German word of the day: Der Kosename

German word of the day: Der Kosename
A 'love lock'/'Liebesschloss' hanging from a bridge in Munich. Photo: DPA
My mouse, my bunny, my boyfriend? It seems that Germans take pet names very literally.

What does it mean? 

Despite their reputation for being somewhat reserved when it comes to dramatic expressions of love, Germans are committed to using pet names with their romantic partners.

The word for these names in German is Der Kosename, the pet name, or Die Kosenamen in plural. This word comes from the verb kosen, which means to snuggle or to caress. 

READ ALSO: 10 beautiful ways to express your love in German

Some of the most popular include:

Mein Schatz(i): literally “my treasure trove” but also “my darling, sweetie, precious”  

Die Maus/Das Mäuschen: “the mouse/little mouse”

Der Hase/Das Häschen: “the rabbit/bunny” 

Der Kuschelbär: using a similar verb kuscheln, “to cuddle,” this means “cuddle bear” 

READ ALSO: Of mice and bears: The most popular German pet names

Based on this list, it appears that Germans like to call their partners names resembling actual pets, taking the phrase pet names to a new level. 

Despite their commitment to pet names, only a quarter of Germans say “Ich liebe dich,” or “I love you,” to their partners each day, much less often than their American counterparts. 

Example Sentences: 

Es ist zu süß für mich, wenn die Deutschen Kosename für Liebhaber verwenden. 

It is too sweet for me when the Germans use pet names for their lovers. 

“Was sind eure Kosenamen füreinander?” Er nennt mich sein Mäuschen und ich nenne ihn meinen Schatz.“

What are your pet names for each other?” He calls me his little mouse, and I call him my darling.


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