Reader Confession – What character nicknames do it for us… and don’t do it for us. ;)

by Maryse on September 26, 2018 · 20 comments

in Editorial

I once had a boyfriend that called me “Potato” confused *eyeroll* *smirk*

We’ve chatted about this subject off and on in the comments over the years, and I couldn’t help but post this today. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart (in real life… and in book life). Done right, it’s what makes the characters real. Done right in real life, it helps forge that sweet connection and closeness.

Okay right off the bat, Babe or Baby melts me. I just love that! It’s personal and intimate and sweet (and yes… it’s “usual”) but I’m into it. My parents always called each other that (and loved each other like crazy), and to me, it shows affection and intimacy. So when Tate in Sweet Dreams would say it, I would swooooooon. He could answer a whole situation or conversation with that one… statement.



Pigeon <— LOVE!!! Travis’s sweet endearment for his beloved… Abby in Beautiful Disaster. You’d think it’s weird (sure ;) ) , but once you get to know the two of ‘em, it fits, it’s sweet, and it’s THEM.

Sidenote? ;) Wanna know the weirdest nickname I ever had (that I never quite warmed up to). One of my boyfriends when I was in my college days called me “Potato”. *blink blink* Yeah… he wasn’t the affectionate type, certainly held back on the sweet endearments, but when he wanted to be *ahem* “sweet“? Potato. confused

Okay so now you guys!

Nay: re: nicknames–For a certain male personality, I can see ‘toots’ working for me. The one that made me create a ‘Hate the nickname’ folder on GR was the hero calling the heroine ‘Sparkle’ in one book, but the one I abhorred was another book where the hero called the heroine ‘Puppy’. Ick! I couldn’t even make it past 30%. I also hated Joe calling Vi ‘Buddy’ in At Peace (it kept reminding me of the Chuck Taylor knock-offs from when I was younger), but since that’s one of my fave K.A. books (and since it was Joe *rawr*), I was able to overlook it.

Julie O: I love Joe and he could call me whatever he wants.

bev: I’m one of the few that liked “Buddy”. It was just so unexpected and unique, also my first KA. I want to say it was based on a man calling her that, but not sure.

Jane: Ha ha Nay. Yeah I loved Joe and At Peace as well, but I wasn’t that into the nickname Buddy either. bev I’m with you on Toots. Not loving that either. Puppy and Sparkle are heck to the no as well. LOL. I suppose authors want to include something a bit different from Babe. Something a bit quirky maybe. But sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Maryse: Hrmmm… I kind of like Puppy. It’s actually something we say in Quebec (“Pitou”) but to their boyfriends or husbands (I don’t recall it ever being said to a girl). But like all nicknames, not everyone adopts it.

Leslie M: I am not sure why some H’s can get away with cringey nicknames but I guess it depends on how hot they are! I think my fave is when Jamie calls Claire Sassenach.

JulieO: I don’t like the endearment “DOLL”. It makes me think of those old gangster movies on TV. It was used in the book COLLIDE which kind of turned me off a little.

Nay: I guess it depends on the man, because Jamie could call Claire puppy, sparkle, or buddy and it would sound sexy, Well, maybe not ‘puppy’–I REALLY hate that one,

Maryse: Exactly!! I agree, Nay. “Momma” always sounded weird to me, until Ty started calling Lexie that in Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain Series Book 3). That was hot. ;)

MichelleS: I don’t want to call you “daddy” & I don’t want to be tied up. I want to call you “my lord” or “my laird” (depends where we live), and if you drive a motorcycle & I can ride behind you, I’m good with that! Oh!!! And I LOVE it if you give me a good nickname! Like kitten. I might call you bratwurst, though! This is just too much fun. I must stop. We should do a thread about best nicknames! I loved F*cky (EoL) oh yes I did! And Bratwurst (Kulti).

Jan: I like the fav nicknames thread idea Michelle. But am I lame that I can’t remember any? I’d even forgotten the one from Kulti and that’s one of my fav books! Although I’m just starting American Hellhoundtoday and I have to say. ‘Ghost’ is a lot better than ‘Kenny’ (his real name lol).

Leslie M: Fave nicknames? I recently read and loved: Real Good Man by Meghan March and h’s name is Banner. H calls her Bruce. Her parents are nerds and named her after Bruce Banner. It was super swoony hearing it on audio with sexy narration by Sebastian York.

Er…. MichelleS? What book is EoL (and… OMG a character was nicknamed F*cky?!!) LOL!!!!!

Anyone else have any favorites? What nicknames do it, for you?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanne Pearl Couturier September 26, 2018 at 8:57 PM

Wow !!! That’s a funny post !!! And I’ve learned A LOT about nicknames ! Yes, “mon pitou” is a nickname in French that directly translates to “my puppy” and it was mostly popular about 20 years ago. Since my boyfriend and I are a certain age (none of your business but soooo necessary to understand anything in my babling…) he seems to like it when I tell him “mon pitou”. I think it cute ! ha ha ha

Ashley September 26, 2018 at 9:23 PM

When my boyfriend and I first started dating almost 10 years ago he once called me ‘babe’ and I looked at him and said, ‘you just took points off my IQ.’ That was before I read romance books! Now I wouldn’t mind it, but it really bothered me for some reason then! So his nicknames for me are Cute and Stuff. (Because apparently Stuff can be an all encompassing nickname; short stuff, cute stuff, sexy stuff, smart stuff, weird stuff…).

