Spanish nick-names

I was always under the impression that a nick-name is a short form for a name. Eg. Robert = Bob, Frederic = Fred, Philip = Phil, Matthew = Mat.

But in Spain they are on bit of a different wavelength:

Enrique = Quique (ok, not bad)
Francisco = Paco (huh?)
Jose = Pepe (??)
Maria Carmen = Mamen
Rosario = Chari (HUH?)
Ignacio = Nacho
Joaquin = Ximo

And how did the whole of Spain or Hispanic world decide to come to a unanimous decision? I’m sure there are plenty more, how do you remember them when they are so non-corresponding? And why bother naming someone Jose, if you are going to call him Pepe? What about poor Pepe? Are all Pepe’s Jose’s?

Yes, I have had a long day. Guess some things are better left as they are.

Actually, when you think about it Indian’s are no better. Almost all of us have a nick name with no logic and no uniformity, totally random.

For eg.
A Sneha could be: Pinky, Micky, Minni, Choti or Rani
A Nilesh could be: Nilu, Bittu, Shanu, Monu, Titu or Lovely.

No , I don’t have one. Thank goodness.


  1. Pepe or Nacho, as any other nickname, is officially against the law in Spain. Civil Registry Law, art. 54: “no nickname is allowed unless it has gained substantivity”, whatever substantivity means. I have heard just Lola (for Dolores) has adquired enough substantivity to be legal.

  2. Concepción = Concha
    Inmaculada = Inma

    I think it would be cruel NOT to allow women with those names take a nickname.

    Concha can be a pretty-sounding nickname in Spain, but would make her a laughing-stock in Argentina, where it is roughly the equivalent of “coño”.

  3. I knew the name Concha, but didnt know it was a short form for Concepcion! Yeah I was told about concha in Argentina! she would definitly have to change her name.

  4. Anyway, why would you want to name your kid Concepcion or Inmaculada. Next thing there will be names like Prenatal and Reproduction.

  5. Ok so I’m late commenting…
    I just stumbled in here and I thought I’d comment on why the Josés are called Pepe.

    It’s that he (Joseph) was the putative father, or in latin Pater Putativus, abbreviated PP = Pepe.
    Also heard it is not used in (some?) south american countries.

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