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What the French call each other

Only highlights thus far, as the full data has not been put up by TNS-Sofres, but enough to go to work on.

Suppose a pollster asks you what manner of terms of endearment you use for your significant other. I would refuse to say a mumbling word, as some things really are best kept in the private domain. However, waving a clipboard at French folk seems to make them 'fess up to all sorts of things. Hey and indeed ho.

Anyway, 82% of Gauls call each other by a first name (Radical, I know. However, the Chiracs are famous for using 'vous' rather than 'tu' to each other).

59% use pet names of some description, with "chéri(e)" the favourite at 26%, followed by mon coeur" or "mon petit coeur" (9%), and "bébé" / "mon petit bébé" (*creepy*) at 8%. "Mon amour" or "amour" is not hugely favoured at 6%, nor is "puce" also at 6%. Puce variously means flea, the colour, a type of integrated circuit and a form of orthography. Strange bunch, aren't they? Animal names like "biche" (*doe*....), "poussin" and "canard" also feature with 4% admitting to using them.

And chaps are the sloppier ones, with 64% using pet names compared to 55% of women.

So, should any readers find themselves making serious headway with a Gaul, I trust this usage guide will prove helpful.

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