Some types of letters — i.e., messages that you write on a piece of paper and send to someone — have their own name.

In fact, for example, we call 'note' a short letter to someone, 'rejection' a letter that tells you that you did not get a job or were not accepted by a school, 'response' a reply to any question or letter, and so on.

Even a letter sent regularly to members of an organization, containing news, has a name, 'newsletter', which is, as in the cases already mentioned, a single word.

That being said, my question is, is there a single word which one can use to refer to a 'love letter' — i.e., 'a letter telling someone how much you love them'?

  • 7
    I believe that is called a love letter. Many dictionaries give that two-word expression its own entry. I don't know why the blank space between the ve and the le is bothering you so much. (Also, I wouldn't call a letter that told me I wasn't accepted to a school a "rejection," I'd call the written note a "rejection letter," or I would say "I was rejected by the university." If someone told me they got a "rejection," that could be a phone call as easily as a letter.) – J.R. Sep 5 '13 at 21:27
  • 1
    I found the word billet-doux, which is not technically one word or English for that matter, and it's not a particularly common word (I'd never heard it). – Sam Sep 5 '13 at 21:33
  • 1
    Atsuto: Yes, spaces are important, but I am afraid you are missing my point. Love letter is the best answer to your question. Related (and a very good read): english.stackexchange.com/questions/121860. And, FWIW, that definition of rejection may be in the dictionary (Collins 6, e.g.), but that doesn't refute the fact that rejection letter is still a commonly-used term. – J.R. Sep 5 '13 at 22:03
  • 1
    You now say for the first time that you are looking for a non-conventional word, by which I assume you mean a 'made-up' word. You also say that this is for writing, in which case you may be better asking this question at Writing. – TrevorD Sep 5 '13 at 22:36
  • 3
    This is a perfectly valid question: see the tags. It may or may not have a perfectly fitting answer -- that doesn't disqualify the question in any way. Rejection is an example and is hardly relevant to the discussion. – Kris Sep 11 '13 at 7:12

Wiktionary gives billet-doux, which is technically a borrowed word, but is used in the English language in the same manner as any borrowed term, such as crime passionnel.

The only alternative I can think of is the conditional term "Valentine" which can mean "An expression of affection, especially romantic affection, usually in the form of greeting card, gift, or message given to a person the object of affection, especially on February 14th.". While it is conditional, it is the only single word term for a love letter that I could find.

Otherwise it appears that there is no single word term.

As a last note, I would like to point out that the noun "rejection" is not commonly used to refer to a rejection letter; if you have heard it used as such, it was probably being used as a colloquialism or in a context where its meaning was obvious. For example a situation in which a person holding a letter states "It's a rejection". Even in that context, its usage would be uncommon, people almost always say "rejection letter" in full.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy