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20:07 May 29, 2001
English to Arabic translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: sweetie
Sagal Fai

Summary of answers provided
na +1حبيبتي، حبيبيFuad Yahya



3 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
حبيبتي، حبيبي

The two translation suggestions are pronounced:

HABEEBATI (to a female; often pronounced HABEEBTI)
HABEEBI (to a male)

Literally, both terms mean “my beloved.” In Arabic sweet talk, old and new, formal and informal, these two terms are the most commonly used in the context of love and affection, romantic or otherwise. You can use these terms to address God, your parents, your siblings, your children, your spouse or spouse to be, or, even a friend. They are the most common filler words in pop lyrics, just like the word “baby” was in Beatles ditties.

As used in English, the term “sweetie” carries an extra dose of informality and tenderness. Other terms in the same league include “sweetie pie,” “honey,” “honey suckle,” “baby,” “pumpkin,” etc. Arabic terms of this class abound, but are mostly region-specific. I am familiar with the terms used in the Persian Gulf region.

GHANATI (GH sounds like a French R) is the most common term. Its origin is obscure.

Other terms include GALBI (“my heart”), CHIBDI (“my liver”), ‘UYOONI (“my eyes”), ROOHI (“my spirit”), ‘UMRI (“my lifetime”), HAYATI (“my life”), etc.

“My liver” may surprise some people. The expression is a relic of Ancient physio-psychology, which associated the heart with the qualities of intelligence and courage, and the liver with love and affection.

ROOHI should be used with care, since the same expression can also mean “go away.”

Another set of expressions refer to the beloved as worthy of self-sacrifice:


The word KHALAF is sometimes used in place of the word BA’D.

Sometimes the beloved is referred to as filling the place of affection that used to be occupied by one’s departed parents:

BA’D ABOOYI (“my father’s replacement”), BA’D UMMI (“my mother’s replacement”).

If both parents are alive, one cannot use these expressions, but can use another set of expressions:

BA’D AHLI (“my family’s replacement”), BA’D TAWAYFI (“my ancestors’ replacement”).

Again, the word KHALAF can be used in place of the word BA’D.

All of these expressions can be used for males and females.

I should not presume to represent the terms used in other Arab regions, although many of these expressions are common, with the exception of pronunciation differences.


    Common expressions
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 7167

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AhmedAMS
238 days
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