the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

What is a Neilochka?


Names and naming is important in the Jewish tradition, as it is in many cultures.  Most Jewish boys and girls are also given a Hebrew name to connect them to their past.  I also notice that when a couple become boyfriend and girlfriend, or lovers, they also give each other a special pet name.  Sofotchka is a Russian endearment for Sophia, sort of a cutesy way of saying "little Sophia."  So, when I started calling her Sofotchka, she started calling me Neilochka, which is the name I use on my Yahoo email. 

I’m sure most of you have your own pet names for your mates (both former and present), and I’d love to hear about them.  It’s always a little cringe-inducing to hear other people call each other babyface and loverdoll, especially when you don’t have a special someone in your life.  But then when you meet someone you like, you immediately name your new beau honeypot and torture everyone else as well.  Sophia and I even had nicknames for each others’ "special parts," which again, is pretty common.  I think part of this naming process is saying, "You (and that special part) are now mine, and mine alone."

If Sophia and I officially break up, I’m not sure what happens to our pet names.  I’ll miss being Neilochka.  I’m not sure we can continue calling each other by these names.  It would seem inappropriate.  And you definitely cannot transfer the same pet name to a new relationship. 

Every once in a while, a former lover’s pet name can pop up at an inappropriate time.  There was one time that Sophia called me by her former boyfriend’s pet name (and no, it wasn’t in bed.  In bed, she just had the strange habit of calling me "George Clooney.")  It was when we were in Carmel, a place where she had some very specific memory of travelling with him.

I also had an embarrassing episode of calling Sophia by the name of another woman.  I was sick in bed with the flu, acting like a total baby, making Sophia climb up and down the stairs to bring me more hot tea and honey.  When the tea got lukewarm and I suddenly got the urge for a tuna fish sandwich, I yelled downstairs in my scratchy, hoarse voice, "MOM!!!"


  1. JJ MacMillan

    Obviously, I call my current one true love MLA for “My Lovely Assistant”. My former one true love… let me see if I can think of it… oh, yeah: soul sucking whorebitch from Hell. Or sometimes just “Honey”.

  2. psychotoddler

    My friend’s girlfriend used to call me “Markipoo” which I despised. Now I use it as a gamertag on Xbox Live and the preteen kids snicker at me when I join their games.

    Also, my wife used to call me “Etty” because I used to get a lot of wrong numbers in my dorm, and after several in a row I finally gave in and pretended to be the guy they were looking for, a Mr. Etlinger. I had a nice conversation with some old lady and then hung up. The nickname stuck for a while.

  3. ubermilf

    I use and discard them as the fancy strikes. I have used “Tastycakes”, “Fluffernutter”, “Johnny Appleseed” or “Mr. Sure Shot” (pregnancy related). Most often I return to SexyMan.

  4. introspectre

    Most commonly “Pookiepie” when I’m feeling particularly sweet. “Sir” when I’m feeling particularly sassy.

    The last boyfriend I had I used to just string all those goofy names together to be a dork and would say, “sugar muffin lover baby pumpkin smoochy face” or some such nonsense. It always made him laugh. I should have just called him “Eventual Waste Of My Precious Time”. Live and learn.

  5. amanda

    er, i don’t know…i think that talk about other people pet names for their lovers is bordering on vomiticious. not sure why…maybe i am just jealous. (shrug)

  6. Neil

    I think Amanda is a little jealous and pet name deprived. Let’s see, how about “Amandalicious,” “Amanda the Panda,” or “Man, oh Amanda”?

  7. kristine

    being a teacher, i often get/got the “Miss “. it always freaked me out and made me feel completely unaroused.

  8. Melliferous Pants

    My last boyfriend called me “Cupcake Pants.” I used to call him “Charming Pants.” Now he’s “Formerly-Known-As Charming Pants.”

  9. Jack

    I have been called a number of things. Max, Jerk, Jackme, but the one that got the most attention was when someone referred to me as an uncivilized barbarian.

    For a while some people didn’t know my real name. If they were looking for me they’d just ask where the barbarian had gotten to.

  10. xtessa

    ahahahaha!!! i would’ve slapped my husband if he called me mom! LOL! bad history there…;)

    anyway, we called each other Papa and Mama since college. there was also the (shudder) fudgy-wudgy and snickerdoodles phase… LOL!

  11. Lauren

    I often get the names of my boyfriend and brother mixed up. I find that weird because my brother is only nine years old. But I guess I kind of feel like a babysitter when I’m around these two men in my life.
    Boyfriend and mine pet names.. I am called ChouChou or my sweet cabbage cabbage and he is called NouNourse (Teddy bear in french – this nickname can only be used in French). I find if a breakup does occur make sure your next lover is from a different country than the previous, which will ensure new and fresh nicknames.

