Terms of endearment: the state of romance in New Zealand
In fact, our latest survey has uncovered the top pet names in the country. Kiwi terms of affection may not be as poetic as those above but our survey showed that they're still popular: if you're a honey, a babe, a darling, or a love, there's a region of NZ that speaks your name.
Cute nicknames and mushy monikers: NZ’s top pet names
The study asked 500 Kiwis aged 18-70 to vote for their favourite term of endearment. As it turned out, the top pet name in NZ is ‘babe’ or ‘baby’ – 21% of us opt for this when in need of a cute nickname.2
Babe did have some fierce rivalry however, notably from ‘honey’ which took 20% of the vote and from ‘darling,’ which earned 19%. Rounding out the top five nicknames were ‘sweetheart,’ with 15% and ‘love’ with 10%.
However, it's not the same in every part of the country. In fact, the fondness for babe might just be a big city thing: four out of our five biggest cities (Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch) are found in 'babe' regions. Smaller cities, more rural areas and Hamilton tend to favour either honey or darling (with darling more popular in the North Island and honey in the South Island), while at the tips of the country, it’s all about love – the top nickname in both Northland and Southland.
Name: Most popular in:
Babe Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu-Wanganui, Wellington, Canterbury
Honey Waikato, Malborough, Nelson, Tasman, the West Coast, Otago
Darling Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki
Love Northland, Southland