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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.

Related video: 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship

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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Sep 4, 2012 5:30AM
How come sweetheart isn't on this list anywhere? I think this list is a bit off actually. My man calls me baby, baby girl, gorgeous, sexy, beautiful etc all the time and I love it! 
Sep 4, 2012 3:51AM

I'm called "Boops!" I don't know how or why, but I'm called "Boops!"

Sep 4, 2012 1:24AM
i like sayin baby and being called baby doll (even baby girl now that i am older). it's much better than "plankton" lol. however, thnx to lucinda williams...gud luk findin ur buttercup. 
Sep 4, 2012 12:33AM
I actually don't mind my wife calling me Baby on occasions. <3 She and I both use Love, Darling, and Honey the most. But the best one she calls me is Beloved. I call her Sweetness <3
Sep 3, 2012 11:18PM
Most disliked pet name is "Muffin" because it was listed twice I suppose?
Sep 3, 2012 10:00PM
i think the "snowflake" should be taken out of the top 20 most acceptable names and put baby girl in replace for it. i dont want to be called a piece of snow. and baby girl gives me good butterflies(:
Sep 3, 2012 9:56PM

Well, It has come to this......!  Amazingly, the guys really don't like their genitals named by women either; but they do!  I know guys are not penis envy, but women definitely are. 


So, play fair ladies!


Besides, No. 17 on the Hated List,  the ladies I know......they love this!  But, then again the Women's Lib, they set the rules, right?  Crazy article, Kristin.....you must be recently divorced.....and I don't know why......?

Sep 3, 2012 9:54PM
Mine' s not on either list, Maybe it's old fashioned or something, but I call my wife 'Beloved'. We've been together nearly 12 years.
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