Terms of Endearment in Spanish

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Mi alma = my soul (mei-al-mah)

You'd use this with a lover.

 

Mi amor = My love (me ah-mo-rr)

This can be used with anyone including children, lovers, friends, etc.

 

Mi vida = My life (me-ve-duh)

You'd use this with a lover or a child. You'll hear the phrase Mi Vida used a lot in Marc Anthony's song Vivir Mi Vida.

 

Tia or Tio = Aunt or Uncle (tee-ah, tee-oh)

Literally means aunt or uncle but it’s a term you might also use with a close friend.

 

Chiquito or Chiquita = Little boy or Little girl (chi-key-toe, chi-key-tah)

Used for little kids. You might say this to a younger cousin, nephew, niece, or friend’s kid. Chico means boy and chica means girl, adding the -ito or -ita ending makes it smaller and cuter (in linguistics these are known as diminutive words/suffixes)

 

Mijo or Mija = My son or My daughter (me-ho, me-ha)

Short for mi hijo (my son) and mi hija (my daughter). These are terms of endearment that parents, grandparents, family friends might use for a child. You can add the -ito or -ita ending to the word to make it smaller and cuter for referring to young children: mijito or mijita.

 

Papi or Mami = Papa or Mama (pah-pee, mah-me)

Mami and papi are very cultural words- while most children in the US wouldn’t refer to their parents as mama or papa, these words are very common in Mexico. What’s also culturally unique here is that papi and mami aren’t limited to actual parents- you might use them to refer to your children or your lover. In some Spanish speaking countries they add the -ito or -ita on the end for children and say “papito” or “mamita”.