Languages › Russian 10 Russian Terms of Endearment Share Flipboard Email Print YakobchukOlena / Getty Images Languages English as a Second Language Spanish French German Italian Japanese Mandarin Russian By Maia Nikitina Russian Language Expert M.F.A., Creative Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University Diploma in Translation (IoLet Level 7, Russian), Chartered Institute of Linguists Maia Nikitina is a writer and Russian language translator. She holds a Diploma in Translation (IoLet Level 7) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Maia Nikitina Updated October 15, 2019 Terms of endearment are very popular in Russia and are freely used in most social settings, apart from formal situations. The language lends itself perfectly to expressing affection because of the way that any noun and adjective can be turned into a term of endearment by changing the ending and adding one of the diminutive suffixes. However, there are many Russian words that exist for the sole purpose of showing adoration, love, approval, or admiration. Additionally, Russians love to use diminutive forms of animal names to show affection. In this article, we look at the most popular Russian terms of endearment and examples of their usage. 01 of 10 Солнце/солнышко Pronunciation: SOLNtse/SOLnyshkuh Translation: the sun/little or baby sun Meaning: sunshine One of the most common affectionate terms in Russian, солнышко is suitable for informal settings such as addressing close friends and loved ones. Example: - Здравствуй, мое солнышко! (sdRASTvooy, maYO SOLnyshkuh)- Hello, my sunshine/hello darling! 02 of 10 Зайчик/зая/зайка/зайчонок Pronunciation: ZAYchik/ZAya/ZAYka/zayCHOnuk Translation: little rabbit/female rabbit/little female rabbit Meaning: bunny Another popular term of endearment, зайка and any other diminutives of заяц (ZAyats)—bunny rabbit—are used when speaking to loved ones, very close friends, and children. Some people also use it with their wider circle of friends and acquaintances, especially the word зая. Example: - Зая, ты получила мое сообщение? (ZAya, ty palooCHEEla maYO saabSHYEniye?)- Bunny/darling, did you see my message? 03 of 10 Рыбка Pronunciation: RYPka Translation: baby/little fish Meaning: fishlet, sweetie Рыбка is most commonly used when addressing female loved ones and friends. Example: - У меня для тебя сюрприз, моя рыбка. (oo myNYA dlya tyBYA syurPREEZ, maYA RYPka)- I have a surprise for you, sweetie. 04 of 10 Малыш/малышка/малышонок Pronunciation: maLYSH/maLYSHka/malySHOnuk Translation: baby/baby girl/little baby Meaning: baby/baby boy/baby girl Малыш can be used both for males and females (малышка is the female term of the word). Малышонок is most commonly used when talking to or about a small child. Example: - Малыш, не расстраивайся, все будет хорошо. (maLYSH, ny rasTRAeevaysya, vsyo BOOdyt haraSHO)- Baby, don't be sad, it will be alright. 05 of 10 Лапа/лапочка/лапушечка Pronunciation: LApa/LApachka/laPOOshychka Translation: paw/little paw Meaning: sweetie pie Although it may sound strange to call someone a little paw, in Russian, лапа and its derivatives are very popular and describe someone cute. Example: - Кто моя лапушечка? (KTO maYA laPOOshychka?)- Who's my sweetie pie? 06 of 10 Котик/котёнок/котёночек Pronunciation: KOtik/kaTYOnak/kaTYOnachyk Translation: kitten Meaning: kitten Used in informal settings, for example, when talking to close friends or family, котик and its other forms can be used both for males and females. Example: - Котик, иди пить чай. (KOtik, eeDEE pit' CHAY)- Kitten, come and have some tea. 07 of 10 Родной/родная Pronunciation: radNOY (masculine)/radNAya (feminine) Translation: family, related by blood Meaning: my dear Родной/родная are used very commonly when addressing one's partner or close family. The word comes from род (rod)—family, ancestral line. It can be compared to the English "soulmate" in its general meaning. Example: - Родная, пойдем домой. (radNAya, payDYOM daMOY)- Darling, let's go home. 08 of 10 Милый/милая Pronunciation: MEElyi (masculine)/MEElaya (feminine) Translation: loved one, cute, pleasant, attractive Translation: dear, darling, loved one Милый/милая are used only when addressing or talking to one's partner. Example: - Милый мой, я так соскучилась. (MEEly moy, ya tak sasKOOchilas)- My darling, I miss you so much. 09 of 10 Любимый/любимая Pronunciation: lyuBEEmiy (masculine)/lyuBEEmaya (feminine) Translation: loved one Meaning: darling, my love, love Another term of endearment that is only used when talking to or about one's partner or loved one, любимый is a very common way to express affection. Example: - Любимая, ты уже проснулась? (lyuBEEmaya, ty ooZHE prasNOOlas?)- Darling, are you awake? 10 of 10 Умница/умняшка Pronunciation: OOMnitsa/oomNYASHka Translation: clever one, smart one Meaning: clever clogs, that's my boy/girl, well done Умница is a versatile term of endearment that can be used in many social settings, for example, with family members, friends, loved ones, and even in more formal situations, such as a teacher praising a student's answer. Example: - Она такая умница, у нее все всегда получается. (aNA taKAya OOMnitsa, oo nyYO VSYO vsyGDA palooCHAyetsa)- She's such a smart cookie, she's good at everything.