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47 Russian Nicknames and Terms of Endearment

Many Russian terms of endearment are diminutives, which often denote smallness and/or affection. Think of it as the English equivalent of saying “lil'” before something. For instance, if you call someone “lil’ cutey,” it can sound much more affectionate.

So, in this guide, I’ll teach you 47 Russian terms of endearment.


Russian Terms of Endearment

Note that although these are often used with people who you love romantically, many of these Russian nicknames can also be used with other people. For example, Зайчик (Bunny) is an adorable name to call your significant other, it’s also the term of endearment that my mom’s called me all my life! 

Пчёлка (little bee)

Pronunciation: Pcholka

Meaning: Пчёлка is the diminutive of пчела , which means “bee.” Therefore, пчёлка can be translated as “little bee.” What a great name for your honey!

Gender: Feminine

Example: Ты такая милая, пчёлка! (You’re so cute, little bee!)

Рыбка / Рыбочка (fish/little fish, fishlet)

Pronunciation: Rybka/Rybochka

Meaning: These words are both diminutives of рыба (fish), so they’re the equivalent of “little fish” or “fishlet”… which honestly doesn’t sound as cute in English, but is pretty sweet in Russian!

Gender: Feminine

Example: Ты получила цветы, которые я послал, рыбка? (Did you get the flowers I sent, fishlet?)

Котёнок / Котик / Киса  (kitten/kitty/pussycat)

Pronunciation: Kotonok/Kotik/Kisa

Meaning: Many variations of “cat” or “kitten” can be used as terms of endearment in Russian. Котёнок means “kitten,” котик means “kitty” and киса and is like “pussycat.”


Котёнок: Masculine

Котик: Masculine

Киса: Feminine

Example: Пожалуйста, не оставляй меня, котёнок! (Please don’t leave me, kitten!)

Птичка (little bird)

Pronunciation: Ptichka

Meaning: Птичка is the diminutive of птица (bird), so its meaning is approximately “little bird.”

Gender: Feminine

Example: Птичка, ты меня любишь? (Little bird, do you love me?)

Ласточка (swallow)

Pronunciation: Lastochka

Meaning: Ласточка is a swallow, so it’s similar to птичка.

Gender: Feminine

Example: Как дела, ласточка? (How are you, swallow?)

Голубка / Голубушка (little pigeon)

Pronunciation: Golubka/Golubushka

Meaning: Sensing a theme yet? If you didn’t guess it, these words are diminutives. In this case, they’re diminutives of голубь (pigeon), so they mean “little pigeon.”

Gender: Feminine

Example: Что ты хочешь на день рождения, голубка? (What do you want for your birthday, little pigeon?)

Зайка / Зайчик / Зайчонок  (bunny)

Pronunciation: Zayka/Zaychik/Zaychonok

Meaning: All of these words mean “bunny.”


Зайка: Masculine/Feminine

Зайчик: Masculine

Зайчонок: Masculine

Example: Ты помыл посуду, зайчик? (Did you wash the dishes, bunny?)

Сахарок  (sugar)

Pronunciation: Sakharok

Meaning: Сахарок is a piece of sugar. It seems that many languages love using sweet things as terms of endearment!

Gender: Masculine

Example: Хочешь пойти куда-нибудь сегодня вечером, сахарок? (Want to go out tonight, sugar?)

Солнце / Солнышко (sun/little sun)

Pronunciation: Solntse/Solnyshko

Meaning: Солнце means “sun,” while солнышко is the diminutive, so it can translate to “little sun.” Use this Russian nickname for someone who brings light into your life!


Солнце: Neuter

Солнышко: Neuter

Example: С днём рождения, солнышко! (Happy birthday, little sun!)

Лучик (little ray, little sunbeam)

Pronunciation: Luchik

Meaning: Лучик is the diminutive of луч , which can mean “ray” or “sunbeam.”

Gender: Masculine

Example: Ты скрасишь мои дни, лучик!  (You will brighten my days, little sunbeam!)

Ангел мой (my angel)

Pronunciation: Angel moy

Meaning: Ангел мой means “my angel.” Fun fact: You can say these words in either order and still sound perfectly normal.

Gender: Masculine

Example: Ты небесный, мой ангел! (You are heavenly, my angel!)

Жизнь моя (my life)

Pronunciation: Zhizn’ moya

Meaning: Жизнь моя means “my life.” Like with Ангел мой, you can say this one in either order.

Gender: Feminine

Example: Моя жизнь, я так рад, что мы встретились! (My life, I’m so glad we met!)

Радость (joy)

Pronunciation: Radost’

Meaning: Радость means “joy.”

Gender: Feminine

Example: Что нам делать в эти выходные, моя радость? (What should we do this weekend, my joy?)

