Maura is ‘button nose’, Kate Middleton’s called ‘poppet…what pet names REALLY reveal about celebrity relationships


THIS week it was revealed that Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard called Maura Higgins “Button Nose” when they were in the villa.

But they aren’t the only celebrity couple to use adorable or rather sickly nicknames to show their affection – and a psychologist has shared what we can learn from each one.

Splash News

A psychologist has revealed that couples’ nicknames can reveal a lot about their relationships[/caption]

According to the professional, some of the sweet monikers can be very telling as to whether the couple will actually last.

For example, Prince William calling Kate “poppet”, shows his affection and desire to protect his wife of eight years.

Meanwhile Liam Hemsworth used to called Miley Cyrus “little angel”, perhaps as part of a “desire for Miley to behave differently” – which is telling as the pair just announced they have split.

Here, Dr Becky Spelman, Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Private Therapy Clinic, reveals to Fabulous Digital if famous couples could be doomed based on their pet names…

“Button Nose” – Curtis Pritchard from Love Island’s nickname for Maura Higgins

Rex Features

It has been revealed that Maura was called Button Nose by Curtis in unaired scenes from Love Island[/caption]

Dr Becky Spelman said nicknames men give women often evoke childlike qualities, submissiveness, and a passive role

This is a very child-like name for Maura, who is a grown woman in her twenties.

Adults rarely actually have “button noses”; small children do, and most of them have started to develop their adult profile by the age of ten or so.

There is a five-year age differences between Maura and Curtis, with Maura at 28 and Curtis at 23.

Possibly his choice of nickname reflects a degree of anxiety about this (relatively small) age difference, and a subconscious desire to infantilise Maura and place her in a submissive role relative to him rather than seeing her as a grown-up.

“Poppet” – Prince William’s nickname for Kate Middleton

Getty – Contributor

William called Kate ‘poppet’ shows a desire to protect her[/caption]


Dr Becky Spelman told Fabulous Digital: “In the world of celebrity nicknames, the patriarchy is alive and well.

One cannot help but speculate that, on some level, perhaps entirely subconsciously, these men are using such babyish nicknames as a way of diminishing the role and achievements of the women in their lives, perhaps because they feel threatened by how much power they wield.

“Are they giving them nicknames more suitable for small children as a way of symbolically cutting them down to size, while remaining cheerful and affectionate?”

The primary meaning of “poppet” is “doll” or “puppet”; it is a slightly archaic term.

Prince William’s use of the word for his wife is affectionate and reflects his admiration for her beauty and his desire to protect and care for her—and perhaps, to some extent, also to control or at least supervise her movements so that he feels that he is at the helm of their relationship.

William may not be aware that “poppet” is also the word used for dolls historically used in witchcraft and spell-casting, and to this day by some practitioners of voodoo!

“Cake Cake” is Summer Monteys-Fullam’s nickname for Paul Hollywood

Andrew Styczynski – The Sun

Before they split Summer Monteys-Fullam called Paul ‘Cake Cake’ – perhaps in a nod to Bake Off[/caption]

Adults often say to a particularly cute child, “I could just eat you up!” Of course, nobody really wants to eat someone they find cute, but using food terms as a pet name is a well-established habit.

Eating something delicious is an intensely sensual experience that is comparable in some ways to having sex—the senses are fully engaged, and the primary sensation is pure pleasure.

For someone with a sweet tooth, cake is the most delicious thing imaginable.

Summer’s nickname for Paul suggests that they had a healthy, active sex life prior to their split—and perhaps that she is more often the pursuer rather than the pursued.

“Meg” – Prince Harry’s nickname for Meghan Markle

Harry calling Meghan ‘Meg’ means he ‘takes her role in his life seriously’

Prince Harry’s nickname for Meghan is a very simple one; the diminutive of her own given name.

It is important to remember that Harry and Meghan are an extremely private couple, despite living in the public eye, so it may well be that they have secret nicknames for one another that we don’t know about.

