Are you bored of always referring to your better half in the same old way? Are you tired of always calling them your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, or partner? Part 3 of this series on love words in English is here to the rescue! In this article, you’re going to learn six quirky English words for lovers. Each of these romantic words is sure to put a smile on people’s faces, and using them will show that you’re not just good at English, but that you delight in the English language. These are not your average vocabulary words. They are love words for English masters! (Hehe, like you!)

BONUS VOCAB: better half

Someone’s BETTER HALF is their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.


love-words-in-English-quirky-English-words for lovers-Next-Step-English


Before we delve deeper into each of these words, you need to know that all of them except numero uno are considered old-fashioned or literary. So, when we use them in modern conversation, we do so with a twinkle in our eye. If you use these vocabulary words now, do it to be playful or humorous. Your English will sparkle!




1. Paramour


A paramour is a person that someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship with. So, if you’re looking for a new way to refer to your beloved, paramour could be a good choice!


Chaucer and Shakespeare both used this word in their works, and it’s been popular with many other authors, as well. Here’s one example of Shakespeare using the word:


Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;

Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?

– Henry VI, Part I (William Shakespeare)


Although it sounds old-fashioned today, we still use it to make our language more colorful or to be playful. Here’s an example from the movie Notes on a Scandal. Doesn’t paramour sound more interesting than boyfriend?



mope = to spend your time doing nothing and feeling sorry for yourself


mourn = to feel sad because something no longer exists

BONUS VOCAB: pubescent

pubescent = of the age when a person goes through puberty (a teenager)


Example sentence:

This is Jules, my husband, but I prefer to think of him as my paramour.


2. Beau


A paramour can refer to either gender, but a beau only refers to a man. A beau is a woman’s male lover or friend. English borrowed this word from the French word for ‘handsome’—notice how similar it looks to beauty—and it’s most often used in the romantic sense, not simply to refer to a male friend.




Example sentence:

I hear that Sylvia has a new beau. Someone told me that he’s nearly seven feet tall!


3. Ladylove


In each post, I usually have a favorite word, and in this post, my favorite is ladylove! As you might have guessed, a ladylove is someone’s female lover or sweetheart.



woo someone = (of a man) to try to persuade a woman to love and marry him


Example sentence:

Will you be bringing your ladylove to the spaghetti dinner on Tuesday? We’d all love to meet her.



4. Inamorata (or Inamorato!)


An inamorata is a person’s female lover. English borrowed this word directly from Italian, which gives it a certain mystery and sexiness to English ears.


If you want to refer to a person’s male lover, you simply change the last letter: inamorato!


Example sentence:

Some people get bored with their spouses, but even after 50 years of marriage, Wanda is still my inamorata. She excites me as much today as when we were 20.


5. Swain


Swain is probably the least common word on this list, but it has a lovely meaning, and it was another word that Shakespeare used often. A swain is a young man who is in love.


Example sentence:

Be careful falling for Henrietta. She’s led many a poor swain down the garden path.

BONUS VOCAB: lead someone down the garden path

lead someone down the garden path = to deceive someone


6. Numero Uno


All of the other romantic vocabulary words today have been literary. This one is not. In fact, I’ve included it because it’s quite the opposite! It’s informal and sounds both jolly and amusing. And whereas the rest of these love words have a long history in English, this term sounds decidedly more modern.




Someone’s numero uno is the most important person in their life. This doesn’t have to refer to a romantic partner—your best friend or your assistant might be your numero uno—but it can.


NOTE: Although this is obviously taken from Spanish, we omit the Spanish accent over the ‘u’ when we write it in English.


Example sentence:

Allow me to introduce you to my numero uno, Sara. I don’t know what I’d do without her.


What’s next?


You’ve made it! You’re now through Day 3 of this 14-day challenge to master English love vocabulary!


In today’s post, we looked at six delightfully quirky English words for lovers. Tomorrow, we’re going to explore some funny English terms of endearment that you can use to address your beloved directly! I can’t wait to see you there!





Part 1: Vocabulary for Types of Kisses (5 words)

Part 2: Advanced English Words about Secret Meetings for Lovers (6 words)

Part 3: Quirky English Words for Lovers (6 words)




Part 4: Fun English Terms of Endearment (6 words)

Part 5: Seducer Synonyms (6 words)

Part 6: Colorful English Words for Irresistible Women (6 words)

Part 7: Advanced English Vocab for Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas (5 words)

Part 8: Romantic English Songs for Your Valentine’s Day Playlist (no vocab, culture only)

Part 9: Affair Synonyms in English (5 words)

Part 10: Romantic Adjectives for Memorable Compliments (5 words)

Part 11: Funny English Euphemisms for Sex (5 words)

Part 12: Advanced English Words for Flirts (5 words)

Part 13: Cozy English Synonyms for ‘Cuddle’ (5 words)

Part 14: Fascinating Facts about Valentine’s Day (no vocab, culture only)



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