Счастье (happiness)

Pronunciation: Schast’ye

Meaning: Счастье means “happiness,” so it’s very similar to радость (joy).

Gender: Neuter

Example: Я хочу встретиться с твоими родителями, моё счастье! (I want to meet your parents, my happiness!)

Лапушка / Лапочка  (sweetheart)

Pronunciation: Lapushka/Lapochka

Meaning: Лапушка and лапочка both act like “sweetheart.”

Gender: Masculine/Feminine

Example: Что ты хочешь на ужин, лапочка? (What do you want for dinner, sweetheart?)

Золотце (honey, darling)

Pronunciation: Zolottse

Meaning: Золотце is like “honey” or “darling.” Since it comes from the word золото (gold), it’s more literally the equivalent of “golden one.”

Gender: Neuter

Example: Я просто хочу, чтобы ты был счастлив, золотце! (I just want you to be happy, honey!)

Сладкий / Сладкая  (sweet)

Pronunciation: Sladkiy/Sladkaya

Meaning: This term means “sweet” and is often used as a term of endearment for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Gender: masculine/feminine

Example:  Сладкий, ты можешь купить мне мороженое?  (Sweetie, can you buy me ice cream?)

Family Nicknames in Russian

Малыш  (little one)

Pronunciation: Malysh

Meaning:  This term is often used as a cute Russian nickname for a younger child or baby.

Gender: masculine

Example:  Как дела, малыш?  (How are you, little one?)

Любимый / Любимая (beloved)

Pronunciation: Lyubimyy/Lyubimaya

Meaning: This term translates to “beloved” and is a common Russiam term of endearment used by close family members. It can also be used with a romantic partner.

Gender: masculine/feminine

Example:  Привет, любимая! Как прошел твой день?  (Hi, my beloved! How was your day?)

Милашка  (cutie)

Pronunciation: Milashka

Meaning: This term is often used to refer to a young girl.

Gender: feminine

Example:  Спасибо за подарок, милашка!  (Thank you for the gift, sweetie!)

Родной / Родная (my dear)

Pronunciation: Rodnoy/Rodnaya

Meaning: This term means “belonging to the same family” and is often used to refer to a close family member or someone who is like family.

Gender: masculine/feminine

Example: Родной, я так рада тебя видеть!  (My dear, I’m so glad to see you!)

Душенька  (sweetheart)

Pronunciation: Dushenka

Meaning: This term is a diminutive form of Душ, which means “spirit” or “soul.” It’s often used as a term of endearment for a loved one or close friend.

Gender: feminine

Example: Душенька, ты такой заботливый человек! (Darling, you are such a caring person! )

Крошка  (little one)

Pronunciation: Kroshka

Meaning: This term means “little piece” or “little one” and is often used as a term of endearment for a young child or a close friend.

Gender: feminine

Example:  Крошка, ты такая милая, когда улыбаешься. (Cutie, you are so cute when you smile.)

Медвежонок  (little bear)

Pronunciation: Medvezhonok

Meaning: This term means “little bear” and is often used as a term of endearment for a friend or family member who’s big and cuddly like a bear.

Gender: masculine

Example:  Мой маленький медвежонок, я так скучала по тебе!  (My little bear cub, I missed you so much!)

Friendly Nicknames in Russian

Чувак  (dude)

Pronunciation: Chuvak

Meaning: This term is slang and means “guy” or “dude.” It is often used as a casual term of address for a male friend.

Gender: masculine

Example:  Эй, чувак, ты слышал новость?  (Hey, dude, have you heard the news?)

Братишка  (little brother)

Pronunciation: Bratishka

Meaning: This term means “little brother” and is often used as a term of endearment for a younger brother or a close male friend who is like a brother.

Gender: masculine

Example: Братишка, спасибо, что всегда можешь поддержать меня. (Brother, thank you for always being able to support me.)

Сестрёнка  (little sister)

Pronunciation: Sestryonka

Meaning: This term means “little sister” and is often used as a term of endearment for a younger sister or a close female friend who is like a sister.

Gender: feminine

Example:  Сестрёнка, ты лучшая сестра в мире!  (Sis, you are the best sister in the world!)

Бро  (Bro)

Pronunciation: Bro

Meaning: This term is slang and means “brother” or “friend.” It’s often used as a casual term of address for a male friend.

Gender: masculine

Example:  Привет, бро, как ты сегодня?  (Hey, bro, how are you today?)

Милый / Милая  (cute)

Pronunciation: Milyy/Milaya

Meaning: This term means “dear” or “darling” and is often used by older family members for their younger ones.


Милый: masculine

Милая: feminine

Example:  Милая, спасибо за твою поддержку. (My dear, thank you for your support.)

Красавчик  (handsome)

Pronunciation: Krasavchik

Meaning: This term means “handsome” and is often used as a term of endearment for a male friend who’s good-looking.

