Traditions in Turkey

Nicknames in Turkey between spouses, a splendid custom

I would like to tell you about a splendid custom, that of using nicknames in Turkey between spouses. It is clear that it is not a general gesture for all Turks, but the custom is very widespread, certainly among the young, but also in more mature people such as my parents, my uncles….

Nicknames in Turkey : Too close to call you like everyone else

Here, it is precisely this … Among the Turkish spouses, nicknames are often used to call each other, avoiding using the proper name, which is left to all those outside the couple.

Everyone will call your spouse by his name, but I will call him Birtanem (only mine), Şekerim (my sugar), Güneşim (my sun), Meleğim (my angel), Aşkım (my love).

This is precise because no one else can call our loved ones by these nicknames,  it is only  exclusively used between themselves, which makes the couple even more intimate and in harmonic fusion.

Nicknames in Turkey : Modesty and romance

The custom of giving each other nicknames between spouses is widespread in Turkey. In the eyes of the Europeans , it gives a great charge of romance and you start daydreaming, thinking about what Turkish women are nicknamed by their men.

 It is still essential to maintain a certain modesty. You cannot and should not be too demonstrative with your spouse, in public, as it may seem disrespectful and inappropriate, especially in an environment where there are older people or even in the presence of parents.


My mother, despite having received a strict rural education, had a deep and sincere love for my father. As a result, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say my father’s name. She always called “canım”, which means, remember, “my dear” or “alican” which means soul, life, flanked by the name Ali.

Why not imitate them?

So Italian friends, why not imitate your Turkish neighbours? Obviously, it is also in  customary in other places to call the spouse with a nickname. Living in the south I often hear nicknames between spouses, but it should be, I think, more widespread, to create a more exclusive bond.

Do you want to use the nicknames I told you about? Here is the phonetics, in parentheses. Let me start by saying that the letter ı (i without a dot) actually has a very guttural sound, difficult to transcribe.

Some nicknames in Turkey between spouses : Birtanem (birtanem), Şekerim (scekerim), Güneşim (ghiunescim), Meleğim (mele’im), Aşkım (asckim), Canım (gianim).