Terms of endearment living in a multicultural world

Since he was born 11-month-old Cyrus has been called everything from a little hazelnut to a rocket mouse by the in-laws overseas.

Now although these terms of endearment in Farsi might not sound quite as cutesy when translated into English, especially number 3 below, some phrases and names have now stuck with him (and the family) for months.

As someone who studied multiligualism and communication at university, the language differences fascinate me and some of the names he’s been called have really made me smile.

There are the usual sweet terms, such as asal meaning honey, azizam meaning sweetheart, ghalb-e man for my heart, shkar for sugar and sefid barfi which means white as snow.

Then there’s my top 10 favourite terms of endearment for little C in Farsi:

1. Fandogh koochooloo – little hazelnut

2. Sib-e sorkh – rosy apple

3. Jigar-am – you are my liver (I want to eat you)

4. Gol-e sonbol – hyacinth flower

5. Ab nabat choobi – lollipop

6. Shah baloot – king acorn – ‘baloot’ meaning oak (our favourite)

7. Mahi koochooloo – little fish

8. Moosh mooshak – rocket mouse

9. Pesar tala – golden boy

10. Aroosak – porcelain doll

Now see which ones you can remember! Children all over the world are learning more than one language and we’ve used two languages with little C from the start. The terms of endearment above are a fun way of giving Cyrus a chance to hear and practice using both languages in everyday situations. Isn’t Farsi fun?

If you’re teaching your child another language and have some fun phrases you’d like to share on Of Saffron & Cyrus, get in touch at saffronandcyrus@gmail.com. We’d love to have some additional guest posts from across the world on this subject.


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