Gender: masculine

Example: Красавчик, как всегда, выглядишь на все сто!  (Handsome, as always, you look great!)

Красотка  (beautiful)

Pronunciation: Krasotka

Meaning: This term means “beauty” and is often used as a term of endearment for a female friend who is attractive. I wouldn’t use it with someone you don’t know, as it can sound like cat-calling.

Gender: feminine

Example: Красотка, ты в этом платье просто обворожительна!  (Beauty, you look simply enchanting in this dress!)

Бяка  (bug)

Pronunciation: Byaka

Meaning: This term is a playful and affectionate way to refer to a mischievous or silly person. It can be used between close friends who share a sense of humor.

Gender: masculine

Example:  Эй, бяка, ты сделал мою день!  (Hey, buddy, you made my day!)

Nicknames for Common Names in Russian

Коля  (short for Николай )

Pronunciation: Kolya

Gender: masculine

Example:  Коля, давай сходим вместе на футбол?  (Nick, let’s go watch football together?)

Саша  (short for Александр or Александра )

Pronunciation: Sasha

Gender: masculine/feminine

Example: Саша, ты такой хороший друг!  (Sasha, you are such a good friend!)

Маша  (Short for Мария )

Pronunciation: Masha

Gender: feminine

Example:  Маша, давай сходим на кофе?  (Masha, let’s go for coffee?)

Дима  (short for Дмитрий )

Pronunciation: Dima

Gender: masculine

Example:  Дима, спасибо, что поддерживаешь меня всегда.  (Dima, thank you for always supporting me.)

Лена  (short for Елена )

Pronunciation: Lena

Gender: feminine

Example:  Я сегодня встречалась с Леной, мы пошли в кино.  (I met Lena today, we went to the cinema.)

Ира  (short for Ирина )

Pronunciation: Ira

Gender: feminine

Example:  Ира, а что ты думаешь о новой работе?  (Ira, what do you think about the new job?)

Вова  (short for Владимир )

Pronunciation: Vova

Gender: masculine

Example: Вова, давай сходим в бассейн вместе?  (Vova, let’s go to the pool together?)

Галя (short for Галина )

Pronunciation: Galya

Gender: feminine

Example:  Ты знаешь, Галя всегда такая заботливая и внимательная к детям.  (You know Galya is always so caring and attentive to children.)

Таня  (short for Татьяна )

Pronunciation: Tanya

Gender: feminine

Example: Таня, а ты пробовала это новое блюдо? Как тебе?  (Tanya, have you tried this new dish? What do you think?)

Вася  (short for Василий )

Pronunciation: Vasya

Gender: masculine

Example: Я думаю, что Вася справится с этой задачей без проблем.  (I think Vasya will handle this task without any problems)

Света  (short for Светлана )

Pronunciation: Sveta

Gender: feminine

Example:  Света, а как твои дела на новой работе?  (Sveta, how are things going at your new job?)

Юра  (short for Юрий )

Pronunciation: Yura

Gender: masculine

Example: Ты знаешь, Юра любит слушать рок-музыку.  (You know Yura likes to listen to rock music)

Катя  (short for Екатерина )

Pronunciation: Katya

Gender: feminine

Example:  Я недавно гуляла с Катей в парке, она такая приятная собеседница.  (I recently went for a walk with Katya in the park, she is such a pleasant conversationalist.)

Оля  (short for Ольга )

Pronunciation: Olya

Gender: feminine

Example: Оля, как дела с подготовкой к экзаменам?  (Olya, how are your exam preparations going?)

Рома  (short for Роман )

Pronunciation: Roma

Gender: masculine

Example: Рома, ты видел, какой классный ролик на YouTube выложил этот блогер?  (Roma, have you seen the cool video that this blogger posted on YouTube?)

Fun Ways to Practice Russian Terms of Endearment

  • Write a love letter to your sweetheart. Writing a love letter gives you some valuable writing practice and is a fun way to use your new vocabulary. Plus, writing vocabulary down often helps reinforce it. If your loved one doesn’t speak Russian, though, you might want to give them a translation or at least talk them through it.
  • Use multiple terms of endearment. Using one is cool. Using two is fun. But using a wide array of Russian terms of endearment can help reinforce a much larger vocabulary set. And since many of these words are derived from commonly-used vocabulary, they’re worth remembering.
  • Make flashcards. Flashcards are a convenient way to learn vocabulary words efficiently, and the same is true when you’re learning terms of endearment. Tools like Anki, Cram and Brainscape are super convenient. FluentU also lets you look up Russian words, then automatically generates multimedia flashcards that have video clips, example sentences and grammar notes.


Try out some of these Russian terms of endearment the next time you’re looking to show affection. If you’re speaking to someone who doesn’t know Russian, you might need to do a little explaining, but isn’t that half the fun?

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