Michael frequently calls me “sweetheart.” It’s a word with three meanings. He once explained his usage to me, but it was unnecessary. I’ve always been able to tell which version of the word he’s using by hearing the tone of his voice.
But, in case you ever get to meet us in person, I’ll try to clarify things for you:
Meaning 1 –
Sweetheart – The usual meaning here. It’s simply a title that conveys I’m his loved one.
Meaning 2 –
Sweetheart – The most literal translation is “how sad for us that you are such a moron.” Usually pronounced with emphasis on the last syllable, it’s used to express sympathy toward me and a certain amount of wonderment that he’s married to the stupidest living person on the planet.
If used in a sentence, it might read, “SweetHEART, why are you wrapped up in a blanket with a blazing fire going in the middle of April? Didn’t you know I had the air conditioner on?”
Or, possibly, “SweetHEART, how did you get lost, only four blocks from our house? HOW?!!!)
Meaning 3 –
Sweetheart – This is similar to meaning number two in that it conveys pity for me. However, in this case, he’s just generally feeling sorry for me because I’m inept or klutzy or both: “Sweetheart, we didn’t hear you screaming that you pulled your knee out of it’s socket. Sorry. We had the television up too loud. But, you must be ok now or or you couldn’t walk on it, so shut up and let us finish watching our cartoon.”
A brief footnote-
Somewhat ironically, around our house, the word “bitch” is always used lovingly and pronounced with reverence…