Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
So, a guy has been making the moves on you, and now he’s given you a flattering nickname. Why would he do that?
Often, a guy will give you a nickname if he likes you, especially if you’re the only one he finds pet names for. Some men will come up with a food-based pet name, such as “Cupcake” or “Sugar Plum.” Others might base your nickname on your stature. That is how nicknames like “Shawty” must have come about.
Most guys mean no harm with their pet names. But some people find them embarrassing and childish. Especially the women they give some of these nicknames.
Using pet names could be doing more than making those around you cringe. A recent study looked at people who use terms of endearment for one another. It found a higher likelihood of them having a solid relationship.
Here are some of the more common nicknames guys give girls:
A guy will call you “boo” for several reasons. The word “boo” originates from the French “beau,” which means “beautiful.” Most people use it as a pet name for their significant other.
He might also call you “boo” if he’s flirting with you, especially if he wants to take your romance to the next level. If you like it when he calls you “boo,” you can call him “boo” right back.
Tell him if you’d prefer another pet name (or no pet name).
“Bae” is a slang word for a significant other, so the number one reason for him to use it is that you’re his girlfriend.
According to the Urban Dictionary, the word ‘bae’ is an acronym. It stands for ‘before anyone else.’ Some people use it more loosely, though. He might be too shy to tell you how he feels about you.
So, he’s dropping a hint and hoping you’ll get the message and let him know you feel the same. Or he may use it to see how you’ll react.
When a guy calls you “dude,” it might be because he thinks you act like a man or he sees you as one of the guys. It might not mean anything special: some men refer to everyone as “dude.”
It can also mean that he’s comfortable with you. If that’s the case, you’ll notice that he talks about anything with you. He’ll tell you his secrets, and >gasp< he’ll even let you use his phone.
“Crazy” is thought-provoking because the term can mean many things. Your guy may think you’re out of your mind but still likes you. Or he may be teasing.
You can tell if he’s flattering you judging by his body language and tone of voice. The nickname can have a darker meaning. When a man calls you “crazy,” it can suggest that he’s judging or belittling you.
If he’s abusive, he may use the word “crazy” to gaslight you, especially if he wants to find fault or avoid taking responsibility.
A guy calling you “sweetheart” can mean he cares about you. “Sweetheart,” as you may know, is a common term of endearment used to convey affection.
You may think it means the same as “gorgeous,” “sexy,” or “baby,” but it doesn’t. Some men use it as a platonic endearment. Older men like to use it when referring to younger women.
It may even come across as condescending at times.
It can mean several things when a guy calls you “lady.” He might call you “lady” as a sign of respect if he has just met you and doesn’t know your name.
Or, he might do it because he’s trying to get your attention or he finds you charming. He might have noticed that you have a refined character, and he’s complimenting you by calling you “lady.”
It can also be that he refers to all women by the term “lady.”
When a guy calls you “shawty,” it can be because that’s what he calls all women. It can also mean he thinks you’re hot and wants your phone number.
He might want to get to know you because he’s attracted to you. A man might also call you “shawty” because he wants to sleep with you.
In most cases, when a guy says you’re pretty, it’s a genuine compliment. A guy may also call a girl “pretty” because he thinks she’s girlfriend material.
Yet another reason for a man calling you “pretty” is that he finds you attractive. But he wants to downplay it because he doesn’t want to come across as too perverted or sexual.
His calling you “pretty” can also have a dark side. He may have an ulterior motive and only calls you “pretty” so you’ll warm up to him.
He may call you “beautiful” because he appreciates your natural beauty. Or it could be that he’s being careful with his choice of words because he wants to avoid lame words like “cute person.”
Another reason why guys call girls “beautiful” is to check their reactions. Or he might call you “beautiful” (or something similar) because he thinks you’re shy. Thus, he wants to give you a boost of confidence.
A guy might call you “adorable” because he feels attracted to you. Or he might be teasing you. He could also find you fun, spontaneous, or carefree.
On the flip side, some guys do it to be sarcastic or condescending, as in, “oh, how adorable – you think I’m made of money, don’t you?” Or he’s discounting your emotions, saying, “Aww, you’re scared.
How adorable!” You can thank him or return the compliment, depending on the context. If you think he’s flirting with you, there’s no harm in flirting back (unless you’re not interested).
The number one reason why guys call girls “hot” is that they find them sexy. He may also say you’re “hot” because he likes you and wants to make you smile. Beware of a man who calls you “hot.”
He may be trying to get you to relax so he can sleep with you. Yep. “Hot” usually means he’s interested in being more than friends. But take note – the definition of “hot” is changing. People are expanding it to include ladies who do extraordinary things (for example, women in STEM fields).
