How Do I Love Thee? Food-Related Pet Names For Your Partner!

How Do I Love Thee? Food-Related Pet Names For Your Partner!

Pumpkin, Muffin, Cupcake, Banana, Chocolate, Sugar.…..

Have you noticed how we often use food-related pet names to call our partners and loved ones?  I’ve heard people calling their spouses sugar, peanut, banana etc.  Somehow I think there’s a link between our love for food,  how that particular food evokes certain emotions in us and how we feel about our partners or loved ones.  We are not aware of this but it is true and it happens.  Most often parents give their kids pet names such as tomato because the baby’s cheeks are cute like a tomato.  A common food-related pet name for a partner would be honey/ sweetie.

Now let us bring it to Mzansi….

You often hear funny pet names such as dombolo lam (my dumpling), gwinya lam (my vetkoek /fat cake), my chocolate etc.  I like bab’Mbongeni Ngema’s “thambo lam lekhentakhi” (my bone of KFC) hahaha! Imagine now if we can use names like my bobotie, my pickled fish, ketse yam, mxhaxha wam, ntyabontyi yam  etc.

Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby Apple, since then I haven’t heard of anyone following her trend.  Thank God!  Imagine if babies got names like Noodle Malema, Krummelpap Niemand, Biscuit Skosana, and Snoek Parcel Nkosi.  No No No! Hell No! I can already see those poor children become the laughing stock at the crèche.

My mom likes to listen to Imiphanga, a program on Umhlobo Wenene FM announcing the deceased, when and where they’ll be buried.  At this particular occasion I was sitting with her, Lord I laughed so hard, those people announced that day had funny names such as Mbotyi (Bean), Nopilisi (Pill), Notumata (Tomato).

We love food very much, as a result, its taste, texture, mouthfeel, appearance and the way it is presented to us may evoke certain emotions.  Those emotions can easily become associated with emotions we feel for our loved ones but naming your child Dumpling is not it.  It should only end with a pet name…its cuter that way.

Do you also have food-related pet names for your partner, child, friend, or even family member? Please share with us, we are dying to find out what they are.

Author Info


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 6 )

  • So cute!!!
    My nephews think I’m loopy because I call them chocolate buttons and sugar plum, to name a few 😉

    • Hehehe! I used to call my brother Jam or Peanut butter when he was little. He’s now 18 and I still remind him he is my Jam and Peanut butter! lol!

  • Elaine

    Sweetie pie

    • Thats cute, Elaine, thankd for sharing. I call mine “my chocochino” in an Italian accent 🙂

  • BlueWolF

    “sweetcake” and “shortcake” for my g/f’s 2 nieces !!

    • Lol! Let me guess….you love cakes right?

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