russian love

16 Dreamy Russian Terms of Endearment to Try on Your Significant Other

If you’re learning Russian and can’t resist a good pet name for your partner, Russian has a huge array of wonderfully vivid words.

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 brace yourself, sweeties! It’s time to learn 16 dreamy Russian terms of endearment!


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.”

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 kind of like 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.

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.”


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.”

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.”

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!)

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! You might even challenge yourself to see how many different terms of endearment you can use in one day.

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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