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Terms of Endearment for Lovers, Wives, Husbands, Girlfriends, Boyfriends

D.EVILGOD

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Hello all,

I am wondering what do terms of endearments do you call your wives or husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends? or Lovers?

Like "Darling" or "Honey"?..
 

Mike Cash

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You mean in Japanese?
 
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Well, 'darling' is a loan word in Japanese as ダーリン, though I'm not sure it's actually used outside of comedies about overly lovey-dovey couples...

Actually though, really these terms just don't exist in any general sense. Partly that's because the Japanese are a little reluctant to express intimate feelings in words, and partly it's because levels of intimacy are built into a ton of subtle language cues. What suffix you give someone, or if you simply 呼び捨て, and whether you use first last or full name, or some form of 'you'; Whether (or when) you use polite or plain language, whether (or when) you use honorific or equals or inferiors language, etc, etc, etc., all determine the tone of your speech to someone in a way that is deeply embedded in the structure of the language and can't be condensed into a handful of easy to learn phrases.
 

Lothor

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My little hakubishin. (or do only I call my wife that?)
 

jamboe

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I was watching グッドモーニング・コール (Good Morning Call), グッドモーニング・コール and the parents of one of the main characters, 菜緒, Nao, were in it - the mother at one point calls the father (her husband): お父さん, and the subtitle translation was 'Dear'. If that might help.

Apart from that I think everything's already been said, with suffixes etc, such as ちゃん.
 

Mike Cash

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the mother at one point calls the father (her husband): お父さん, and the subtitle translation was 'Dear'. If that might help.
Addressing or referring to someone by the term used by the youngest member of the household is pretty normal practice in Japanese families. It isn't necessarily a term of endearment. The woman could thoroughly despise her husband and still address or refer to him as お父さん.
 

jamboe

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Addressing or referring to someone by the term used by the youngest member of the household is pretty normal practice in Japanese families. It isn't necessarily a term of endearment. The woman could thoroughly despise her husband and still address or refer to him as お父さん.
Ah I see, I'm generally new to learning Japanese, just last year I've sort of started full-throttle learning it, so thanks for the input here! :) So it could or could not depending on the circumstance, be endearing. (in this case, the husband, wife, were on pretty good terms)

Also as a sidepoint since we're talking families, I've recently learnt:
お兄さん (older brother)
お姉さん (older sister)

But I'm sure I heard at one time somewhere also: お姉ちゃん (older sister). So I guess this is another example of a level of endearment.
 

Toritoribe

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Also as a sidepoint since we're talking families, I've recently learnt:
お兄さん (older brother)
お姉さん (older sister)

But I'm sure I heard at one time somewhere also: お姉ちゃん (older sister). So I guess this is another example of a level of endearment.
お兄さん or お姉さん is not used to address their own brother/sister. These terms are for others' brother/sister, relatively young men/women or brother/sister-in-law.
 

madphysicist

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I have always thought of "anata" used by middle-aged or older women towards their husbands as being the closest thing to "darling" in Japanese. It's rather different from the tone put across by "anata" in other situations, and is usually translated as "dear/darling/honey". Other than that I can't think of any endearments like we have in European languages.
 

Mike Cash

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Neither can my wife. She does commonly use "おまえ" ("omaye") to address me but I can't claim the tone of voice is endearing
A wife addressing her husband おまえ is about as clear-cut a case of "dissing" as I can think of. Unless you know the implications and her usage of it is just a long-standing inside gag between the two of you, of course.
 

Toritoribe

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I have always thought of "anata" used by middle-aged or older women towards their husbands as being the closest thing to "darling" in Japanese. It's rather different from the tone put across by "anata" in other situations, and is usually translated as "dear/darling/honey". Other than that I can't think of any endearments like we have in European languages.
I think it's almost never used in real conversations in that meaning nowadays, except in drama, movie novel or like that.
 
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お兄さん or お姉さん is not used to address their own brother/sister. These terms are for others' brother/sister, relatively young men/women or brother/sister-in-law.
Really? As someone not actually in Japan and only seeing it through media, I've gotten the impression that members of very formal families can address their siblings that way - but not of course refer to them that way when speaking to outsiders, at the very least dropping the honorific お in that case. 'Formal but not extremely formal' families seem to drop the honorific お even in direct address, but maybe that's the line of 'realistically formal' families? After that of course there's the whole range of 姉ちゃん、アニキ, etc., with a dizzying array of regional dialect and formality levels, which I suppose also represent the real world practice in 'normal and not so very formal' families.

(Edit: Hmm. Actually I can't think of any specific case of someone calling a sibling 'お兄さん・お姉さん' ... on the other hand, various 'royal' or other ancient lineage families in fiction at least, have the younger sibling calling the older one 'お兄様・お姉様', particularly when the eldest has some kind of royal title/religious seat/magical inheritence and the younger is just a normal person aside from being part of the venerated family.)
 
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Toritoribe

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(Edit: Hmm. Actually I can't think of any specific case of someone calling a sibling 'お兄さん・お姉さん' ... on the other hand, various 'royal' or other ancient lineage families in fiction at least, have the younger sibling calling the older one 'お兄様・お姉様', particularly when the eldest has some kind of royal title/religious seat/magical inheritence and the younger is just a normal person aside from being part of the venerated family.)
Yes, that's right. お兄さん/お姉さん and 兄さん/姉さん are different. 兄さん/姉さん is relatively commonly used especially among adult people. In "high social class" families, お兄さま/お姉さま might be used, as you wrote, but it would be rare nowadays. Well-brought-up people who call their siblings お兄さま/お姉さま would use the proper way 兄/姉 when speaking to outsiders.
 
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Ahh, good, that makes sense then. I don't suppose anyone actually knows how the real-world versions of such families act in private, and the fiction is probably based on century old diaries anyway. Thanks for taking the time to clarify!
 

KyushuWoozy

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Unless you know the implications and her usage of it is just a long-standing inside gag between the two of you, of course.
Luckily, yes.

The dictionary tells me it's a "formerly honorific, now sometimes derogatory term referring to an equal or inferior". Use with care!
 

mdchachi

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Terms of endearment can change over time. For example, I used to be called ばかやろう or ばか for short. But now after a decade or two, it's くそじじ. It shows the depth of love and caring that two people can have and how it can evolve over time.
 

Toritoribe

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That unintentionally shows that you asked us a not-so-important question for you.
天は自ら助くる者を助く。
 

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