Russia Beyond (Legion Media)
The Russian language has much more than the usual “baby” and “honey”.
The diminutives, the affectionate appellations and the affectionate appellations in the Russian language are only valid in communication with a person whom you already know quite well.
They denote sincere affection, so it is considered a sign of hypocrisy when someone abuses these words. With this in mind, we are going to inform you about the most used affectionate words in Russian.
On Nine perfect strangers, Masha Dmitrichenko, played by Nicole Kidman, is heard saying this word with the wrong accent: lapOchka. Whereas in Russian, the accent is on the first syllable, lápočka.
Лапочка is a diminutive of лапа (lapa), which means “leg.” Russian linguists are unsure of the etymology of this term of endearment, which is also often used with children. Could it be because their hands are so small?
“Lápochka”, referring to a bride, can be roughly translated as “sweetie”, but it does not have the same connotation. It is simply a home sweetheart for the male and female genders alike.
Зайчик (pronounced “saitsik”) means “little hare”, a regular protagonist of many children’s stories and a much more common animal in Russian forests than rabbits. Although most of today’s Russian children have never seen a hare in the wild, зайчик (as well as its other diminutive “zaika”) is still used as an affectionate appellation.
A diminutive of cat, котик (pronounced kótik) is one of the most widely used pet names in the Russian language. It can be applied to many animals, even a dog. Nevertheless, пёсик, the diminutive form пёс (“male dog”), is not considered a sweetheart at all.
Малыш (malysh), детка (detka)
With the literal meaning of “baby”, малыш (малышка) (masculine and feminine, pronounced malýš, malýshka) also came to be used for loved ones. Other synonymous words are: детка (pronounced détka), and its diminutive деточка (pronounced diétochka). This word has only a feminine form, but it can be used in reference to boys and girls alike. Also, be aware that the use of these words (and “kroshka” below) could be perceived as condescending. Therefore, only use them with people with whom you have a really close relationship.
Кроха (pronounced kroja) and its diminutive крошка (pronounced króška) means, first of all, a small breadcrumb or even a cookie. Because it is tiny, “kroshka” is also used for children and loved ones. It only has a female form, but it can also be applied to young children.
Солнышко (pronounced solnishko) is a diminutive of солнце (pronounced solnche), “sol · in Russian. This appellation implies that the person to whom it is addressed shines like the sun in the life of the person who says it. The diminutive form is preferable, if you want to be really nice. Also, it can be used звёздочка (pronounced zviozdochka), little star.
Птичка (ptichka, and many others)
A diminutive of птица (“Bird”, pronounced ptícha), птичка (pronounced ptichka) looks a lot like zaichik and kotik, but it is used mostly with women and girls.
Actually, Russian is full of diminutives – taken mostly from the animal kingdom – that can be used lovingly. From креветочка (krevétochka, “small shrimp”) a тигренок (“Tigrenok”, tiger cub) a пирожочек (pirozhochek, “little cake”) and рыбка (rybka, “little fish”), you can fully immerse yourself in affection, just remember to be honest and true to your feelings.
And remember that some of these diminutives may have wrong or negative connotations and will not necessarily be pleasant or fun for your loved ones. That is, we doubt that обезьянка (obezyanka, “little monkey”), поросёночек (porosenochek, “little pig”), or пончик (ponchik, “donut”) would be the words that any Russian girl would want to hear.
READ MORE: 7 ways to say I love you in Russian
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