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Chou ou chou à la crème ?

Cabbage or Cream Puff


Mon chou  / mon petit chou chou / mon petit chou à la crème

The French, for reasons best known to themselves, use "chou” as a term of endearment.

In the vegetable world, a chou is indeed a cabbage. A head of cabbage, in fact; that single word refers both to the head of cabbage and what you slice off to make your coleslaw or sauerkraut.

But in the pastry world a chou is short for a chou à la crème, a cream puff.

If this small sweet cake with cream in it and caramel on top was the origin of the term, it would make it much more in line with "honey", “honey puff”, "sweetie-pie" etc. 

And it doesn’t matter whether your chou is male or female. You still say mon petit chou (or just mon chou). Because the word chou has the masculine gender, and you can’t change that. 

However, the French seem to have adopted the alternative meaning of "cabbage", originally out of irony, and this seems to be what they mean when they use the word today. 

 Another weird but cute endearment is: 

Salut, ma biche: "Hi, my doe" (even though it looks like something else) 

My dear, darling, sweetheart, honey, etc.

Other odd French terms of endearment include, "ma puce" ("my little flea"), and "ma petite cochonne" ("my little piggie") plus the others in the pic above.

C'est bizarre, n'est pas?