As with some of the other pet names we’ve seen, he may call you “hun” because he finds you attractive. Or it could be another case where he wants to know how you will respond.
He might be flirting with you or being friendly. Sometimes, a guy will call you “hun” because he’s forgotten your name. But, in most cases, a guy will call you “hun” because he wants you to know you’re unique to him.
Some guys call their close female friends “hun,” even if they have a partner. To them, it’s a sweet way of addressing women and making them feel appreciated.
Why might a guy call you “bro?” The top reason is that he’s put you in the dreaded friend zone. Or he calls everyone “bro.” It could also be that he finds you attractive, but you remind him of one of his friends.
Do you look like a man or dress like one? That might be the reason why he calls you “bro.” Another reason is that he’s comfortable with you. Or he could be testing you (again to see how you’ll react).
If in doubt, you can ask him why he calls you “bro.” Depending on his response and how you feel about the nickname, you can call him “bro” back. Or, you can ask him to stop calling you that.
“Mommy” is an odd pet name, but he might call you that because you remind him of his mother. Or he could be teasing you or putting a twist on the word “babe.”
If you happen to be pregnant, he might be honoring that. Or he could be celebrating that you’re his children’s mother. Or here’s another twist: he may want you to call him “Daddy!” How should you react?
Well, it depends on the context in which he used it. You can take it as a compliment, or if it makes you uncomfortable, let him know immediately.
“Babe” is another term guys use when they find you attractive. He may also use it because he thinks you’re special and likes you. And if that’s the case, he might be ready to take things to a new level.
“Babe” could also be his way of addressing women. Has your guy started using the “B” word more often? That’s a clear sign he likes you. Unfortunately, in some instances, calling you “babe” can be a power play.
Is he using the term for that purpose? Then it’s likely that he’s displaying other dominance-type behaviors. So be on your guard.
Doesn’t “baby” mean the same as “babe?” Yes, but some men use one or the other, so we thought we’d include both. A guy might call you “baby” because he feels an emotional connection. Or, yet again, he could be gauging your reaction because he’s ready to take things to a new level.
But there’s no need to obsess about why he’s called you “baby” because the word may have slipped out by accident. Some people use terms of endearment with almost everyone they meet.
No response is necessary if you don’t mind that pet name. But, if you dislike it, by all means, speak up.
Brits tend to call everybody “luv,” so don’t be surprised if you meet a guy from across the pond who uses that term when speaking to you. He’s not British? Then it’s a sign that he’s attracted to you.
He might even say he loves you (or likes you very much). It might not be a romantic pet name if he’s older than you. Instead, he may be using it as a term of endearment.
The only person who knows the whole truth is the guy who calls you “love,” so get a feel for his intent.
A guy may call you “gorgeous” because he desires you. His word choice implies that he’d like to be more than friends. The word “gorgeous” is intense, so it may have slipped out because he was nervous.
Also, remember that calling you “gorgeous” is like using any other pet name for some guys. They see no difference between “gorgeous,” “beautiful,” “sexy,” or “baby.” As always, it can also have a darker meaning.
He could be a slimy player chasing sex, throwing compliments to see what will stick.
The number one reason why he will call you “sweet” is because he sees you as a nice girl. It can also mean that he appreciates you. But, if he does not have a romantic interest in you, he may friend-zone you by putting you in the “nice” category.
He might also be trying to manipulate you. For example, he may be thinking of asking you to borrow money. In such a case, he’s calling you “sweet” to flatter you, so you’ll say yes to his request.
The appropriate response to a guy who calls you “sweet” is to thank him or return the compliment. You can tell him you’re not interested if you suspect ulterior motives.
If he calls you “sexy” while you’re spending time with him, it often means he is in the mood for some hanky-panky. Or it could indicate he loves what you’re wearing or how you look.
He may admire your confidence. Or maybe he’s calling you “sexy” because he thinks you’re fantastic in bed. Be mindful that “sexy” usually means he’s focusing on your physical appearance and sex appeal.
There’s not much ambiguity surrounding this compliment! Still, “sexy” is usually a positive compliment, regardless of its meaning. “Sexy” makes you feel like a badass, doesn’t it?
In the End…
Many of us end up becoming what other people call us. Call a boy a gentleman, and you’ll see him standing taller; call a girl a lady and bet your life she crosses her legs.
Most girls love pet names, especially cute, sweet, or funny ones. But if they make you feel stupid, degraded, or weird, then he needs to stop. Not because you don’t want him to be sweet, but because you’re not okay with the idea of being referred to as someone’s “bro.”