The most romantic nicknames to woo your Spanish sweetheart

Are you a fatty, half an orange or just somebody's darling? The Local gives you the most affectionate romantic names to call your Valentine (with some exceptions), from the classic to the hilarious terms of endearment.

romantic names spanish
Fatty, little pigeon or half orange are some of the more orignal ways to refer to your other half in Spanish. Photo: sept commercial/Unsplash
My fatty 

Photo: Chris Pirillo/Flickr
No, you won’t get a slap or an evil look if you call your Spanish lover a gordi. This pet name for lovers is commonly used regardless of people’s weight. Say gordo/a (just straight fat) and the outcome of your name-calling may be very different.
My half an orange

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
Don’t worry, the person referring to you as mi media naranja doesn’t want to bleed or squeeze you dry. The expression means my better half or my soul mate.
Little pigeon

 Photo: Ingrid Taylar/Flickr 


Fear not, your partner will not think you’re comparing them to a mucky city bird. Pichoncito/a, ‘little bird’, is sickly sweet but not offensive.
La parienta 

Archive photo: Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
Word of warning, gents – this is not a loving term to use with your wives or girlfriends. The English equivalent is ‘the missus’ and in Spanish parienta can also be understood as a relative.
My soul 

Photo: Emily Haun/Flickr
It sounds deep, but the term mi alma is used more often by Andalusian grandmothers who bump into you in the street than by young people in relationships. A similar but more suitable name Spanish couples do use is mi vida (my life). 
My little insect/bug

Photo: Feans/Flickr
Don’t be put off by the pet name bicho or bichito. Depending on your partner’s behaviour, you can decide whether you want it to be a dung beetle or a ladybird.
My love/darling

Photo: Emiliano Horcada/Flickr 
The golden oldies never die. Mi amor and cariño are still the most common pet names used by Spanish couples.
My sky
Photo: Jinhan /Flickr
For the lovebirds who are on a high, mi cielo or just cielo is an endearing pet name to use.
Photo: Pau Llopart Cervello/Pixabay
Mi tesoro might be what Spanish-dubbed Gollum calls ‘my precious’ in The Lord of the Rings, but in Spain referring to someone as tesoro is a classic, perhaps slightly outdated way, of calling them darling. 

Photo: Sunshinecity/Flickr
Literally meaning heart, it’s usually used without the mi at the start.

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Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

This adjective is essential slang talk in Spain, a word with lots of meanings, all of them fairly negative.

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

Chungo is a colloquial way of saying that something is difficult, dodgy or bad. 

It can be used to describe a variety of scenarios and it’s a great way of talking like a native Spanish speaker. 

You can talk about the weather being chungo if there are ominous black clouds up ahead.

If you’re stepping into a dodgy neighbourhood, then watch out because it’s un barrio chungo

If you bought a hairdryer at the rastro (flea market) and it doesn’t work properly, then it’s clearly chungo, and the seller is just as chungo.

Maybe you’ve just sat an exam with complicated questions, you’d call it un examen chungo.

Or if you don’t feel very well, then you’re the one that is chungo

There’s even an expression to say that things aren’t looking good – la cosa está chunga.

All in all, chungo is a very versatile adjective that you can incorporate into most daily speech even though it’s colloquial. 

Here are some examples to help you get used to using chungo.


Está el tiempo un poco chungo, mejor no vamos a la playa.

The weather isn’t very good today, it’s best if we don’t go to the beach. 


¡Ojo! Es un tío bastante chungo así que no te fíes de él.

Be careful! He’s a pretty dodgy guy so don’t trust him. 


Le has comprado un perfume muy chungo a mamá por el Día de la Madre.

You’ve bought Mum a really crappy perfume for Mother’s Day.


El barrio de El Príncipe en Ceuta es muy chungo, ¡ten cuidado!

El Príncipe neighbourhood in Ceuta is very dodgy, be careful!



Me encuentro un poco chungo, con mareos y nauseas. 

I’m feeling a bit bad, I’m dizzy and nauseous. 


¿Dama de honor cuando el novio es tu ex? ¡Qué situación más chunga!

Maid of honour when the groom is your ex? ¡That’s an uncomfortable situation!


¡La cosa está chunga! El Barça tiene que marcar cinco goles para clasificarse.

Things aren’t looking good. Barça have to score five goals to qualify.