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Greek Terms of Endearment and Affection

Certain languages excel in conveying love and affection, and Greek is a prime example. Enriched by its history of mythology, dramas, and poetry, the Greek language offers a wealth of words to express matters of the heart.

It was the Greek language that conveyed the myths featuring Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and her mischievous son Eros, the god of love and desire.

Join us on an odyssey as we explore the enchanting world of Greek terms of endearment.

The most common Greek term for endearment

The most common Greek term of endearment is “αγάπη,” which translates to “love” or “affection” in English. In Greek, “αγάπη” is used similarly to the word “love” in English, serving both as a basic vocabulary term and a term of endearment.

In contrast to English, where the word “love” is used both for people and objects, Greeks mainly reserve the word “αγάπη” for describing people.

The Greek communication style is warm and affectionate, allowing for a broad use of the word “αγάπη.” This term can be used in many different settings, for example, when addressing one’s child, spouse, best friend, or even a relatively new romantic partner.

In Greek, it's common to add the possessive pronoun “μου” (my) to “αγάπη”. Using “αγάπη” alone creates a more casual and informal tone.

Below are some examples of common Greek phrases which use this term:

By the way, if you have Greek friends or relatives, why not learn Greek? It is one of the languages available on Pimsleur, and they offer a free lesson.

Greek terms of affection for love and relationships

Greeks are very creative when it comes to ways of addressing their significant other.

Let’s go through the standard terms of affection used in Greek:

Note that the first two terms of endearments are used widely in English, but all the rest apply mainly to the Greek language. Also, all the words are gender-neutral, and both genders use them equally.

Greek terms for relationships

Greeks in a relationship refer to their significant other as “my boy” or “my girl.”

For a married couple, Greeks use the words man and woman to refer to their husband or wife.

In a more formal context, Greeks use the word “σύζηγος” to refer to their husband or wife (a gender-neutral word).

Terms of endearment for men

Greek guys and boys enjoy using terms of endearment, especially in greetings when they run into each other unexpectedly. The most commonly used words have a relaxed and laid-back feel, and those words typically don't focus much on looks.

Greek men use these terms when addressing a man or a woman interchangeably. The difference is that when addressing a man, they use the masculine form, as seen below:

“Ρε” is an informal but very common Greek interjection used to address someone in a casual way, much like saying “hey” or “mate” in English. It's often used among friends or peers and as a friendly greeting or to grab someone's attention.

Terms of endearment for women

Greek girls and women use the common terms of endearment mentioned above in the masculine forms when addressing a man and in their feminine forms when addressing a woman, as seen below:

However, girls often use a wider range of adjectives to address one another. A few common examples are listed below:

Terms of endearment for family

In Greece, families have a strong tradition of showing their love through special terms of endearment. These words help strengthen the feelings of love and closeness within the family.

The most common way to do so is by adding a diminutive to the standard family member words:

Terms of endearment for children

The terms you learned in the “terms of endearment for a loving partner” section can also be used when addressing your loving child.

Greeks tend to employ a cute vocabulary when conveying love, so as a result, nicknames in those two categories sometimes overlap.

Some other examples used for children:

Greek phrases to tell someone you like or love them

1 Σε συμπαθώ – (Se sibatho)
“I like you”

Used solely in a non-romantic context, meaning I like you as a person.

2 Μου αρέσεις – (Mu aresis)
“I like you”

Used for romantic and non-romantic interests alike. It can mean “I like you as a person” or “I like you romantically,” depending on the context.

3 Σε θέλω – (Se thelo)
“I want you”

Used solely for romantic interests since it conveys a feeling of lust.

4 Σε αγαπάω/ αγαπώ – (Se ayapao/ ayapo)
“I love you”

The ultimate way to express your love to someone verbally. It can be used for any intimate relationship (friend, family, lover) as long as there is a strong bond between the two.

5 Σε λατρεύω (Se latrevo)
”I worship you, I adore you”

This phrase is a more intense expression of love and conveys a sense of complete devotion, admiration, and reverence.


The Greek language is full of ways to express love and affection, offering a wide range of words and phrases that capture the depth and diversity of human emotions.

The Greeks embraced the use of these words without hesitation, and you should too! Don't be surprised if, after assisting a woman searching for beans in the supermarket aisle, she responds with “Ευχαριστώ ψυχή μου” (Thank you, my soul).

Words of affection and love are shared anywhere, anytime, and are sure to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. So, go ahead and use these Greek expressions to show your loved ones how much you care – you can't go wrong with them, and they will undoubtedly feel valued, cherished, and loved.