When my son started to nursery school 4 years ago, my daily life French vocabulary started to expand. The school permitted the parents would stay for half an hour to play with their children every morning. For both of us, discovering something new; games, toys, etc and observing others were so much fun. I started to take mental notes the nicknames used in the classroom which parents and teachers used for children.
I was shocked when I heard the teacher called my son “ma puce” (my flea). I thought my son caught a flea in his second week of the school; I have to confess I was so prepared for the worst scenarios because in Brussels the first note arrives from school is generally a warning about “la poux” (head louse). In my mind I panicked to combine the flea and the louse. Before running to pharmacy, I googled; it was an affectionate nickname for children (and women, too). Such a relief! Luckily after “ma puce”, things did not get as complicated. Here’s the list I made so far, happy to share it, but please don’t try them at your home country!
Mon chou/mon choupinet (ma choute/ ma choupinette): I thought that it originates from cabbage (le chou) but google says le chou is in its other meaning: from French patisserie, small buns filled with cream in profiterole. Yummy with chocolate sauce !
Bout de chou: sweetie, poppet, tot
Loulou: darling, sweetie
Mon nounours: my teddy bear
Ma cocotte: Hen (darling, honey)
Ma gazelle: my gazelle, my antilope
Roudoudou: candy in a sea shell
Ma poule or poulette: chick
Lolotte, poupounette, fillette.
You’re welcome to extend the list.