These Tasty Words Do Double Duty As Edible Endearments

Sweets for Your Snookum

The bonds between you and your loved ones are indescribable. You love them more than words can say. And that soaring feeling when you nibble a delicious sweet treat? That’s also a joyful love. So, naturally, we give our loved ones tasty nicknames because that’s the best we can do! On the menu are some of the lovable edible endearments we give the ones we can’t get enough of. 


Starting us off is the name that cuts right to those sugar-loving taste buds. Sweet foods are appreciated the world over, and have been for thousands of years. We probably associate babies with sweetness because infants love sweet foods from birth. Sweet came to mean “loved one” in 1300. Adding “ie” at the end made sweet even cuter in the 1700s, when sweetie and lollipop were used for “lover” and “sweetheart.”


Nectar of the gods! Why wouldn’t we want every (mere) mortal to be compared to such superior syrup? In English, honey has been a term for our lovies since at least the 1350s (but because the nectar’s been around for, oh, 8000 years, we’re pretty sure our ancestors were sweet on honey for a lot longer). Honey is a great name for your loved one, not just because it’s sweet, but because it has so many healing properties, too. The Romans healed their battle wounds with honey. Think of that when you soothe your “honey” with “honeyed words.”



We’ve only really been using this edible endearment since 1930! That seems downright impossible, considering we’ve been pouring sugar for at least 800 years. We’ll never know what took us so long to hit sugar’s sweet spot. But after we finally did, musicians like Def Leppard put out songs whose lyrics dripped with sweet (and saucy) innuendos about their “sugar” babes.

Cookie and Cupcake

Cookie is another slang food-nickname that’s only been around about 100 years. The word derives from the Dutch word koekje, meaning “little cake.” Because it’s “little”, cookie’s especially sweet for young’uns. Like cookies, cupcakes are little cakes (originally baked in—surprise, surprise—cups). The word actually didn’t have “kiddy” cute origins, though; a cupcake was an “attractive young woman” in the 1930s.


Jellybeans probably came from the Turkish Delight, a Middle Eastern sweet that has been around since Biblical times. In the US, from the 1930s on, the multi-colored rounds have been linked with Easter and the blossoming of the new year. Perfect for the budding bean in your life.


This one reminds us that edible endearments aren’t always sweet. On the face of it, pumpkins aren’t exactly attractive either (unless they’re lit up for Halloween). Some would say they’re not even delicious…but, pumpkin pie, people! Sadly, we’re not entirely sure how pumpkin became cute. Early 1850s references to “little pumpkins” describe round little children with names like Dumpy Dorcas. But pumpkin has obviously lost its short-and-stout meaning over the years.

Cracker Jack

Cracker Jack popcorn lends its peppy name as an exceptional endearment for someone special. We also use crackerjack for a person who demonstrates excellence. There’s certainly a lot of that in a box of the sugary snack, alongside the popcorn and peanuts drenched in caramel-molasses that made the treat a giant hit at the World’s Fair in 1893.

We’ve just teased your taste buds with this list of edible endearments—but we’re hungry for more! Send us your best ones on Twitter…with chocolate fudge and a cherry on top!

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