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Food of Love February: ‘Honey, I’m Home!’ – Sweet Terms of Endearment

Admin, February 10, 2015
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Photograph: Jessica Enig/Getty Images/Flickr RF


We’ve been highlighting some of the foods associated with love and romance because of their perceived or partly proven status as an aphrodisiac. It’s perhaps symptomatic of the deep rooted association between what we eat and our desires then, for our predilection for calling our loved ones a variety of affectionate nicknames after certain foods.

Year od Scotland Food & Drink LogoSweet Things & Baked Goods

Most popular, are those based on sweet things or variation thereof; sugar, sweetheart, sweetie, treacle and of course, honey. Loving terms associated with baked items are also popular – muffin, cupcake, cutie, and the pies – sweetie, sugar and honey pie. Such pet names for each other aren’t an English speaking phenomenon either; in eastern India women are sometimes referred to as ‘mishti’ meaning sweet, in Spain ‘terron de acuzar’ (sugarlump), in China ‘xiao bao’ is Mandarin for little bun and in Finland lovers can often be heard referring to each other as ‘muru’ meaning breadcrumb. But the term ‘honey’ is probably the most often and widely used term of endearment becoming become a common and socially accepted habit that most of us have uttered at some point in a relationship – even if we’re just knowingly riffing on the classic refrain ‘Honey, I’m Home!’

Honey – A Symbol of Fertility & Procreation

So when did people start doing this and why? In the previous article we wrote about honey being a known aphrodisiac from 500 BC and we will look in further detail at how it has been revered as a symbol of fertility and procreation amongst cultures across the globe at a later date. It’s certainly not a recent practice – references of honey as a term of affection go back 800 years. While the exact reasons of reference cannot be exactly pinpointed, given its historically perceived connections with love and sex, it’s no stretch that its use became personified regarding our loved ones. Honey, sweetie, sugar – they might make our partners wince with their now cloying familiarity, but they’re probably better received than an ill-advised ‘crumpet’ ‘tart’ or ‘dumpling’…

Photograph: Jessica Enig/Getty Images/Flickr RF