How To Say: Words of Endearment in Italian

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:25

Italians are warm and friendly people who like to express their affection and often use terms of endearment when talking to their family and friends and to children; often, they will use affectionate nicknames, like caro/a or bello/a, even with someone they don’t know well.

Here are some of the most common:

Caro/cara - dear

Tesoro – darling (translates literally to ‘treasure’)

Amore – love

Stella/stellina – literally, ‘star’

Gioia – literally, ‘joy’

Angelo – angel, to express gratitude, i.e. grazie per l’aiuto, sei un angelo – thanks for your help, you’re an angel.

Note that most of the following are especially used with children and between boyfriend and girlfriend:

Piccolo/a - Piccolino/a – little one

Tato/a – no meaning

Cucciolo/a – literally, ‘puppy’

Passerotto/a – literally, 'sparrow chick', used especially with and to refer to children, i.e. come stanno i passerotti? How are the kids?

Patatino/a – little potato

Topolino/a - little mouse