German word of the day: Der Kosename

Kate Brady
Kate Brady - [email protected] • 2 Feb, 2023 Updated Thu 2 Feb 2023 17:12 CEST
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My mouse, my bunny, my boyfriend? It seems that Austrians take pet names very literally.


What does it mean? 

Despite their reputation for being somewhat reserved when it comes to dramatic expressions of love, Austrians are committed to using pet names with their romantic partners.

The word for these names in German is Der Kosename, the pet name, or Die Kosenamen in plural. This word comes from the verb kosen, which means to snuggle or to caress. Another word popularly used is Spitznamen, which means nicknames.


Some of the most popular include:

Mein Schatz(i): literally “my treasure trove” but also “my darling, sweetie, precious”  

Die Maus/Das Mäuschen: “the mouse/little mouse”

Der Hase/Das Häschen: “the rabbit/bunny” 

Der Kuschelbär: using a similar verb kuscheln, “to cuddle,” this means “cuddle bear” 

Based on this list, it appears that Austrians like to call their partners names resembling actual pets, taking the phrase pet names to a new level. 

In Austria, nicknames for a loved one are more common among younger generations. About one-third of 18 to 29 year olds understand the pet names as a sign of affection and use them to express intimacy, according to an ORF report.

Example Sentences: 

Es ist zu süß für mich, wenn die Österreicher Kosename für ihre Liebhaber verwenden. 

It is too sweet for me when the Austrians use pet names for their lovers. 

"Was sind eure Kosenamen füreinander?” Er nennt mich sein Mäuschen und ich nenne ihn meinen Schatz.“

What are your pet names for each other?” He calls me his little mouse, and I call him my darling.




Kate Brady 2023/02/02 17:12

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