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Mexican Nicknames


By arturoramos - Posted on 15 June 2006

In an earlier message, Patricia brought up the topic of nicknames, which in Spanish are known as "apodos." She asked whether such nicknames were common among Mexican people. My answer would be a resounding yes.

In fact, as a child growing up in Los Angeles, it was rare that my siblings, cousins or I would refer to each other by our real names. We all had apodos for each other. The nicknames tended to be physically descriptive, often derogatory on the surface and always clever...

Among my sibling there was "la larga", "la chaparra", "el molanche", "el prieto", "el guero", "la flaca" and "el gordo"

You see the dichotomies... I was "el prieto" and my younger brother, who is much fairer than me was "el guero". We also had other names... some of mine: "R2D2", "Tulipan", etc.

I had cousins who were "la titi" (who stuttered as a child and whose father--also a stutterer--was known as "tartajas") and "la pollo" who was pigeon-toed, etc.

I agree with you, Arturo!

I remember my dad's friends mostly by their nicknames: "la tachuela" (this
man was short) "el blue" (this man had blue eyes) "el coyote" (this man did
NOT look like a coyote!) "la porcha" (this man had fish-looking eyes!) and
on and on.......I never thought of them by any other names! It seems to me
that mostly the men were given these nicknames.....I don't remember any for
women, except those derived from their actual names, such as "Chavela" for
Isabel, "Nena" for Irene, "Lola" for Dolores, etc.

All this brings back many wonderful memories! I only wish I had asked more
questions when I was younger and all these folks were still around! I can
imagine the stories they would have told me! :-) More than likely, they
could have given me a lot of clues to help me now with my genealogy
research!

Thanks for reminding me of "the good old days".......

Josie

-----Original Message-----
From: general-bounces [at] lists [dot] nuestrosranchos [dot] com
[mailto:general-bounces [at] lists [dot] nuestrosranchos [dot] com] On Behalf Of arturoramos
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 2:18 PM
To: general [at] lists [dot] nuestrosranchos [dot] com
Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Mexican Nicknames

In an earlier message, Patricia brought up the topic of nicknames, which in
Spanish are known as "apodos." She asked whether such nicknames were common
among Mexican people. My answer would be a resounding yes.

In fact, as a child growing up in Los Angeles, it was rare that my siblings,
cousins or I would refer to each other by our real names. We all had apodos
for each other. The nicknames tended to be physically descriptive, often
derogatory on the surface and always clever...

Among my sibling there was "la larga", "la chaparra", "el molanche", "el
prieto", "el guero", "la flaca" and "el gordo"

You see the dichotomies... I was "el prieto" and my younger brother, who is
much fairer than me was "el guero". We also had other names... some of
mine: "R2D2", "Tulipan", etc.

I had cousins who were "la titi" (who stuttered as a child and whose
father--also a stutterer--was known as "tartajas") and "la pollo" who was
pigeon-toed, etc.

My Tio Beto used to call me "Baquita" (calf) when I was little because
he said I couldn't say "Maguita" when I was little. Evermore that was
his name for me, and I'd love to hear him say it again if it meant he
was alive. His real name was Roberto. Marge:)
On Jun 15, 2006, at 2:17 PM, arturoramos wrote:

>
> In an earlier message, Patricia brought up the topic of nicknames,
> which in Spanish are known as "apodos." She asked whether such
> nicknames were common among Mexican people. My answer would be a
> resounding yes.
>
> In fact, as a child growing up in Los Angeles, it was rare that my
> siblings, cousins or I would refer to each other by our real names.
> We all had apodos for each other. The nicknames tended to be
> physically descriptive, often derogatory on the surface and always
> clever...
>
> Among my sibling there was "la larga", "la chaparra", "el molanche",
> "el prieto", "el guero", "la flaca" and "el gordo"
>
> You see the dichotomies... I was "el prieto" and my younger brother,
> who is much fairer than me was "el guero". We also had other names...
> some of mine: "R2D2", "Tulipan", etc.
>
> I had cousins who were "la titi" (who stuttered as a child and whose
> father--also a stutterer--was known as "tartajas") and "la pollo" who
> was pigeon-toed, etc.
>
>
>

I never thought to ask my husband if his family members had nicknames until now.
He said that he was known as "cuba," because he was chubby (then); a dark skin brother was called "indio," and the lighter skin one "guero," the youngest child was called, "cricquet/cricket," another brother, for whatever reason was called "tapon," Tino said it meas "snot, bogger," a little on the gross side. Not sure of the spelling.
Tino's mom whose name was Maria Refugia was known as Ruth and Cuka. He couldn't remember if his dad had a nickname or not.

