From bugs to bears: Top ten Swiss German nicknames to woo your sweetheart

In the loving country of Switzerland, every day is Valentines Day. Time to roll out some animal-inspired Swiss German romantic nicknames for that special someone in your life.

A bear cub in Sweden. Image: Janko Ferlic on Unsplash
A bear cub in Sweden. Image: Janko Ferlic on Unsplash

Are you a hare, a little mouse or just a beetle? Swiss-German is decidedly zoological when it comes to pet names for one’s better half. If you’re at a loss for how to address your special Swiss someone check out our list of ten romantic nicknames. 


In cutesy German, the lovely Schatz, or treasure, becomes Schätzchen (meaning “little treasure”). In Swiss German, you can smother that treasure with a separate layer of cuteness by tacking on the ubiquitous -li suffix.

A little boy, for example, might ask a girl: “Vötsch mis Schaetzli si?” (Do you want to be my girlfriend?). But be warned: that line doesn’t work for anyone over about the age of 12. At least we hope not.


“Happy Valentine’s Day, little heart of mine”. Awww. Too much? Yeah, maybe slight overkill.

But the opposite of this – the charming German word “Lebensabschnittspartner” (literally ‘life stage partner) – might be taking this just a little too far in the other direction.


Not to be confused with Switzerland’s enduring contribution to global breakfast culture, this term of endearment turns your lover into a little mouse. You could try saying for example: ‘I ha di gern mis Müsli’ (I love you my little mouse).

Read also: Looking for love? Here’s how to date the Swiss


What can you say about a culture that uses “little beetle” as a romantic nickname? Oh that’s right: we have sweet cheeks. And stud muffin.


The Swiss may give their bears names that resemble motorways (e.g. the recently-sighted M29) but call your other half a little bear and you might even get yourself some sweet honey.


This darling name derives from the French chéri(e). It’s yet another example of the Swiss Germans using French words like the ubiquitous ‘merci’ for thank you, ‘trottoir’ for footpath or ‘cordon bleu’…for cordon bleu.


C’mere my little snuggle buddy. A lovely word that stems from the verb knuddeln, to cuddle. Deploy judiciously.


This also has ‘Partnerlook’ (the disconcerting habit some couples have of wearing the same clothes) written all over it, but is more Swiss than the even the a bowl of müesli eaten in the Alps during a blizzard.

A superb diminutive to whip out when you fancy a snuggle. Or something a bit more serious.

A classic case of ‘Partnerlook’. Photo: Depositphotos


You can also choose to show your partner that you really care… by calling them a little hare.

Plain old -li

Run out of romantic words? Just add -li to your loved one’s name. So George becomes Tschötschli and Hans is Hansli and Esther is Estherli. Do this repeated-li.

And last but not least: if your relationship is running into trouble, or just getting a bit stale, men might want to substitute the words above for the less-than-delightful and decidedly politically incorrect ‘chefin’ (the boss) or “mini alti” (my old lady).

Warning: don’t try these at home.

A version of this article originally appeared in The Local in 2016.

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Say cheese: Switzerland re-legalises raclette and fondue in cable cars

Cheese and altitude lovers rejoice: it is now legal once more to consume two of Switzerland’s best-known dishes while riding in a ski gondola. This is what you should know.

Say cheese: Switzerland re-legalises raclette and fondue in cable cars

It is entirely possible that you have not been aware that eating raclette or fondue while riding in a cable car has been outlawed  in Europe since 2019.

Until then, a number of Swiss ski lift companies routinely served these dishes to passengers taking scenic rides over the Alps.

However, when the European Union introduced a new law banning open fires in closed cable cars, Switzerland had to reluctantly follow suit, even though no incidents of any kind had ever been reported in the country.

READ MORE: The 12 strange laws in Switzerland you need to know

However, Swiss legislation allows exceptions to European standards under certain circumstances —  in this particular case, by ensuring that the two melted cheese dishes don’t increase the risk of fire.

Photo by Pixabay

Rather than fan the flames, the Swiss Ski Lift Association (RMS) has found a solution to ensure fire safety: the table in the cabin will be firmly fixed and made of fireproof material.

RMS submitted its proposal  to the Federal Office of Transport, which has re-legalised the practice.

From now on, “the guests will [again] enjoy a beautiful view and a delicious menu without having to worry about safety”, said RMS director Berno Stoffel.

After three years of cheese-less rides, the fate of ski-lift fondues and raclettes is no longer up in the air — but the cheese dishes certainly are.

READ MORE: Ten varieties of cheese you should be able to identify if you live in Switzerland