R. Renee September 26, 2018 at 11:26 PM

EoL is An Exaltation of Larks <3

Beth G September 27, 2018 at 4:24 AM

HA, I call my little sister Spud. I don’t know where it came from or why but I’ve called her it so long she gets mad if I call someone else spud by accident.
BUT onto books, I loved Millie calling High ‘snooks’ & ‘snookums’ in Kristen Ashley’s Walk through Fire. My heart at that story <3

JulieO September 27, 2018 at 6:11 AM

I liked Snookums too. I remember that nickname Sparkle in a book also. What book was it? At the time I thought it was kind of stupid too. KA thinks up good nicknames. In Ride Steady Carissa called Joker Sweetie which was kind of silly for a biker. The H in Mystery Man called Gwen Sweet Pea. I had a boyfriend long ago call me Sweet Baby. I always liked that guy and when I married a different guy I had a cute little cocker spaniel that I named Sweet Baby just because of the memories.

Leslie M September 27, 2018 at 7:43 AM

The whole pet name thing is contingent on the H and how much I like him. Because calling someone Pidgeon sounds ridiculous unless it’s coming from a scorching hot man like Travis! Then I swoon. ;)

One potentially cringey one I loved is “Pussycat” from one of my faves: One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake.

I also find it super sexy when the H uses the h’s full name. Like Darian calling Frankie “Francesca” in Waiting for the Sun.

Bigchik September 27, 2018 at 9:54 AM

KA comes up with some good nicknames, sure.But…. she also came up with the worst. ‘Cookie ‘ and ‘Ham’ in Jagged (one of my least favorite KA books)

R. Renee September 27, 2018 at 10:21 AM

Leslie!!!! I actually wrote a scene in WFTS where Darian called her “Frankie” during a fight and I cut it because it because it felt *too* cruel and out of character. Riders, however is a different story…

Leslie M September 27, 2018 at 11:06 AM

Ham???? Ew…. I don’t even think a hot H could get away with “Ham”. *shudders*

R., I will totally feel like Darian being a jerk if he calls her “Frankie”. I’m nervous for Riders….

JulieO September 27, 2018 at 2:39 PM

I didn’t like HAM either. But I just figured it was a shortened version of his first name Graham.

Nay September 27, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Oooh yeah, if Darian called her Frankie, that would be so bad (good!)

One of my all-time favorite nicknames is when Bones calls Cat “Kitten” (Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost). I can just imagine his deep British voice saying it *shiver*. I STILL haven’t read the last book of that series because I can’t bear to think it’s over.

JulieO–’Sparkle’ was used in Surrendering by Ahren Sanders.

And like Maryse, I also love ‘babe’ and ‘baby’.

R. Renee September 27, 2018 at 4:46 PM

You’re such a little instigator Nay!

Ash September 27, 2018 at 5:53 PM

I’m usually not for nicknames outside of the usual suspects like babe and baby. However, I have always loved ‘Duchess’ from Tarryn Fisher’s Love Me with Lies series. It fit so perfectly and now I am thinking of airport blue. ;)

D.G. September 27, 2018 at 9:00 PM

From Lukov with Love. (Mariana Zapata) Ivan called her Meatball. But coming from Ivan – it worked.

bev September 27, 2018 at 9:17 PM

Maryse, I come across puppy a lot when I read about K dramas or kpop. Not within the drama but fans calling certain actors and singers “puppy.”

Even the first line of this post which might be when I first really noticed it.

I should ask where it comes from.

bev September 27, 2018 at 9:21 PM
JulieO September 28, 2018 at 1:38 AM

Thank you, was wracking my brain about “sparkle”. Then I started thinking. Didn’t the H have an addition to his ding dong?

Maryse September 28, 2018 at 9:05 AM


Ding dong. ;)

*snuggles JulieO for that good giggle*

Amy Rose September 28, 2018 at 12:39 PM

I do love a great nickname! One of my favorites? Mariana Zapata’s Kulti when he starts calling Salome “Schnecke” … a German form of endearment way before they ever become a couple…she has no idea what it means. So good!

Carla October 5, 2018 at 5:03 PM

I like baby/babe too. It’s sweet. I’m also reading a book right now that the H calls the h Pepper. He even tattooed a pepper in his chest because of her. I love it. I also like “beautiful”. I had a boyfriend that used to call me that. It was “linda” actually, which mean “beautiful” in portuguese and since I’m brazilian…

What I don’t like? Well, I don’t like “darling” at all. It doesn’t sound right in my ears.

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