It's always nice to recall, "fond memories," of years ago. Pat

"M. Vallazza" wrote:
My Tio Beto used to call me "Baquita" (calf) when I was little because
he said I couldn't say "Maguita" when I was little. Evermore that was
his name for me, and I'd love to hear him say it again if it meant he
was alive. His real name was Roberto. Marge:)
On Jun 15, 2006, at 2:17 PM, arturoramos wrote:

>
> In an earlier message, Patricia brought up the topic of nicknames,
> which in Spanish are known as "apodos." She asked whether such
> nicknames were common among Mexican people. My answer would be a
> resounding yes.
>
> In fact, as a child growing up in Los Angeles, it was rare that my
> siblings, cousins or I would refer to each other by our real names.
> We all had apodos for each other. The nicknames tended to be
> physically descriptive, often derogatory on the surface and always
> clever...
>
> Among my sibling there was "la larga", "la chaparra", "el molanche",
> "el prieto", "el guero", "la flaca" and "el gordo"
>
> You see the dichotomies... I was "el prieto" and my younger brother,
> who is much fairer than me was "el guero". We also had other names...
> some of mine: "R2D2", "Tulipan", etc.
>
> I had cousins who were "la titi" (who stuttered as a child and whose
> father--also a stutterer--was known as "tartajas") and "la pollo" who
> was pigeon-toed, etc.
>
>
>

Arturo,
gosh you could be talking about my family.
I have heard those names too. We even had english names.....cabbage....for
the cousin with the curly hair....cabbage???
El Molo....cousin with large teeth....what is up with us???
Or the "ito" or "ita" at the end of everything........abuelita.....all of us
called my grandmother abuelita.....when I had to translate for some parents
and someone said how to you say grandmother......I said abuelita....and
someone said that's not right....I had to think......I was
estelita....ugh.......there was ginito, cocosito.....I mean really....
Stella

My name (Esperanza) has been called "Esper, Espi, Lancha, Lanchita, Hope,
Hopie)

In my family the nickname for Enrique has always been Kiko, with an "o" at the end. Perhaps from Enrico.

Glorita for Gloria.

Rules for Raul.

Beto for Roberto.

Nettie for Ernesto. My mother calls me Nessie. It took me years to figure out she meant Ernesto.

Also Neto for Ernesto.

Pata for Patricia.

I don't know if it was Uncle Sam's influence that brought all these new names into Mexico, such as Alicia, Ernie, Patricia...largely replacing older names, such as Primitivo, Tirsa, Blasa, Filemon, Venadita, Osita, Nepomucena...and one of my favorites from old documents, "Nombres Dulces."

---- John Gonzalez <1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net> wrote:
> Other nicknames:
>
> Hilaria= Laya
> Isaura= Chawa, Chava (also for Salvador)
> Enrique= Kike
> Francisco=Quico, Paco, Pancho, Cisco ( I have never heard Quico used for
> Enrique. Heard it here for the first time)
> Socorro=Coco
> Dolores=Lola, Lolo (male)
> Eulalio=Lalo
> Eulalia=Lala
> Anastacio=Tacho
>
> John Gonzalez
> Wildomar, CA.
> 1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "arturoramos"
> To:
> Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:24 PM
> Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Name Translations
>
> > Some other nicknames:
> >
> > Rosario = Chayo
> > Enrique = Quico
> > Eduardo = Lalo
> >
> >
>

I have come across some names in California that really throw me for a loop. My daughter lives in San Diego near a street names "Santa Cristobal".
In northern San Diego County there is a "Espola Rd" At first I thought that somebody had misspelled "Espuela" (spur) since this road is out in the countryside, in horse country. I found out that it is a combination of the first two letters of the name for each town that the road goes through: Escondido, Poway, and Lakeside. In the same area there is "Citricado Rd." It took me a while to figure out the meaning. It is a combination of Citrus and avocado.! "Encinitas" If the root word is Encino, than the name should be "Encinitos"

Sometimes I wonder about "Los Feliz" in Los Angeles. Feliz=happy but Felix is the proper name. "Mission Viejo" in Orange County ?. "La Mirada"? ( the look) "La Vista" would have been better. One only needs to drive through almost any new neighborhood or housing development to find streets with names that will make you laugh. Each city should have a knowledgeable advisor in their planning or licensing commission to revue the street names before they are assigned. Some street names in Spanish are outright rediculous!
I am sure we all have experienced weird names in Spanish all over the Country.

John Gonzalez

1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net

El Sobrante is a little community in northern California's East Bay . That means the leftovers.

In this case what was left when the surrounding cities incorporated. El Sobrante was what no one else wanted.

Boca Raton, Florida is one most Anglos translate as Rat's Mouth, rather than a bay, or inlet.

There's a small town called Las Pulgas in Central California. Hardly a name to draw in the tourists!

