Saturday, January 24, 2009

Terms of Endearment

Several weeks ago, I was writing along and suddenly felt like I needed some special names for my characters . . . you know, the kind of names you don’t always use in public when you are addressing a loved one. Being a romance writer I thought the process of coming up with a term of endearment should be pretty easy.

It was anything but.

I starting thinking about the names I call important people in my own life. I have terms of endearment for each of my children . . . sorry but they would be highly embarrassed if I mentioned any of them here. So I’ll pick on the cats. I often refer to them as Boo, Pumpkin, Doodle Bug, and Pookie. None of which are their real names. My husband, well he’d probably be embarrassed if I mentioned anything other than “Honey” here as well.

Ever notice when you buy a car that suddenly everyone else has the same make and color of the one you just bought. It was the same with me when I started thinking about terms of endearment. Everywhere I went I heard snippets . . . every movie I watched seemed to have some gem. In Love Actually, one of the characters refers to her brother as “My Darling” and “Little Darling”. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth asks Darcy to call her “My Pearl” on Sundays. The examples were everywhere.

After all my scientific exploration, I discovered that terms of endearment are a real and sometimes complex part of the relationship process. It seemed only logical that my characters would have names for each other to signify their changing relationship as the book progressed. After all, a term of endearment can bring couples together.

When you think of the object of your affection, what special name comes to mind that evokes a warm fuzzy feeling inside you? Anyone willing to share?


EmilyBryan January 24, 2009 at 6:06 AM  

My DH loves it when I address him as "O! Mighty Webmaster!"

Gerri Russell January 24, 2009 at 3:02 PM  


How funny is that! I forgot, my children when they really want something ask thier dad by adding a "Please, Your Majesty?"

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner January 25, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

Well, I call my cats "monster" (as in "stop tearing that up, you little monster,"). Other, unprintable things, too. :-) And Spawn of Satan (but affectionately).

In the twenty-some years my dh and I have been together, we've come up with many names, most of which I won't share! Oddly enough, we've never, ever called each other "honey." Sweetie and dear but never honey.

My characters tend to call each other "love," "sweetheart," "darling," and things of that nature.

I've not written broad enough comedy for "my little love blossom."


Cindy Holby January 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

my hubs calls me Lizzie sometimes. Don't know where it came from. Maybe he really loves Lizzie and wound up with me. When we're joking around we'll say pookie and puddin but we really don't use them.

My sons will call themselves my favorite son. As in hey, its your favorite son!

I remember when I was writing Rising Wind, Connor's term of endearment for Carrie was "daftie lass". Somewhere in the copy edits it got changed to "daft lass" which took on an entirely different meaning. Thank goodness they changed it back.

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

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