Pet names, AKA affectionate terms of endearment exchanged between significant others and friends, are usually meant to be nonsense, silly little nicknames that also act as an inside joke. You’ve heard of the most popular ones: baby, honey, sweetheart, lovey, babe, and the most recent, bae. They’re harmless, they’re corny but kind of sweet, and they show a nice relationship bond that makes you guys feel really adorable together. And while the above names are so common that they’ve become pretty normal, there are some seriously awful pet names out there that you should never use.
Whether it’s accidentally sexist, dangerously close to being emotionally abusive, annoyingly condescending, or just makes other people feel uncomfortable, there are plenty of terrible nicknames out there that need to chill. One of the most popular ones that stands out right now is “daddy.” Do I really need to explain why? I mean, you do you, but why are you calling someone you make out with daddy?
At the end of the day, you can call bae whatever your heart desires. Maybe your pet names have cute meanings behind them that I don’t understand, and you’re pissed that I included it on this list. Fair enough, but I had to speak my mind – these pet names are awful! So, if you’re trying to think of something cute to call your S.O., do yourself a favor and avoid these:
Any pet name you could also passably use towards any member of a little league team is probably a no-go. Buddies are non-sexual. You don’t hook up with your buddy.
I don’t know why this one bothers me so much, but it probably has something to do with the fact that Logan called Rory “Ace” in Gilmore Girls, and we all know Logan is the WORST.
Can we all stop using members of the family unit as sexy names? Adam calls Hannah kid on Girls and it’s not cute. Why are you calling someone ‘kid’ if not to draw a comparison to yourself? In the words of my friend, Natalie, who sparked this discussion: Like, are they looking for a positive/adoring response? “I AM a kid compared to you! Gee, thanks!” I rest my case. Unless someone is actually your kid, stop.
4) Baby Girl/Boy
Ooh, why stop at kid when we can full on infantilize? Let’s just copy paste something we saw at a baby shower and apply it to that person who’s genitals we sometimes touch? Gross.
I had to have my friends confirm this one for me on a group chat. Do people really use this in reference to another person in front of their face? Apparently so. As used in a string of words, “my little bitch” is apparently a term of endearment outside of the bedroom as well. Not classy, not cute, not okay.
6) Smash piece
Speaking of classless! I blame ironically objectifying and demeaning your SO in public on Jersey Shore. It’s off-putting. It could be funny or even heart warming between you two but when you bring it in front of other people and use evocative language that makes us all thing about you two, um… smashing? It’s a little graphic, you know?
Shout out to my best friend who shared this nickname her boyfriend calls her sometimes! This is only icky because of the vagina connotation. I’ve heard of people calling girls “buttercup” which is cute, but flower? Nah.
All of the Lord of the Rings references, Gabourey Sidibe movies, and little delicate cherub baby-faced babies that need protecting and sheltering. Not sexy, yeah?
This is real! You’ve heard people ironically say this in reference to annoying names for your significant other, but REAL PEOPLE who are REALLY DATING really say this to each other. How and whyyyyyy though. Make it stop.
Really? Poop? Enough with the poop stuff! Poop isn’t cute. I don’t care how cute the poop emoji is, stop using poop and all of the iterations of this word as a term of affection. Gross.
Not to be confused with ‘my love’ or simply ‘love,’ the term ‘lover’ is almost as icky as saying ‘making love’ instead of ‘having sex.’ It feels a little antiquated and dated. Marie Antoinette had lovers, you have a boyfriend. There’s a difference.
Unless you’re dating actual royalty, calling someone princess sounds condescending.
Nicknames that are also food can take a seat. Muffin? Cupcake? Bye.
Same thing goes for pet names that can double as pet’s names.
Pet names that are just the word ‘pet’ also suck. So, they’re a little bundle of fluff that you legally own that are 100 percent dependent on you and sit around most of the day and wait for you to show up and play with them? People aren’t pets. How has this ever seemed like a sexy thing to say?
Which one of these nicknames do you hate the most? Do you actually like one of them? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.