What is the most fitting, original petname for my lover?
February 3, 2009 2:54 PM   Subscribe

I am in love with a romantic. Help!

There has been one askme that I have found, but none of the suggestions help. I need to come up with a pet name for my lover. I am his babydoll. Every time he writes that to me or calls me that, I melt. I want to do the same for him. The only thing I have been able to come up with is daddy seahorse or iceberg. They just don't sit well with me.

A couple of things you should know about him:
He is one of the smartest, well-read individuals I have ever met.
He loves the dadaists.
He is a writer, a musician, and a coffee roaster.
He is just fine, fine, fine.

Nothing I think of sits well with me. I want to impress him. I want it to be original.

Can anyone help?
posted by psylosyren to Human Relations (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Big Papa Fluxus"
posted by Greg Nog at 2:56 PM on February 3, 2009 [5 favorites]

"my man" is a simple but apt counterpoint to "babydoll"
posted by amyms at 2:57 PM on February 3, 2009

I've always liked "Magic Man" - but I'm a Heart fan.
posted by pammeke at 2:58 PM on February 3, 2009

Best answer: Call him your Readymade
posted by Damn That Television at 2:59 PM on February 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Dadaist eh?
Grab a dictionary, as comprehensive as you can get your hands on. Slide a sharp implement into the closed pages. When you open it, your pet name is the word closest to the point.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:06 PM on February 3, 2009 [8 favorites]

I think this needs to happen organically. I tried to come up with cutesy nicknames for Mr. WanKenobi, but none stuck until, one night, I called him , quite randomly, Pookie. It's not the nickname that I would have planned, but it just felt right (as he says, "Garfield loves his Pookie, and you love yours").
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:07 PM on February 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

"Trembling Oak"
posted by plexi at 3:09 PM on February 3, 2009

Best answer: Why not just call him Dada?
posted by amtho at 3:14 PM on February 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

R. Mutt, Eros (as is Rrose Selavy), Man Ray.
posted by piratebowling at 3:18 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Commander Flex Plexico!!!
posted by the dief at 3:18 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Rrose, as in Rrose Sélavy, as in "Eros, c'est la vie", or "To make a toast to life".

That, or L.H.O.O.Q.
posted by oulipian at 3:20 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: oulipian:

Just how would one pronounce L.H.O.O.Q? (Lahook?)

Thank you for the answers so far. I totally dig where all of you are coming from (i.e. piratebowling, the dief, amtho, Kirklander, Fiasco Da Gama, Damn That Television, Greg Nog). Now I have to hold my pillow and practice whispering into his ear.
posted by psylosyren at 3:28 PM on February 3, 2009

Skinnypants McGee
posted by ageispolis at 3:28 PM on February 3, 2009

posted by shmegegge at 3:29 PM on February 3, 2009

Response by poster: "You are my Fluxus,
My Readymade,
My Rrose, Dada, Man Ray,
and L.H.O.O.Q,
You are the Commander Flex Sexico!"

Now all I need is a dictionary to round this thing out, and I think the hivemind and I have got a thing. Seriously. Thank you.
posted by psylosyren at 3:38 PM on February 3, 2009

Best answer: A little more on the dada angle... you could call him Hugo (after Hugo Ball, married to the incomparable Emmy Hennings)?

"My honeysuckle wine"? (From a line in "L'amiral cherche une maison a louer," the first "simultaneous poem" performed at the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916.)

Monsieur Antipyrine? (from Tristan Tzara's "The First Celestial Adventure of M. Antipyrine")

Bachelor? (Duchamp's "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even")
posted by scody at 3:41 PM on February 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My cute widdle I Zimbra?
posted by Aquaman at 4:05 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: beautiful, aquaman.
posted by psylosyren at 4:08 PM on February 3, 2009

Was going to say Big Dada.
posted by trinity8-director at 4:15 PM on February 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

The only thing I have been able to come up with is daddy seahorse or iceberg...

Heh, I don't know why, but I find "Daddy Seahorse" hilarious.

My advice would be to not pre-plan. He doesn't call you Babydoll because he over-thought the perfect name; he called you that because that's what occurred to him, and now he keeps calling you that because you like it.

Just say whatever feels good in the moment, even if it doesn't feel inspired -- say what it makes you feel good to call him. My wife and I, we have at least ten "regular" pet names for each other, and every day brings a new one that may or may not enter the rotation, even when we're fighting.

Does that mean you might call him your Magic Sock or something one day? Sure, but what's more romantic than a laugh at our own folly? That, plus it's not just the name that works, it's the moment in which it's said.
posted by davejay at 5:09 PM on February 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Just how would one pronounce L.H.O.O.Q? (Lahook?)

It's a joke that works in French — if you pronounce the French names of the letters, elle hache o o ku, it sounds like elle a chaud au cul, meaning "She's got a hot ass."

