A List Of The Top Latino Endearments

Latinos love nicknames, especially endearing ones, but I have to admit it’s probably due largely in part to the fact that Spanish is a language very amenable to nicknames. At least, a little bit more than English is. If your family or childhood was anything like mine, you grew up being called all kinds of things that weren’t your name, principally mi’jo or mi’ja, probably.

But there is so much more to Spanish endearments than just mi’jo/a, isn’t there? We thought we’d come up with a short list, let us know if we missed any! Thanks to Oscar Barajas for helping with this list.

  1. Gordo/a or Flaco/a. I’ve certainly struggled in vain for years to explain to non-Latino, non-Spanish speakers why calling someone gordo or flaco isn’t necessarily a compliment or an insult. It just depends!
  2. Viejo/a. Same goes here. Calling someone old isn’t necessarily either factual or insulting, but rather, just what you say!
  3. Mi’jo/a. Everyone has been called this — by parents, siblings, friends, strangers, relatives, enemies, just about anyone.
  4. Mis Ojos, Mi Corazón, Mi Alma. There’s the whole body parts things going on, as in, you are an essential part of my life.
  5. Cariño/a. This one is kind of self-explanatory.
  6. Chiquito/a. As with being old, being small is need not be a fact, but rather is just one way to endear yourself to someone you care about.
  7. Azúcar, Miel, Dulce. Because people love sweets, and they might even love you as much as their pan dulce.
  8. Güero/a, Prieto/a, Indio/a. In my life “güera” has practically been my nickname, but being called güera/o is definitely a matter of context. I’ve seen people ironically called one name or the other. Using these names can be a hilarious joke, a fact or just another way to say you love someone.

We’ve written before about apodos, or nicknames, and how important these are to your life culturally speaking, so which endearments did we miss?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Photo By TaniaSaiz]

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