German Language - Terms of affection / endearment

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Nualláin

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I know there are some wonderful native German speakers around AW. Can I pick your brains?

My German is extremely basic conversational, and I'm having a devil of a time trying to find just the right word for this situation. What I have is a present-day, early 20s German living in London. He is a gender-normative, masculine young man who is openly and comfortably bisexual, and I need an appropriate German term of endearment that he would use affectionately to a male lover.

He wouldn't say anything that was notably colloquial to queer culture, or anything that sounded old-fashioned, so it has to be contemporary and more or less gender-interchangable. For reference, his English partner calls him "babe", and he somewhat playfully uses this term in response.

Any suggestions warmly welcomed. Danke.
 

hillcountryannie

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Schatzi. Some people might think it's old-fashioned. Think it depends what part of Germany. My family still uses it.
 

StarryEyes

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My German friend in her early 20s calls her boyfriend "Schatz".
 

Taiga

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Some terms I've heard are:

Liebling = darling

(mein) Schatz/Schatzi = treaure

Schnuckel = 'baby' / 'cutie'

(mein) Junge = youngster / lad

In German nouns are capitalized, so while your English character says,"Hey, babe." The German will respond,"Hey, mein Schatz." or "Hey, Schatzi."
 

Nualláin

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Thanks everyone. Interesting to hear Schatzi mentioned a few times, I had considered that but resisted because of a perception that it was a bit fuddy-duddy. If it's more common among younger generations, that may not be as much of an impediment as I thought.

I do like the sound of Junge because of parallelisms with colloquial English "lad", and I didn't know it could be used for endearment. Thanks for that, I'll give it a ponder for a bit.

For that matter, I stumbled across "Bube" as a southern German term for a young man that might be roughly comparable to 'lad'. Anyone able to say if that would be a wholly peculiar word to use as a term of endearment? Punning on babe/bube could be fun in dialogue.
 

Taiga

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Hi Nualláin,

Unless your readers speak German (or pay attention to you telling them how the word should be pronounced), they might say 'Boob' for Bube (bubah). Bubi is pretty much pronounced as it looks, but could become 'booby' for some.

How about Hasi from Hase? (Technically 'hare,' but means 'bunny' when used with affection.)

HTH.
 

Nualláin

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Hah. That's a good point on "booby", Taiga. Thanks for that. That could be fun in another context, but it wouldn't work for these guys!
 

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