"El ah show oh cue" is about as close as you can get using English sounds.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:57 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Show Q" would work as an approximation of "chaud cul".
posted by megatherium at 6:31 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm with davejay on this one. I don't think it's so important that the petname is relevant or related to his interest in Dadaism etc. I employ petnames fairly often and they tend to just be random stuff that occurs to me at that point in time.

At the risk of turning something romantic and spontaneous into a science, here are some ideas:

1. baby-*insert noun here* tends to work, where noun can be.. well, just about anything. But nouns that seem to work particularly consistently include food items / animals / other cute-ish things. Like 'doll.' Or cookie. Or bear. Or bubble. Or cookie dough. etc.

2. The tone that you say the petname in is, imho, almost as important as what the petname is itself. This is why even nonsensical sounds can work as melt-your-lover nicknames. Like 'nipnops' or err 'humhum'.

3. Pay attention to what he likes to describe himself / refer to himself as. If he likes to think of himself as a... photographer, or chef, or a well-read person, then that might be a starting point for a petname. Not that "baby well-read-person" works as a nickname, but "mr bookworm" might. Obviously this might not work for everyone; some people might take particular offense and see it as you being derogatory or playing down the significance of the subject matter by making it into a petname.

I'm gonna stop now because I feel bad about making this sound so scientific and cold. But I hope this helps!
posted by nihraguk at 7:20 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just say whatever feels good in the moment, even if it doesn't feel inspired

This is excellent advice. Counter to my relatively sarcastic contribution above, pet names are intimate things that don't always make any sense at all, and generally aren't planned or well-thought out. When you find one that works, when you use it, it'll be because it reminds the both of you of that moment in your relationship that you shared.
That's also why sharing the information with others can veer very quickly into too much information territory.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:27 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm going with off the cuff as well. I tend to gravitate towards animal pet names personally, so maybe the first lovable animal you think of when you hug him next?
posted by mattsweaters at 8:07 PM on February 3, 2009

like an Andalusian dog, for example?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:02 PM on February 3, 2009

You can't really ask a bunch of mopes on the internet to give you the word(s) you seek. It's got to come organically, as noted above, it's got to play out as it does, let the name come slowly, there's no hurry, you love this guy, you've got time...
posted by dancestoblue at 12:01 AM on February 4, 2009

I agree with everyone saying they just come with time. Anytime I've tried to come up with one it never sticks, but the ones that just come to me without thinking about it are the good ones. Hell, I know a couple that call each other some word followed by butt. Hamsterbutt, for example. Or sometimes just Butt. "Hey Butt, it's time to wake up." Not my thing, but it works for them.
posted by thejanna at 5:50 AM on February 4, 2009

elle a chaud au cul, meaning "She's got a hot ass."

Uh, no. "She's got a fire in her ass," that is to say: "She's horny."
posted by bonehead at 7:36 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

None of us are going to help you come up with a cute name for your loved one. It's one of those things that will just happen one day. I call my wife Shimo. (Her name is Shima.) That's not even a real word or a term of endearment or anything, but it's my name for her and she likes and I like it and no one else calls her it because it's a strange thing to call someone. And no one on the Internet could have helped me pick it. (Probably, anyway.)
posted by chunking express at 8:17 AM on February 4, 2009

Best answer: psylosyren, you are obviously a sweet and caring romantic, yourself. the cynic in me doubts that this man could be all you make him out to be, but your obvious adoration for him is deeply moving. (i'll opt not to comment on the subtle misogyny of his particular moniker for you . . . ) but if you'll allow me: perhaps your considerable creative energies could be put to better use transforming the lives of others the way you have utterly transformed his. my advise? simply call him "kyle" and he will love you no more or less than ever. audi 5000 . . .
posted by barrett caulk at 10:15 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I went through a phase of randomly pet-naming a dear friend with variations on a theme: food items. Pomegranate, cracker, snickerbar, cheesedoodle... something different each time I talked to him. It was an affectionate in-joke/game.

And it's one I continue when I address my cat. (What, I'm not supposed to address my cat?) Poor thing probably has no idea what his real name is.
posted by juliplease at 1:04 PM on February 4, 2009

Hugo Ball, my very favorite dadaist, rhymes with baby doll. Tristan or Tzara, after you-know-who. Chocoveins, after Tzara's line "morality infuses chocolate into every man's veins." Schwitters.

And you should get him some dada diaries for gifting, if you think he'd like it and doesn't have them already. George Grosz I believe has a published drawing notebook called Love Above All or something.
posted by ifjuly at 7:32 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just call him "The Dude". I think that'd be perfect.

It's up to you to decide either that, as your brother, I'm looking out for you and would never lead you astray or that, as your brother, the thought of you whispering pet names into your lover's ear gives me the willies so I'm suggesting something silly that'd break the mood.
posted by ewagoner at 12:16 PM on February 6, 2009

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