You have a secret, cringe-worthy pet name for your partner, don’t you? (We know you do. Because, chances are, so do we.)
It’s embarrassing to admit but many of us have soppy, made-up, onomatopoeic terms of endearment that we utter with love. But there are also the more traditional pet names we like to stick to in social settings.
Greeting cards company Thortful has now listed some of the most popular affectionate words we use to refer to our partners. And, as expected, some of them are pretty cringe.
Thortful carried out a survey asking people what the nation’s preferred monikers for their significant others are. The data showed that almost half of Brits (47%) are guilty of calling their other half something soppy.
But the majority of respondents did admit to sticking to the more conventional monikers, with ‘love’ coming out on top. Almost a third (29%) of 1,500 respondents revealed it was their go-to name.
Next on the list was ‘babe’ with 25% admitting they use it, followed by 17.5% saying ‘honey’ and 15.3% sticking to ‘sweetie’.
But those are pretty normal, right? Where’s the cringe in that?
Well, luckily, some respondents told all. While ‘handsome’ might not be all that embarrassing, 9.4% did admit to using it.
Meanwhile, 7.7% said they use ‘honey bun’, followed by 7.6% with ‘sweetpie’, and ‘boo’ at 5.3%.
And some even admitted to using ‘baby boy/girl’ (4.8%) while others prefer ‘princess’ (4.7%).
But no matter what the pet name, the majority of couples said they prefer to use them at home, with 76% saying they use their partner’s real name when they’re in public.
And it seems this embarrassment goes both ways, as 32% revealed they would be mortified if their partner used these terms out in the world.
These are the most-used pet names:
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.