Don’t call me Snookums, Pookie: the affectionate nicknames Canadians love to hate

A new survey has revealed the nation’s most loved - and most hated - terms of endearment.
  • 92% of Canadians think that using nicknames in a relationship is a good idea
  • But don’t use Snookums or Pookie – they top the list of hated terms of endearment
  • Men want to be called Honey and women want to be called Sweetheart
  • The most popular affectionate nickname in Canada is Babe

92% of Canadians want to express affection via cute nicknames

The survey, which was carried out by premium dating site EliteSingles, asked 400 Canadians what they really think about using loving terms of endearment when part of a couple.

As it turns out, Canadians are an affectionate bunch: just 8% cringe at the thought of pet names, while 92% are in favour of regularly using mushy monikers with a partner. This figure includes 43% who prefer to use them in private and a huge 49% who are happy use to cutesy nicknames publicly.

EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine says that we are so attached to the idea of nicknames because they ‘’are indicative of a certain dynamic between the couple.’’ A playful couple may choose something silly, for instance, while a more tender-hearted couple may opt for something mushier; the names indicating ‘’a complicity between two partners.’’

Step back, Snookums: Canada’s most hated pet names

However, not all nicknames are created equal, and the survey also discovered that there are certain terms of endearment that Canadians believe must never, ever be uttered.   

For women, the most hated nickname of all is Pookie, followed by Snookums, Bunny, Pumpkin, and Sexy. The list for men is very similar, with one notable exception – men don’t mind being called Sexy.  Overall, men’s most hated pet name is Snookums, followed by Pookie, Stud, Bunny, and Pumpkin.      

Keep this in mind, Sweetheart: Canada’s favourite terms of endearment

So, what can you call your petit chou when you want them to know they’re the apple of your eye? The safest answer is Babe, the most beloved nickname in the whole of Canada.

You could also pick something from the top five. Women’s absolute favourite nickname is Sweetheart, followed by Babe, Honey, Beautiful, and Love, while, again, the men’s top five is very similar: their number one nickname is Honey, followed by Handsome, Babe, Sweetheart, and Sexy.

Marine also recommends you try ‘’an original nickname, which was created just for [your partner], to make them feel unique.’’ If you can’t think of anything, ‘’in the same vein, positive names like ‘My Treasure’ or ‘My Gem’ will make them feel that they are precious.’’

For more on this study, including a look at the most popular nicknames in various provinces, please see our in-depth article

Press contact: Sophie Watson

EliteSingles Research Team

press@elitesingles.ca