Mexican Nicknames or Los Nombres Hipocorísticos

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Male

Adolfo – Fito
Alberto – Beto, Bertín, Tico, Tito,
Alfonso – Poncho, Fonsi, Chete, Moncho
Anastasio – Tacho
Ángel – Gelo
Antonio – Toño
Apolinar – Polino, Poli
Armando – Mando
Arturo – Turi
Auxilio – Chilo
Benjamin – Benja
Eduardo – Lalo
Emilio – Milo
Enrique – Quique
Ernesto – Neto
Ezequiel – Cheque
Federico – Fede, Quico
Fernando – Nando
Francisco – Paco, Pancho
Gabriel-Gabi
Gonzalo – Chalo
Gregorio – Goyo
Guadalupe – Lupe, Lupillo
Guillermo – Memo
Gustavo – Tabo
Héctor – Teto
Horacio – Lacho
Ignacio – Nacho
Inocencio – Chencho
Isidro – Chilo
Javier – Javi
Jesús – Chuy, Chucho, Chus
Jesús Emilio – Chumilo
Joaquín – Chimo
Jose – Pepe, Chepe
Jose Maria – Chema
Juan Gabriel – Juanga
Juan Manuel – Juanma
Lorenzo – Lencho
Luis – Huicho, Lucho
Manuel – Lolo, Manolo, Manu
Moises – Moi
Pedro – Perico
Rafael – Rafa
Ramon – Moncho
Refugio – Cuco
Roberto – Beto
Rodrigo – Ruy
Salvador – Chava
Santiago – Chago
Senovio – Noyo
Sergio – Chejo, Checo
Vincente – Chente

Female

Alejandra – Ale
Alicia – Licha, Ali
Antonia – Toña
Asencion – Chon
Beatriz – Beti, Tichi
Carolina – Caro, Lina
Cecilia – Chila, Ceci
Concepción – Concha, Conchis
Consuelo – Chelo
Dolores – Lola, Loli
Elena – Leni
Elisabet – Eli
Esperanza – Lancha
Eugenia – Maru
Francisca/Franchesca – Paquita, Pancha
Graciela – Chela
Guadalupe – Lupe, Lupita
Guillermina – Mina, Guille
Hortencia – Tench, Tenchi
Isabel – Chavela
Josefa – Pepa
Josefina – Chepina
Lourdes – Lulú
Lucía Fernanda – Lucifer (!)
Luz – Luchi
Magdalena – Magda, Nena
Marcela – Chela
Margarita – Margo, Mago
María Elena – Malena
María Isabel – Maribel
María Luisa – Marisa
María Soledad – Marisol, Sole
María Teresa – Maite
Matilde – Tilde
Mercedes – Meche, Merce
Montserrat – Montse
Patricia – Pati
Raquel – Raki, Raque
Ramona – Mona, Moncha
Rocio – Chio
Rosario – Chayo, Charo
Silvia – Chivis
Socorro – Coco
Soledad – Chole
Teresa – Tere
Victoria – Toya, Viky
Yolanda – Yoli

I made some exceptions but this list is mostly comprised of nicknames which are somewhat different than the original name. I didn’t include too many of the fairly obvious ones i.e. Vero for Veronica, Trini for Trinidad, Nico for Nicolas etc. I also tried to stick to the traditional nicknames but included some of the modern versions for a few. There are many more of the Maria-plus names which I might add in later.

Also, it is somewhat humorous for non-Mexican Spanish speakers, but Mexicans tend to make many words diminutive including nicknames. So Concha becomes Conchita, Pepe is called Pepito and so on.

This is an excellent article that explains it all (Spanish): “De Alfonso a Poncho y de Esperanza a Lancha: los Hipocorísticos”

Interesting piece in Spanish from a Basque persepctive, it gives some background on the prevalence of “ch” in the names: El Valor de la Letra “Ch”

For some interesting background on the English nicknames i.e. Molly, Sally, Hank…check out this site.

Thanks to Frances, Diego, Jimmy, El Chavo, Don Quixote and Julio for your help in compiling this list. I found many of the names through internet searches which was a surprise to me. Just two years ago when I first set out to make this list, there was nothing on the web to be found.

Mexican Names, Part One

15 thoughts on “Mexican Nicknames or Los Nombres Hipocorísticos

  1. Chimatli says:

    Thanks Notorious! I added “Tichi” to the updated list and will continue to add in more names as they are remembered and suggested!

  2. Janet Berumen Ortiz says:

    Last night I went to a wake and learn of one more nickname that should be added because many non-hispanic found it difficult to pronounce. So in memory of and former graduate of Cathedral HS, Mr. Senovio Navarro, Senovio = Noyo

  3. don quixote says:

    Great list, now you should develop the Chicano or Mexican American names that are Americanized from the original Spanish like Jenny for Juanita, Beenie from Beatriz, Bita from Barbarita, Jimmy from Santiago, Jessie from Jesus, Pete from Pedro or Agapito, and Augie from Agustin, Louie from Luis,Lucky from Luciano, Manny from Manuel, Alfie from Alfredo, it could be a giant list and fun too. I still laugh about a poor kid from the neighborhood named Filemon who has been known all his life as Filete Mignon.

  4. dedalus1947 says:

    Now that I look at this comprehensive list, my uncle and aunts nicknames don’t sound all that original. Oh well, the names remain the same. Thanks for the listl.

  5. Dona Junta says:

    Haha, that is how swapmeet clika got started lol messing around calling each other all kinds of ” paisa” names, but this is an awesome list for sure.

  6. Victor Tinajero says:

    I ran across this article while researching my family tree. My grandmother on my dads side was Esperanza, but EVERYONE called her Pampa, not Lancha. Great page, btw!

  7. Chimatli says:

    I haven’t heard of a nickname for Lucas. Most of the nicknames developed over time for traditional Spanish names. Maybe you can start a tradition for the nickname Lucas!:)

  8. Jennifer says:

    We recently adopted a cat from Mexico. His name is Stadio. Is that a nickname? Or just one of those things you name a pet? All I’ve found is that it’s Italian for “stadium.” Thanks!

  9. vivienne says:

    Oh, we need a list for those of us that are researching our Mexican/American family genealogies, ….for the most part, I can decipher most of what the Census takers mangled when it came to names, but every now and then I get stumped just by a name that the Census taker was obviously just transcribing from what they heard our Spanish speaking family members say, for example, I found a family Census….but I can’t figure out what the real names are for the following two male sons; “PIO” / “PIOLA” and “CHECO” . Great website.

  10. Chimatli says:

    Hello,
    Thanks everyone for your comments. I’m not sure how the nicknames came to be. It’s true that many of them seem to have no relation to the original name. When I researched these nicknames many years ago, there was so little information online. If I have more time after I finish the program I’m in, I can revisit the nickname research and update the list.
    As for the Stadio question, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans sometimes create nicknames on the spot. For instance, my neighbor’s nickname was “Teeners.” Her family started calling her this when she got near her teenage years. Random, but made sense to her family. 🙂

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