbits are often used as nicknames in many languages. Well, they are fluffy and have a cute nose, so why not? German seem to think so too, and so Hase ranks quite high amongst the German love words. Hasi and Häschen are the diminutive forms (note that Häschen is pronounced Häs-chen, not Hä-schen).
For those partners as good as gold. Literally means “piece of gold.”
While Herzblatt literally translates as “heart leaf,” it actually refers to a deck of playing cards. Any card with a heart on it would be a Herzblatt. The expression is also used as the German name for the Parnassia plant.
- Herzilein / mein Herz
Mein Herz means “my heart”, of course. The diminutive form Herzilein isn’t popular with everyone.
I can’t really tell you what a “smooch ball” is. But I imagine it’s a person with some lovely curves.
Liebling means “my favorite one” and is the German equivalent of “darling.”
- Mein Ein und Alles
Literally “my one and everything.” See, the Germans even had a “bae” before anyone else had (yes, pun intended.)
- Schatz / Schatzi / Schätzchen
Schatz means treasure in German and is the most frequently used nickname amongst couples in Germany. Schatzi and Schätzchen are diminutive forms of Schatz.
Literally “canoodle cheeks”. Well suited when your partner loves to cuddle up.
- Schnucki / Schnuckiputz
I’m not entirely sure where this comes from, but there is a certain breed of sheep in Germany called Heidschnucke, so I assume there is a connection. There is no direct translation for Schnucki / Schnuckiputz, but it goes along the lines of “cutie pie.”
German Pet Names for your Boyfriend
- Bär / Bärchen
“Bear” or “little bear”. When you have a big boyfriend or feel well protected by him.
- The German word for “hero.” Apt for guys who will always help their damsel in distress.
Big, handsome, has a noble mind – he must a prince for sure!
Purzeln means to fall or tumble in German. So, Purzel is a nickname you’d use for a toddler. But some women also use it for their partner.
Translates as “handsome.”
Translates as “sweetie” (male form).
German Pet Names for your Girlfriend
Angels are heavenly creatures, believed to help and protect us mere humans. So if your girlfriend is of the caring type, this is a nice nickname.
Another heavenly pet name, meaning “goddess.” You can’t beat that nickname.
You guessed it, elves are delicate, mythical beings.
Your girlfriend makes your wishes come true? She might be a “fairy” then.
- Maus / Mausi
Yep, “mouse”. Isn’t it funny that many women dislike these little creatures, but men like to use their name as a nickname?
You think your girlfriend is a figure out of a fairy tale? She must be a princess then.
Which woman doesn’t like to hear she’s “beautiful”?
When your girlfriend gives you a warm feeling, she is your “sunshine.”
Can be translated as “sweetie” (female form).
Diminutive form of Taube, meaning “dove.”
The “woman of your dreams.”
A Zimtschnecke is a delicious cinnamon flavored piece of pastry, which is popular is the northern parts of Germany and Scandinavia. A well suited pet name for a sweet girlfriend.
Terms of Endearment in German
Our article about love words in German wouldn’t be complete without the usual terms of endearment. So let’s look at the sweet words and phrases German couples whisper in each other’s ear.
- Ich liebe dich
The classic three little words: I love you.
- Ich hab’ dich lieb
If “I love you” seems a bit too much, you might say Ich hab’ dich lieb. It roughly equals, “I feel strongly about you.”
- Ich habe mich in dich verliebt
I have fallen in love with you.
- Willst du meine Freundin / mein Freund sein?
Do you want to be my girlfriend / boyfriend?
- Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt
I’m head over heels in love.
- Ich denke an dich
I’m think of you
- Ich vermisse dich
I miss you
- Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens
You are the love of my life.
- Küss mich
- Ruf mich an
Give me a call
Love Words in German to be careful with
Some expressions may be well intended, but can be embarrassing or your partner will sense some criticism behind them. Calling your partner Moppelchen or Dickerchen means you think they are chubby. And even if you prefer a partner with a more rounded figure, not many people want to be reminded of that constantly.
Kleine or Kleines are German pet names some men use for their girlfriend or wife. It means “little one.” And although it can be meant nicely, it sounds rather arrogant to the ears of most women.
According to a survey by a German magazine, the nickname most men dislike is Hengst (stallion). I assume there is only one very private time, when a man might feel flattered by this particular nickname. But you better avoid it at any other time, especially when you are in public.
Proposing in German
So, let’s assume all these love words in German worked out really well for you and you are now officially in love with a German girl or guy. And you know each other long enough to take the next big step. So, wouldn’t it be nice to propose in German? Of course it would! And your partner will appreciate it as a sign that you are acknowledging and respecting their cultural heritage.
First off, how do you translate “to propose to somebody?” You can say “um jemandes Hand anhalten“. Quite literally, you are asking your partner for her / his hand. But how do you it?
- Willst du mich heiraten?
The classical question: Do you want to marry me?
- Willst du meine Frau werden?
Do you want to be my wife?
- Willst du mein Mann werden?
Still a bit unusual, but technically correct: Do you want to be my husband?
- Jemanden heiraten
To marry somebody.
- Sich mit jemanden verloben
To get engaged with somebody.
Weddings in Germany
A German wedding consists of the mandatory part at a registry office and optionally of the church wedding. Getting married in a registry office takes just 20 to 30 minutes and follows a clear pattern. Depending on the registrar, it can be a bit unemotional. The church wedding is often the more romantic one.
When you get married in a German church, the pastor or priest will ask you something like this:
Addressed to the man:
Preacher: Name, willst Du Name, die Gott Dir anvertraut, als Deine Ehefrau lieben, achten und ehren und die Ehe mit ihr nach Gottes Gebot und Verheißung führen – in guten und schlechten Tagen – bis der Tod euch trennt, so antworte: Ja, mit Gottes Hilfe.
Man: Ja, mit Gottes Hilfe.
Preacher: Name, will you love, respect and honor name, whom God has entrusted to you, as your wife, and will you lead your marriage with her according to God’s command and promise – in good days and bad – until death separates you, then respond: Yes, with God’s help.
Man: Yes, with God’s help.
Addressed to the woman:
Preacher: Name, willst Du Name, den Gott Dir anvertraut, als Deinen Ehemann lieben, achten und ehren und die Ehe mit ihm nach Gottes Gebot und Verheißung führen – in guten und schlechten Tagen – bis der Tod euch trennt, so antworte: Ja, mit Gottes Hilfe.
Woman: Ja, mit Gottes Hilfe.
Preacher: Name, will you love, respect and honor name, whom God has entrusted to you, as your husband, and lead your marriage to him according to God’s command and promise – for better or for worse – until death separates you, then respond: Yes, with God’s help.
Woman: Yes, with God’s help.
If you are an avid watcher of Hollywood movies, you will now expect the preacher to say something like Hiermit erkläre ich euch zu Mann und Frau (I hereby declare you to be man and wife.) But you won’t hear these words in a protestant church, as protestants see a church wedding rather as a service of worship on the occasion of a marriage ceremony. Or in the words of Martin Luther, “marriage is a worldly thing.” And even most catholic priests don’t use these words anymore.
But despite this minor disappointment Church weddings in Germany are usually quite vibrant and colorful, with lots of music and involvement of the wedding guests. And of course with lots of love!
So, now that you’ve read our article on love words in German, what do you think? Are Germans as romantic as the French? Well, maybe not quite. But the large number of pet names in German surely proves they are very fond of their partners and don’t shy away from intimacy.