terms of endearment. Other terms of endearment from animals are, bird or birdie (as “My bonnie bird”); puss, pussy; lamb, lambkin; “You little monkey” is an endearing reproof to a child. Dog and pig are used in a bad sense, as “You dirty dog;” “You filthy pig.” Brave as a lion, surly as a bear, crafty as a fox, proud as a peacock, fleet as a hare, and several phrases of a like character are in common use.
God bless you, mouse, the bridegroom said, And smakt her on the lips.
Warner: Alb. Eng., p. 17.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894