Sweet Chucks: 10 Shakespearean Terms of Endearment

A little Shakespeare trivia  from Dictionary. com for your Valentine’s day!

“Lambkin” …used lovingly to refer to a person who is exceptionally sweet, young and innocent, this is the ultimate warm and fuzzy pet name. The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the first two recorded citations of lambkin to Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V, both from 1600. In Henry IV, Part 2 Pistol breaks the news of the king’s death with the following line: “Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king.”


“Chuck”  …Meaning roughly “my love,” this nickname was applied to husbands in addition to wives, children and dear friends. It comes from the Middle English chuk, a word that approximates the sound of chicken clucking. In Love’s Labour Lost, Shakespeare writes: “Sweet chucks / beat not the bones of the buried.”


“Wag” …refers to a person given to mischievous humor, and in Shakespeare’s time it was often used by mothers to tenderly refer to their baby boys. In Henry IV, Falstaff uses wag several times while directly addressing Prince Henry. At one point Falstaff drunkenly asks: “But I prithee sweet wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when thou art king?”

Read all ten at Dictionary.com

These delightful words would also be fun to incorporate into your own Shakespeare Day!

The Goodnight Hug by Mary Cassatt, 1880

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