Names to call our loved ones in Croatian

How to show affection in Croatian

There are many different times in life when we want to show affection to the people that we care about: be it to a family member, a friend, a child or a significant other.

In this blog post we'll talk about different nicknames a person can use to show their affection. You can now tell your loved ones exactly how you feel about them – in Croatian! 

What names to call my friends?

As with many cultures, Croatians like to assign nicknames to the people who they are closest to, such as their family members and (especially) their friends. These nicknames can vary widely depending on what relationship they have with that person. For example, when addressing their friends, women tend to have naturally different terms of endearment for each other than men do. A woman might call her friend:

→ little chicken (this is a funny one!)

→ darling

→ female friend

Men usually like to use terms that they think fits their friend’s physical description (purely out of love, of course!). For instance:

→ someone who is rounder around the belly area

→ small one

→ old one

→ brother (in dialect)

→ male friend

The standard word for a female friend in Croatian is , or for a male friend.

What names to call my family members?

The nicknames which Croats use for family members are usually less inventive than the ones which they come up with for their friends, and they tend to be fairly collective terms which are used throughout the whole country. For instance, (mother) or (father) are rarely used, but (mum) or (dad) are commonly used as part of our everyday language, as these terms sound more endearing.

There are, however, some dialectal variations to the way in which we address our family members. For example, in Dalmatia the word is a unique way to say ‘dad’ and is used in place of the word . Similarly, while other parts of the country use (mum), the Dalmatians use the word instead. Here are some other differing ways in which Croatians may address their family members, depending on dialect:


We often use the vocative case to address people directly. You can read about the vocative case here or try your skills out in our grammar trainer here.

What names to call my significant other?

While Croatians have their conventional ways of addressing their family and friends, when it comes to talking to your beloved one, the possibilities are endless! In most cases, lovers will find individual nicknames for each other which are based on experiences that they have shared together. These experiences might include, for example, trips that they’ve been on, friends that they’ve met, or memories that they share. Here are just some examples, all of them are already expressed in the vocative:

→ my love

→ my luck

→ my baby

→ sweetie

→ my heart

→ chick

→ little mouse

→ my beautiful

→ my darling

→ little pig

→ little tiger

→ my little one

When you’re lost for words around your loved one, a simple and a tight hug will be enough. ????

Exercise: See how much of this beautiful love song by Pavel you understand!

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