In the first days in a relationship, a girl welcomes a guy with "hey handsome". Would be "hey honey" an appropriate response?

  • You could try handful :) You might be interested in our sister site, ell.stackexchange.com , which specifically caters to English Language Learners. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 17:18
  • Related.
    – Robusto
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 17:42
  • I have seen the question before created this one. That one checks if you can say "handsome" as well to a woman. But, as far as I know, it is not the "normal" response for which I wanted ask here.
    – np00
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 20:27

4 Answers 4


The feminine equivalent to (usually, facetious) "Hey, handsome!" is...

"Hey, gorgeous!"

  • 1
    Men can be gorgeous too :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 10:12

Pretty or beautiful are the most common words.

Handsome can be used for women, but is somewhat old-fashioned.


There is a Hank Williams song in which he says the following:

"Hey, good looking, what you got cooking? How's about cooking something up with me?"

While these sentences may confuse you with their idiom concerning food, and in answer to your question, the way Hank Williams addresses his girlfriend is still used today: good looking, or good lookin'. It means simply you are looking good (i.e., attractive, pretty, lovely, pulchritudinous, beautiful, easy-to-look-at, easy on the eyes, appealing, and so on). In everyday speech you could also say, "Hey, beautiful!" but not "Hey, pulchritudinous" or "Hey, pretty (or lovely, or easy-to-look-at or appealing)" .

As for the cooking metaphor, Williams is saying simply "What's going on? What are you doing now? Let's do it together and create something pleasurable. "

  • 1
    +1 for Hey, pulchritudinous! Imma have to try that one out.
    – verbose
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 22:19

In terms of words between a couple you are right that a girl can tell the boy "hey, handsome" and he can say "hey, honey."

If he was not her boyfriend, and he wanted to call a stranger girl "honey," then that wouldn't make sense because "honey" is an endearing (usually romantic) term for girls he knows.

If you wanted an equivalent word for "handsome" then "handsome" for girls can be used, but it is rare nowadays. You could use "pretty," "cute," or even "charming" when describing good-looking girls that you do or don't know personally; these terms are not romantic if you don't want them to be.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.