Photo: Yury Smelov/Shutterstock
"I love you, egg with eyes." Those six little words would melt just about any woman's heart ... if you live in Japan.
What? "Egg with eyes" doesn't convey the same meaning to you as "baby," "sweet pea," or "cutie pie"? How about "my flea" or "little cabbage"?
Here are some of the world's most interesting terms of endearment from language coach Paul Noble:
Egg with eyes (Japanese)
Tamago gata no kao
In Japan, women are frequently called "an egg with eyes" by those who love them. This is a great compliment, as having an oval, egg-shaped face is considered very attractive in Japanese culture - you can see this in Japanese paintings through the ages.
Little cabbage (French)
"Chou" (cabbage) is the French equivalent of "sweetheart". "Chou" conveys the idea of being small and round and is used to describe French puff pastry, often enjoyed as "chou a la creme". "Chou" is said to resemble a baby's or child's head too. Over the years, many French children have been told that boys were born in cabbages and girls in roses. You can double it too - "chouchou" is a standard translation for "darling".
My flea (French)
"Ma puce" is roughly equivalent to "sweetie" in English. One theory suggests that it could be linked to the historic relationship shared by humans and fleas - in times past, removing fleas from one another became a one-to-one grooming activity, and is alleged to have been a pleasant and sometimes intimate process.
Diving fish swooping geese (Chinese)
Chen yu luo yan
There is a story surrounding the greatest beauty in Chinese history, a woman named Xi Shi. It's said that she was so beautiful that when she looked at fish in a pond, the fish were so dazzled by her beauty that they forgot to swim and gradually dived to the bottom. Likewise, it was said that when geese flew over a woman called Wang Zhaojun, they were so struck by her beauty that they would forget to flap their wings and would end up swooping to the ground. Because of this, to this day, when a young Chinese man is in love with a Chinese woman, he may indicate that, to him, she is as beautiful as Xi Shi or Wang Zhaojun. To do this, he will say just four words: "Diving fish, swooping geese".
Read the rest over at BBC: Link