The Long History Behind Cringey Terms of Endearment

Host Dr. Erica Brozovsky, PhD of the PBS series Otherwords looks at the etymological history behind loving pet names used by couples and families. As it turns out, these cringey terms of endearment have been used for a very long time, and some of them are still used in modern times.

“The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary” traces terms of endearment,in the English language at least, over 1,000 years. While old-timey pet names, like Heartikin and Lamb Chop, have come and gone, darling, which appears in written records as early as 888 CE, is one term of endearment we still use today.

Loving Pet Names
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.