6 Cute Maltese Terms Of Endearment That Turn Dark Quickly

Context is everything


1. Pupa / pupu 

The Maltese version of doll, usually used when calling or encouraging children. 

"Ejja pupa, l-aħħar ftit" - any adult trying to convince a little girl to finish her broccoli/homework.

Things get dark when... 

It's used in the workplace, usually at the start of a very condescending, and probably sexist, statement.

Tumblr Mcdrzu Mefr1Qf6Mw3

2. Ħanini

No, not the spreadable cheese. Ħanini is usually reserved for beings of great cuteness (i.e. all animals and some babies). 

"Ħaniniiii! Irrid wieħed bħalu!" - any human watching a video of a baby sloth.

 Things get dark when... 

It's used in frustration. It no longer means 'you're cute', but rather 'I think you have the brain of a child'.


3. Teżor 

Although this term of endearment hasn't been widely used since the knights roamed freely through our streets (in the flesh, not spectral form), calling anyone a treasure is an endearing thing indeed.

 Things get dark when... 

It's used sarcastically... which it is most of the time. This usually implies the opposite of the word's true meaning, i.e. you're worthless.


4. Qalbi 

Although it lacks any sense when translated literally, 'my heart' is one of Malta's most common (and sweetest) terms of endearment used for children, friends and significant others.

Things get dark when... 

It's used following a deep sigh. Nothing spells disappointment quite like a condescending look and a short 'qalbi...'


5. Dudu / duda 

Although at face value calling someone a worm may not seem like the sweetest of terms, but it's probably one of those that developed out of theI-love-you-so-much-it's-cool-if-we-insult-each-other school of thought.

Things get dark when... 

It's used to refer to certain parts of the human anatomy.


6. Sabiħ / Sabiħa

'Hello beautiful!' - not much room for offence here, right? Wrong.

Things get dark when... 

'Eh' is tacked on the end, then it's suddenly 'sabiħ eh!' and morphs into one of the most sarcastic phrases ever. Also if you're called a sabiħ/a in traffic, the other driver you just cut off is in no way exchanging pleasantries.

Ew No

Bonus: My friend

Morphing into one word, myfriend is very rarely used by an actual friend of yours, and more by random strangers who are trying to not come across as overly aggressive, while aggressively yelling something at you.

Not Friends

Share this post with your ħanini!

READ NEXT: 5 Kelmiet Li Jidhru Ħamalli Imma Mhumiex

Written By

Chucky Bartolo

If there's no Mariah Carey GIF or reference to Eurovision in this article, just assume they've been edited out against my will.