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Hey, Babe: The Pet Names Women Find Most Annoying

In the UK, women prefer their nicknames with less sugar.

By Kristin Wong Sep 3, 2012 3:38PM

Photo: George Clerk/The Agency COllection/Getty ImagesHoney, baby, sweet cheeks. If you're in a relationship, you likely don't call your partner by his or her first name. Chances are, you probably use a pet name when referring to your significant other.

But that loving nickname may not be as appreciated as you think.

A recent survey from Siteopia.com revealed babe as the most hated pet name among women. "Many people appear to find babe a bit too much, and it may be worth reconsidering the amount it's used and the kind of impact it’s having," a spokesperson for the site told The Heart Beat.

Siteopia surveyed 2,000 British people between the ages of 18 and 60. They found that only one in five surveyed called their partner by his or her full name.

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In addition to babe, sweet cheeks, snookums, and baby doll were also unpopular.

“Pet names between partners are usually used as a way to show a little regular affection but some are clearly better than others," said the spokesperson.

Overly sappy nicknames proved to be most disliked by the ladies. Muffin, pudding, angel pie and honeybun all made the list of top 20 most hated nicknames.

Apparently, women don't appreciate being likened to desserts.

As for nicknames gals prefer, flattery will get you everywhere. Gorgeous, beautiful, lovely and sexy all made the list of top 20 most acceptable nicknames. Siteopia's spokesman continued:

"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."

Personally, while angel pie may be a bit too sugary for my tastes, babe seems harmless. The spokesman explained that "babe" is one term of endearment that may not translate from the United States to the United Kingdom.

"When people hear 'Babe' in the U.K., it's very often associated with someone either trying a little bit too hard to be cool or coming across as cheesy."

Also interesting: One in seven surveyed admitted to giving their partner an unflattering pet name just to mess with them. One in six men referred to their partner as "the boss," and one in fourteen admitted to calling their significant other "the ball and chain."

Full lists of the most hated and most acceptable pet names for women are below. 

What do you think — which of these pet names are sweet and which are downright sappy?

Top 20 Most Hated Pet Names For Women:

  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. Angel pie
  12. Pumpkin
  13. Puppy
  14. Sugar lips
  15. Treacle (a type of syrup in the U.K.)
  16. Baby
  17. Pickle
  18. Honeybun
  19. Sugar pie
  20. Cupcake

Top 20 Acceptable Pet Names For Women:

  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

Photo: George Clerk/The Agency COllection/Getty Images

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Aug 24, 2013 3:11AM
The best thing to do is call it as you see it with something positive and original about her, or if she has a good sense of humor ill call her insults like Bitch or Hoe with emphasis on the word so it is obvious your joking and it keeps things light. Takes the power out of a normally hurtful word. Not recommended for the initial first stage of dating someone.
Aug 11, 2013 5:54AM

I used to have a British girlfriend that complained about certain terms I used as "cheesy", she soon found out I was seeing a new girl who loved my cheesy term, then the funniest thing happened: She told me it looks like you found yourself a new "babe" I laughed and said: A new? I did not have one before oh you forgot I am sorry"

There was a polish girl who also considered Princess and different lovely terms as cheesy, she never knew why I went to the movies with her girlfriend (best friend), she did not complain like she did.

Bottom line: As long as we pamper you live it up unless you feel better with another girl, no offense taken if that's the case but just say it.

Aug 11, 2013 4:43AM

The sweetest thing my significant other calls me is Darling.  I call him Darling, too.


The cutest name I ever heard used was in the movie, Adam's Rib, with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.  He called her Pinkie; she called him Pinky.

Aug 11, 2013 2:33AM

So this was a BRITISH survey?  What about a survey of  women in the USA?  Now that might interest me.

Aug 11, 2013 1:43AM
What do lesbians tell each other? Babe! What a bunch of losers.
Aug 11, 2013 1:41AM

Well ladies, get a life! You should be happy guys are with you to begin with!

Bet the ladies that don't like nic names are single!


Aug 10, 2013 10:13PM
I can't call a chick "dear" it sounds p-whipped and old fashioned. Like something from a Humphrey Bogart movie.  
Sep 4, 2012 6:30AM
AWW SUGAR BRITCHES don't get mad just cuz I called you SUGAR BRITCHES.
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