  12. Claven

    For two years a former girlfriend and I did not refer to each other as girlfriend and boyfriend. We both introduced each other as “my piece of ass.”

  13. lizriz

    I must admit a predilection for “honey” while in a relationship, but my favorite nickname to date was used by a male friend who was dating a really good friend of mine who called me Elspeth. Interestingly, I also loved his name, Rafe. I think Rafe is a really sexy, rakish name.

    Guess if I ever write a really slutty romance novel, I’ve got my character names all ready. 🙂

  14. lizriz

    Oh, and Neil, when and if you are really getting divorced, you are definitely going to need to change that e-mail, for sure.

    Just sayin’.

  15. modigli

    In one of my prior relationships we called each other “honey bun”. Sounds pretty boring, but it came up in a fun way.

    Our first date was to go see Mulan together, and there’s a part where one of the characters says “honey bun”. As we’re sitting in the audience with a bunch of moms and their little 3 year old kids, one little tyke right in front of us shouts out “HA HA HA!! He said HONEY BUN!”

    His infectious laughter got to us, and that inside joke became our pet names for each other thru-out the relationship. LOL!

  16. Rachel

    I hate to admit my boyfriend calls me Candy Pants and I call him Cheese Teeth.
    He has gotten his teeth whitened but the name has stuck.

  17. Edgy Mama

    I’ll call you Neilocka if you and Sophia are really over.

    E-spouse calls me Wuf or Wufer because of the way I pronounce the word “wolf.” Hey, I’m from Georgia!

  18. Megan

    I’ve always used the standard pet names because I prefered to use a nickname instead of a pet name. However, my ex’s “special part” was called Stanley. After we broke up he moved and got a new roommate who worked at a restaurant called “Stanley’s.” That restaurant helped us become friends again.

  19. Neil

    You realize that I created this post so I can now blackmail all of you with this embarrassing information. Especially Megan. Stanley?!

  20. lizriz

    Edgy Mama,

    “E-spouse”??? Is this like your Everquest husband or something? 🙂

  21. Brooke

    I’ve had more nicknames than I care to mention. The one that I remember most is Brookester. To this day when I run into him he calls me that, and it still makes me heart flutter.

  22. Helena

    My last two pet names for guys (two different guys) have been Poop and Turd. I have been Helenita (same as Neilochka) and Bunny.

    My special part has been known as chonch (Spanish slang), and Joanie (Chachi means penis in Korean).

    This was a good read. It made me smile, but it also made me sad.

  23. leesepea

    My name is Lisa.

    My live-in boyfriend calls me Leesepea.

    I’ve embraced the name as a part of my identity, as, I’m sure, at some point, I will also embrace his last name.

    It’s a combination of “leese,” which is what my family calls me, and “sweet pea” which was one of his original nicknames for me. I have a gazillion nicknames for him, depending on the time of day or my reason for calling. It’s strange and silly and, yet, still very much a part of the mating ritual.

    Neilochka, though, that’s really cool!

  24. meme

    I think I’m gonna hurl…I call my man ‘Man’.

    I can be often heard saying “My Man” “Man o’Mine” “Man oh Man” “where the hell is my Man”

  25. Edgy Mama

    Do you mean Everready? I’d like to think so! But no, it’s short for Enviro-spouse (he’s an environmental consultant).

  26. Melanie

    I call my fiance Markybear. Since he’s Polish, I started calling him Markybearski. He calls me Mellybearski a lot. For a while I was also Snugglebunny, but now it’s usually Cutiepieski or Shortycakeski (I’m only 5’1″). He also recently started calling me Midge, short for “Midget”. I realized a few years ago that I never call him “Marc”–always Marky or some other nickname.

  27. Pearl

    “Motek”/ Hebrew for “sweetie” is used a lot in our home; “Boobah”/ Hebrew for “doll” is another one.
    What’s great is that these pronouns are used interchangeably between myself and my husband, myself and my kids, husband and my kids. Yeah…a multi-purpose name goes a lo…o….n…g way.

  28. Ellen Bloom

    Lots of comments for this one Neilochka! Since I am of Russian and Ukranian descent, I will always call you Neilochka!

    I’m stuck in my baby boomer paradigm. I call Larry “Angel Baby”….(singing now)..”it’s just like heaven, bein’ here with you-ooo…”

    Larry calls me “honey” all the time. I get surprised when he calls me Ellen!

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