16 Dreamy Russian Terms of Endearment to Try on Your S.O.

He’s your honey.

She’s your dear.

They’re your darlings.

When you’re really fond of someone, sometimes you just want to express it by using cutesy terms of endearment.

Luckily, if you’re learning Russian and can’t resist a good pet name, Russian has a huge array of wonderfully vivid words to expand your vocabulary.

Many Russian terms of endearment are diminutives. Diminutives 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 than if you just call them “cute.”

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

Why Learn Russian Terms of Endearment?

First of all, Russian terms of endearment are super cute. Terms of endearment are usually pretty adorable, but Russian has some that are even cuter than you might expect. Since many of them refer to animals, they’re also quite vivid.

Additionally, Russian terms of endearment are unique. While most languages have terms of endearment, many common Russian terms of endearment have no English equivalent, so they can seem extra special. And like Russian idioms, they’re pretty colorful if you ask us!

Using Russian terms of endearment can also help you practice your Russian skills. Using them often can reinforce the vocabulary words and their pronunciation. Plus, if you enjoy using terms of endearment, you’ll likely use them pretty often, working a little Russian into your everyday life.

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. Or better yet, give them the gift of a FluentU account and encourage them to keep learning until they understand your heartfelt sentiments.

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 Quizlet, Cram and Brainscape are super convenient, but we’re also still big fans of the old-school method of crafting flashcards by hand. Glitter is optional but encouraged.

Use FluentU.


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Take a quick look at what FluentU has on offer for yourself:


Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? FluentU makes native Russian videos approachable through interactive captions. Tap or click on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more.


Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.


Don’t stop there, though! Use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.


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16 Russian Terms of Endearment to Sweeten Your Vocabulary

Пчёлка (little bee)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Meaning: Ангел мой means “my angel.”

Gender: Masculine

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

Жизнь моя (my life)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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!)


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?

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Russian with real-world videos.

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