Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - Mexicans love nicknames and they aren't easily insulted by name-calling. Children are fondly called gordito or gordita when they are on the chubby side, and Mama will take pride in her child being referred to as such, since it indicates her baby is healthy.
Even as they grow older, a young person will hang on to a defining label, with absolutely no prejudice. We have met adults who still maintain names given long ago, sometimes no longer applicable, such as flaco/flaca, meaning skinny, or thin.
It's not unusual to hear family members in Puerto Vallarta refer to one another as feo (ugly) or bruja (witch), and these tags are met with good humor and laughs. A guy who is limber and able to climb palm trees might be called Chango, and yet, it could also be that his friends think he looks like a monkey.
These names stick and follow one into adulthood. If you hear a fellow called Gallo, you can be sure he is popular with the ladies and his friends consider him the rooster of the gang. Moreno has darker skin than most of his peers and Rubia is the blondest of her friends. Masculine and feminine in Spanish are interchangeable by simply switching out the O for an A to go from one to the other respectively.
Anglo given names have nicknames... Robert is "Bob" or "Bobby", Margaret is "Margie", Richard can be "Rich", "Rick" or "Dick," and Elizabeth can be called many names such as "Liz", "Betsy" or "Beth". Same goes for Spanish names.
A quick list of common names for referral: "Memo" for Guillermo, "Cacho" for Carlos, "Koke" for Jorge, "Chimo" for Joaquín, "Chuy" for Jesús, "Javi" for Javier, "Paco" or "Pancho" for Francisco, "Nacho" for Ignacio, "Tito" for Alberto, "Lalo" for Eduardo; "Leti" for Leticia, "Loli" for Dolores, "Lulú" for Lourdes, "Lupe" for Guadalupe (male or female), and "Pepa" for Josefa... to name a few. Adding 'ito' to any name makes it small, as with Pepita or Panchito. Or perhaps Changito or Gallito.
It seems that no one in Mexico goes without a secondary name and many are tagged with more than one. If someone calls you muñeca (doll) or bruja (witch), consider it a term of endearment and be flattered. Que es cómo es.
The number one selling and listing agency in the greater Bay of Banderas region since 2011, Timothy Real Estate Group is a locally-owned and operated real estate brokerage with a strategic location in the city's Romantic Zone. Because the Puerto Vallarta area has varying neighborhood personalities, we practice localized real estate and, with 5 sales offices around the bay, we know our communities well. If you are looking to sell or purchase a property in the Banderas Bay area, please contact one of the Timothy Real Estate Group agents for the best experience in Puerto Vallarta real estate. For more information, visit TimothyRealEstateGroup.com.
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