As pet names are found to increase intimacy in relationships, couples explain the quirky meaning behind their pet names for each other
The royals aren’t above having fun names either – last month we learned that William and Kate call each other Duchess Do-little and Prince Baldy. Lynsey Clarke asks three couples to tell the tales behind their pet names.
Mophead and Sexy Arsed Mo-Fo
TRAVEL adviser Nikki Gregg, 39, a mother of three from Wakefield, West Yorks, has been with shop fitter Richard Hinchliffe, 45, for just over a year.
She believes having pet names spices up their relationship. Nikki says:
"I love that we have pet names because it means we’re really comfortable around one another. Richard’s pet name for me is “Mophead”, which came about a few weeks after we got together.
"He commented on the state of my hair after sex. It looks messy, like I have put my finger in a plug socket. The name stuck, and now he calls me it all the time. I like that it’s a name just for me and I wouldn’t have him call me anything else.
"He calls me it to my face and in text messages. Names like Babe and Darling are boring and over-used. At least ours are original. My pet name for Richard is “Sexy Arsed Mo-Fo”. When we first started dating, we texted each other all the time and the pet names became naughtier. "Richard has a cute bum and I’m always slapping it, which is how I came up with the name for him.
"Every couple should have a cute pet name for each other. Previous partners didn’t call me by anything other than my proper name. It gives my relationship with Richard a bit of spice."
RICHARD SAYS: “The fact I can call Nikki ‘Mophead’ in front of anybody and they don’t know what I’m talking about is great. Our pet names are like our secret code.
“I love that Nikki calls me the names she does. It’s quite flattering and a real confidence boost. It makes us tighter as a couple, having these names for each other. Even her close friends and family members have cottoned on to me calling her Mophead too. That’s definitely stuck.”
Starshine and Ralph
WRITER Michaela Peacock, 25, and data scientist Ash Hollowell, 27, from Peterborough, met four years ago. The wheels for their pet names were set in motion at the beginning. She says:
"We met while working as part-time teaching assistants at a secondary school. At the start of our relationship I started to wake him up every morning by playing the song Good Morning Starshine from the musical Hair.
Eventually I stopped playing it and started singing it. As anyone would, Ash hated it at the beginning, being woken by someone shrieking Good Morning Starshine into their ear!
But to this day I still wake him up with it. Starshine stuck and that’s just what I call him now.
Sometimes when I’m out shopping and I lose him, he can hear me shout “Star” as I look for him – he gets so embarrassed.
ASH SAYS: “Where Ralph comes from is that Michaela sometimes says things that make no sense. It started three years ago when I started noticing similarities between her and Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons.
“They both get words and phrases wrong. One of Ralph’s most famous quotes is, ‘Me fail English? That’s unpossible’. Michaela has come out with some similar corkers, such as, ‘I can’t hear you, my nose is blocked’ and, ‘I wanna see the Wombles in Australia’ when she meant wallabies.
“I even began compiling a list of Ralphisms – like when she answered ‘June’ to the question, ‘What’s the only month with a G in it?’ from The Chase on TV. Now I just call her Ralph or Ralphie. But despite the similarity, she is extremely intelligent, which is what attracted me to her.”
Beebus Maximus and Bishwari Naan
JOURNALIST Emmie Harrison and her telecoms engineer boyfriend Jethro West, both 25 and from Hackey in East London, believe their unique pet names enhance their relationship. She says:
"It started as a bit of fun but has stuck. I’m originally from Newcastle where “babe” is a common endearing term. But after a few drinks I squealed “bebe” in a high-pitched voice and it stuck for a while. Then I shortened it – mainly out of laziness – to “bee”. Then we were just being silly one night and I came up “Biche” and “Beebus Maximus”.
Jethro followed suit and they were our little secret names for one another. It definitely feels special and adds an extra romance to our relationship. They are endearing but very private names and we wouldn’t dream of calling each other them in public.
Not only would they sound absolutely ridiculous – especially as one, Bishwari Naan, is inspired by the Indian side dish peshwari naan – but also I like the fact they are just something we have between us.
They may seem silly to outsiders but for us, whenever we say them, they are accompanied by lots of smiles and laughter, which obviously brings us closer together. Jethro also has a rather sweet tone to his voice whenever he calls me Bishwari Naan, which melts my heart."
JETHRO SAYS: “I only really use pet names in private, partly because they’re silly and a bit embarrassing but also because they’re personal to us. That’s a key part of why I feel having pet names makes us stronger – the space around us feels more intimate to me and I think more intimacy means a stronger relationship.
“So when I am alone with Emmie, I use our pet names a lot.”
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