However, by using such a simple, unadorned nickname, Harry is signalling that he takes Meghan seriously and respects her role in his life and in the context of their royal duties.

“Bozzie Bear” is Carrie Symond’s nickname for Boris Johnson


Carrie Symonds is said to call PM Boris Johnson ‘Bozzie Bear’[/caption]

Boris cultivates a shaggy, affable appearance that endears people to him while concealing his steely ambition.

Carrie’s nickname for him evokes a cartoon character rather like the much-loved Yogi Bear that bumbles around amiably, and perfectly captures Boris’s public persona.

However, both Boris and Carrie are seasoned actors in the political sphere, and it is highly unlikely that Carrie is taken in by his public appearance, as she knows Boris intimately, both on a personal and on a professional level.

Meanwhile, Boris calls Carrie “Otter”, which is likely to be a reference to her physical appearance with her big eyes and smooth features.

Otters are also known to be a particularly playful species, so there may also be a reference to her playful, fun-loving qualities.

“Little Angel” – Liam Hensworth’s nickname for Miley Cyrus

Getty – Contributor

Before they split Liam Hemsworth called Miley his ‘little angel’[/caption]

This is another child-like name. We usually refer to small children, or even babies, as “little angels” because they are so sweet and so young that they could never do anything wrong.

Of course, given what we know about Miley’s liberated views on sex and attraction, Liam’s nickname for her may be slightly tongue-in-cheek!

Either way, it clearly indicates affection and care. It may also reflect an unspoken desire on the part of Liam for Miley to behave differently – perhaps to be less liberated and free in her behaviour, and more conservative and restrained and closer to the “little angel” he imagines her to be.

“Goo Goo” – Justin Bieber’s nickname for Hailey Bieber

The newlywed Biebers have a number of cutesy nicknames for each other

Love-names that refer to adults by terms usually reserved for babies are among the most common intimate nicknames.

Every second pop song has the singer crooning “oh baby” about a love interest.

“Goo Goo” just takes this trend a little further and is a playful reference to Justin’s caring feelings – and possibly also an attempt on his part to cast himself in a paternal, authoritative role in the relationship.

This would not be surprising as, for so much of his life, Justin has been dismissed by many as little more than a kid and may well feel some resentment about it and want to present himself as an authoritative adult man.

“Golden Balls” – Victoria Beckham’s nickname for David Beckham


Victoria calling David ‘Golden Balls’ proved to be an iconic moment[/caption]

Colloquially, we say that someone has a “lot of balls” when they are brave or gutsy—that’s certainly apt for David, and as he has had a long and illustrious career as a footballer, there is also a very appropriate play on words.

There is certainly also a reference here to the fact that, at the end of the day, much of the Beckham fortune has been built on the foundations that David created through his football career.

“Cabbage” – Prince Phillip’s nickname for Her Majesty the Queen

Getty – Contributor

The Queen has been given the flattering nickname of ‘Cabbage’ by Prince Philip[/caption]

“Old Cabbage” is a common enough nickname among the upper classes for referring to one another.

It is quite old-fashioned nowadays, but if you pick up some popular literature from the Edwardian period, you’ll certainly find some examples of the usage.

In this case, the colloquial term may be a way for Phillip to help bring the Queen down to earth and remind her that, while she is the monarch, she is also his wife.

“Balloon” – Jeremy Parisi’s nickname for Kelly Brook

Getty – Contributor

Many women may raise their eyebrows at being called ‘balloon’, like Kelly Brook was by Jeremy Parisi[/caption]

Kelly recently lost a lot of weight, and she has revealed that, before her weight loss, Jeremy referred to her as “balloon”.

Most of us would be offended if our boyfriend used a term like that to describe us, but Kelly seems to have taken it in good spirit!

In fact, she credits him with having given her the impetus she needed to drop several dress sizes.

We shared the Royal Family’s secret nicknames for each other.

Meanwhile, these are the baby names to choose if you want your little darling to become rich, including Leo and Rose.


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