When the San Fernando Valley was talking about seceding from Los Angeles, some people suggested naming it El Comal, because of the heat!

Coalinga in Central California is a contraction of Coaling Station. Like Soweto is a contraction of South West Township.

---- John Gonzalez <1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net> wrote:
> I have come across some names in California that really throw me for a loop. My daughter lives in San Diego near a street names "Santa Cristobal".
> In northern San Diego County there is a "Espola Rd" At first I thought that somebody had misspelled "Espuela" (spur) since this road is out in the countryside, in horse country. I found out that it is a combination of the first two letters of the name for each town that the road goes through: Escondido, Poway, and Lakeside. In the same area there is "Citricado Rd." It took me a while to figure out the meaning. It is a combination of Citrus and avocado.! "Encinitas" If the root word is Encino, than the name should be "Encinitos"
>
> Sometimes I wonder about "Los Feliz" in Los Angeles. Feliz=happy but Felix is the proper name. "Mission Viejo" in Orange County ?. "La Mirada"? ( the look) "La Vista" would have been better. One only needs to drive through almost any new neighborhood or housing development to find streets with names that will make you laugh. Each city should have a knowledgeable advisor in their planning or licensing commission to revue the street names before they are assigned. Some street names in Spanish are outright rediculous!
> I am sure we all have experienced weird names in Spanish all over the Country.
>
> John Gonzalez
>
> 1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net

Ruly for Raul

Memo for Guillermo

Cheo for Eliseo

Tita for Martita

Mague for Margarita

Chayo for Rosario

On Jul 20, 2006, at 8:04 PM, erniealderete [at] charter [dot] net wrote:

> In my family the nickname for Enrique has always been Kiko, with an
> "o" at the end. Perhaps from Enrico.
>
> Glorita for Gloria.
>
> Rules for Raul.
>
> Beto for Roberto.
>
> Nettie for Ernesto. My mother calls me Nessie. It took me years to
> figure out she meant Ernesto.
>
> Also Neto for Ernesto.
>
> Pata for Patricia.
>
> I don't know if it was Uncle Sam's influence that brought all these
> new names into Mexico, such as Alicia, Ernie, Patricia...largely
> replacing older names, such as Primitivo, Tirsa, Blasa, Filemon,
> Venadita, Osita, Nepomucena...and one of my favorites from old
> documents, "Nombres Dulces."
>
> ---- John Gonzalez <1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net> wrote:
>> Other nicknames:
>>
>> Hilaria= Laya
>> Isaura= Chawa, Chava (also for Salvador)
>> Enrique= Kike
>> Francisco=Quico, Paco, Pancho, Cisco ( I have never heard Quico used
>> for
>> Enrique. Heard it here for the first time)
>> Socorro=Coco
>> Dolores=Lola, Lolo (male)
>> Eulalio=Lalo
>> Eulalia=Lala
>> Anastacio=Tacho
>>
>> John Gonzalez
>> Wildomar, CA.
>> 1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> --------------------------------------------
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "arturoramos"
>> To:
>> Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:24 PM
>> Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Name Translations
>>
>>> Some other nicknames:
>>>
>>> Rosario = Chayo
>>> Enrique = Quico
>>> Eduardo = Lalo
>>>
>>>
>>

John,

I know what you mean about names of communities or new housing developments in Southern California. It is so obvious that non-Spanish speakers have been assigning some of the names that often don't make any sense at all in Spanish. They seem to just pick any old name that sounds Spanish. I have been waiting to see a "San Conejo". I wouldn't be surprised.

Emilie
----- Original Message -----
From: John Gonzalez
To: general [at] nuestrosranchos [dot] com
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 6:34 PM
Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Names

I have come across some names in California that really throw me for a loop. My daughter lives in San Diego near a street names "Santa Cristobal".
In northern San Diego County there is a "Espola Rd" At first I thought that somebody had misspelled "Espuela" (spur) since this road is out in the countryside, in horse country. I found out that it is a combination of the first two letters of the name for each town that the road goes through: Escondido, Poway, and Lakeside. In the same area there is "Citricado Rd." It took me a while to figure out the meaning. It is a combination of Citrus and avocado.! "Encinitas" If the root word is Encino, than the name should be "Encinitos"

Sometimes I wonder about "Los Feliz" in Los Angeles. Feliz=happy but Felix is the proper name. "Mission Viejo" in Orange County ?. "La Mirada"? ( the look) "La Vista" would have been better. One only needs to drive through almost any new neighborhood or housing development to find streets with names that will make you laugh. Each city should have a knowledgeable advisor in their planning or licensing commission to revue the street names before they are assigned. Some street names in Spanish are outright rediculous!
I am sure we all have experienced weird names in Spanish all over the Country.

John Gonzalez

1gnzlz [at] verizon [dot] net

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