in

27 Victorian Terms of Endearment

The Victorian Era spanned from the early-mid 1800s until Queen Victoria’s death in 1901. In that time, a considerable amount of slang terms of endearment were used throughout all classes and demographics.

Back in the Victorian Era, a complicated set of rules and laws were put in place to guide the masses on what was considered proper etiquette. There were also strict guidelines governing proper speech and writing which many of us aren’t aware of.

For instance, it was not permissible at that time for one to write “yes” or “no.” It was more appropriate to write: “this is the affirmative” or “the negative.”

Old-fashioned expressions become more and more charming with time, don’t you think? It was not unusual for Victorian Era couples to use terms of endearment every day.

In this article, we have compiled a list of old-fashioned Victorian terms of endearment.

 

27 Victorian Terms For Endearment

 

1. Beloved

A term of endearment toward a romantic or platonic partner.

 

2. Boop

The Victorians used this term to describe “a sweetheart, especially one’s fiancée.” [1] It seems that they also used it in place of the modern word babe at times.

 

3. Bunbury

This term was used to describe a boyfriend, especially one’s fiancée. [1] Also spelled Bunburry. It seems that it may have come from the word “bun,” which in Victorian slang meant “to court” or “to be sweet on.” [2] Other sources say it is simply an over-the-top version of the term darling.

 

4. Duck

This endearment was used toward a child, especially one’s own. [1] It is derived from a duckling.

 

5. Fancy Man

A man with whom a woman is having an illicit affair. [2] The modern equivalent would be a “side piece.”

 

6. Fluffy

The term fluffy was used as an endearment toward pets and others, especially children. [1] It is derived from the word fluff, which in Victorian slang meant “sweetheart.” [2] In modern slang, it refers to a sensitive man or boy.

 

7. Kitten

Another term for sweetheart, especially one’s fiancée.

 

8. Lovey

A term of endearment applicable to either gender. It was used toward persons in a relationship or engaged, but it could also be used for close friends. [1] My personal opinion is that it seems kind of similar to sweetie.

 

9. Pug

A term of endearment toward a male child.

 

10. Pussy-Cat

A term of endearment toward female children, derived from the word pussy. It can also be used as an endearment for women.

 

11. Spike

A term of endearment toward a younger person, especially one’s sibling.

 

12. Squab

An endearment toward a child of either gender is usually spelled squib. It was used as an affectionate term for pets as well.

 

13. Sweeting

A term of endearment applicable to either gender. It was used toward persons in a relationship or engaged, but it could also be used for close friends. [1] My personal opinion is that it seems kind of similar to sweetie.

 

14. Sweetling

A term of endearment toward a romantic or platonic partner. Also spelled sweetlinge and swelling.

Treacle | This term was used to describe a boyfriend, especially one’s fiancée. [1] Also spelled treacle.

 

15. Treasure

A term of endearment applicable to either gender. It was used toward persons in a relationship or engaged, but it could also be used for close friends.

 

16. Welsh Rarebit

Another term for a girlfriend or mistress. [2] This is not to be confused with the cheese dish of the same name. It also does not seem to have been in usage during the Victorian Era but was recently coined by author P L Nunn in his Scarlet Rose series circa 2006.

 

17. Duchess

A term of endearment toward a girlfriend or mistress. [2] This is not to be confused with the royal rank.

 

18. Fluffy Ruffles

An affectionate name for a poodle.

 

19. Lambkin

This appears to have been an endearment toward children, applied to either gender.

 

20. Muffin

A term of endearment applicable to either gender. It was used toward persons in a relationship or engaged, but it could also be used for close friends.

 

21. Pidgeon

A term used to describe a girlfriend or lover.

 

22. Pookey

A pet name for a sweetheart, especially one’s own child.

 

23. Puddin’

A term of endearment used toward children and close female friends, but not toward romantic partners. [1] This would also seem to be the only way it is used in modern times, and I could not find any Victorian Era citations.

 

24. Sugarplum

A term of endearment applicable to either gender. It was used toward persons in a relationship or engaged, but it could also be used for close friends.

 

25. Vixen

A term of endearment toward a girlfriend or mistress.

 

26. Winkie

A term of endearment for a younger person. It was used as an affectionate name for pets as well, usually in reference to bunnies or puppies. [1] This would also seem to be the only way it is used in modern times.

 

27. Wuggle Piggle

A term of endearment for a child or close friend usually applied to females and pet dogs or pets in general. [1] This would also seem to be the only way it is used in modern times, but I could not find any Victorian Era citations.

 

Conclusion

A general observation I made while compiling this list was that many of these terms were also used as informal insults in Victorian times.

It is interesting to note that the majority of terms found in old texts, such as novels and diaries, which were published in modern times, were exclusively used toward children and close female friends rather than romantic partners.

Also, there were more terms for women than men and vice versa. I was surprised by the lack of terms toward romantic partners compared to modern times.

What do you think? Do you know of any other terms not listed above?

 

Sources:

http://www.behindthename.com

http://www.thesaurus.com

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments