Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Mexicans love nicknames.  Most of them don't resemble the given name.  For instance, Paco or Pancho is a nickname for Francisco.  But I never did understand how we English speakers get Bob from Robert. Here's a few others I've learned.

Lalo = Eduardo
Pepe = Jose
Nacho = Ignacio
Chuy = Jesus

Many nicknames are given for a person's characteristics. Some of them aren't flattering to us English speakers. How would you like someone calling you "Gordo" AKA "Fatty"?  In Mexico, the recipient of this name is not insulted.  A friend's 5-year-old son is called Gordo. The boy's real name is Carlos, but the poor child is on the chunky side. The politically correct side of my brain is telling me they are traumatizing this boy to a lifetime of teasing because he is too heavy. One of my friend's husband is called "Chino" which is "Chinese", but he is called Chino because of his curly hair.  This makes absolutely no sense to me.  When is the last time you've seen a Chinese person with curly hair?  I've been called gringa (obviously), guera (white girl), gabacha (English speaking white woman) and, my personal favorite, bollila (white bread). 

The only person I know that has no nickname is Sergio.  I'm sure we could come up with one for him.  Any ideas?  


  1. Don't get me started on nicknames! LOL! I get called gringa, güera and La Teacher. My suegro has nicknames for all of us, including the grandkids, one of which is "El Torito" (the little bull). One day my suegro left to pick up that grandson from kindergarten, and came back 10 minutes later, without the grandson. We all asked, "What happened?" To which he responded, "What's El Torito's real name? The teacher doesn't know who El Torito is!"

    What is your friend Sergio like? We need to know a little about him before we can suggest a nickname. If he's ugly, call him Guapo. Or vice versa. If he's short, call him Grandote. If he's tall, call him chaparro or enano.

    And one more thing...Chino also means curly hair!

  2. lol Yeah, my dad's name was Sergio and they called him checho.

  3. My brother-in-law is "Gordo" even though he lost lots of weight this year.

    Jorge also has a cousin named "Chino", because he has somewhat Asian-looking eyes. Shame, because his real name is beautiful!

  4. After posting this, Sergio informed me that Checo is indeed a nickname he has. I never heard anyone call him that. I've called him a few other names in the past, but never Checo.

  5. My son-in-law has 9 brothers and sisters, and I was feeling so good about learning all their names....until the nicknames started, Pachis, Chegas, Chabbas, Larry(?), Chistas and so on. Now I'm somewhat lost again at family gatherings.