Don't call me Babe! The most hated pet names for women revealed (sorry sweetcheeks)



14:56 GMT, 31 August 2012

It has become one of the most common terms of endearment used by couples, but 'babe' has been voted the most hated pet name for women.

The term, made popular by Sonny and Cher's Sixties hit I Got You Babe, come out on top in a new study.

‘Sweetcheeks’, ‘snookums’ and ‘muffin’ were also a definite no no, but terms such as ‘gorgeous’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘lovely’ were considered acceptable.

Pet name: Cher and her former husband, the late Sonny Bono, called each other 'Babe' in the Sixties hit I Got You Babe

Pet name: Cher and her former husband, the late Sonny Bono, called each other 'Babe' in the Sixties hit I Got You Babe

Victoria Beckham famously admitted to calling husband David by the pet name 'goldenballs'

Intimate nickname: Victoria Beckham famously admitted to calling her husband David by the pet name 'goldenballs' during an interview with Michael Parkinson

Americanised nicknames like ‘baby girl’ and ‘baby doll’ are also unpopular, along with ‘pudding’ and ‘pumpkin’.

The research also revealed that only one in five Britons calls their partner by their full name the majority of the time, with the same number admitting to using a private nickname when no-one else is around.

Many of the men who took part in the study also confessed to referring to
their partner with terms they would only use while she was out of

‘The Mrs’ or ‘the wife’ were still used by some men, while one in six quietly referred to their partner as ‘the boss’.

Prince William and Kate wore patriotic outfits with Kate opting for a red version of her husband's blue shirt as they watched the event

Too much information: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's pet names for one another are rumoured to be 'Babykins' and 'Big Willie'

‘Her indoors’ was also a popular name for an absent wife or girlfriend,
while one in 14 brave men had dubbed their loved one ‘The ball and chain’.

names between partners are usually used as a way to show a little
regular affection but some are clearly better than others,’ says a spokesman for, who commissioned the study.

using the more common terms like “babe” or “darling” or some of the more
modern terms, the research shows the ones we choose for our partner can
have very differing impacts.


1. Babe
2. Sweet cheeks
3. Snookums
4. Baby doll
5. Baby girl
6. Muffin
7. Ducky
8. Baby cakes
9. Sexy pants
10. Pudding
11. Muffin
12. Angel pie
13. Pumpkin
14. Puppy
15. Sugar lips
16. Treacle
17. Baby
18. Pickle
19. Honeybun
20. Sugar pie


1. Gorgeous
2. Beautiful
3. Lovely
4. Love
5. Darling
6. Honey
7. Sexy
8. Angel
9. Dearest
10. Precious
11. Treasure
12. Snowflake
13. Blossom
14. Sweetie Pie
15. Sexy legs
16. Lover
17. Buttercup
18. Flower
19. Princess
20. Sweetness

'There’s a lot of power in a name and
each one throws up different connotations so it’s important to know
which ones will flatter a partner and which are definitely not going to
have the right effect.’

One in ten husbands and boyfriends
admitted they let their partner call them a soppy nickname they would
dread their friends ever finding out.

Meanwhile one in ten Britons surveyed revealed that they were left embarrassed when others
discovered their private nickname, with 44 per cent accidentally
using it when others were around.

‘Of course personal nicknames, when
born out of affection, are a nice thing for partners to have between one
another,’ added the spokesman.

‘Although as we’ve seen they aren’t always names we want shared publicly.

‘There’s a lot to be read from a
name, and sometimes using too strongly cliched or overly-soppy pet names
for someone we like will just be seen as insincere.’