“My girlfriend and I have come up with nicknames for each other's "private parts." Our favorite game is to see how many times we can use them without anyone noticing. My top comment was telling her mother that it was her daughter's 'wit and charm' that first attracted to me. Hers is telling her mom that 'bubbles' was her favorite toy as a kid. I was initially upset that she named my member "bubbles" until the next thing that came out of her mouth was "I like to blow bubbles”—Rough Love: Amazing Girlfriend
Someone on tumblr keeps referring to me as “stud” when they reply to my posts.
Dear Tumblr user, don’t stop doing that. I must absolutely love it because I start laughing and smiling every time I see you write it. No one has ever called me a stud before, and I don’t know if it fits but we can fucking make it fit!
“My boyfriend of two+ years calls me random nick-names all the time, lately it's been "Coonster", because the dark circles I had under my eyes one day reminded him of a raccoon. Awesome.”—Rough Love - Coonster
¿Cómo se dice? Explaining “Nicknames” in Spanish
In Latin America, calling someone “gordo” is not necessarily offensive.
When I told my half-Korean boyfriend he might be called “chino” during an upcoming trip to Mexico, he seemed shocked.
“Really? Like, people might just call me ‘Chinese’?” he asked in disbelief. “But…. I’m not Chinese.”
I then tried to explain further that in lots of Latino cultures, people refer to friends and strangers by their outwardly identifiable physical characteristics:
A black guy might be called “negro” or “prieto” (both words that mean dark-skinned), a light-skinned lady may be called “güera”, a foreigner might be a “gringo” (more on this here) and a person who “looks” indigenous might be called “indio,” a fat guy “gordo” (translation: fat), a skinny guy “flaco” (translation: skinny).
And sometimes, unfortunately, Asian people of all varieties get lumped under the “chino” label (translation: Chinese person). For example, former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who is of Japanese descent was nicknamed “El Chino” during his presidential campaign.
Then again, “chino” in Colombia means “boy” and “pelo chino” in Mexico means curly hair (Why? Who can say…). In Argentina, all Spaniards are called “gallegos” (meaning Galicians) because most Spanish immigrants came from that region.
My boyfriend wasn’t quite buying it. I then tried to explain that most people “really mean no offense” by the blunt naming system and that it was mostly a cultural difference. Sometimes, I continued, those terms are used endearingly.
He nodded his head, but somehow I felt he wasn’t at all convinced. I realized I was fighting a losing this battle (mostly because calling a non-Chinese person “chino” is wrong and actually just a bit lazy.) But when it comes to other identifiers, there’s still something charming to me about the lack of political correctness in many parts of Latin America. It seems that I’m not the only one who has run into the quandary of explaining this phenomenon to non-Latino friends.
Latina journalist and blogger Sara Inés Calderón reflected on the same conversation a few years ago:
“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,” she wrote.
And then of course there was dear Rico, a Latin lover on VH1’s dating show “I Love New York” who made the mistake of calling New York “mi negrita.” He intended to use the phrase — which literally means “my little black lady” — as a term of endearment, but it was not taken that way, greatly offending the fine American maiden he was trying to woo.
What do you think? Have you ever experienced this? Can the blunt nicknames be offensive or is this just a harmless cultural difference?
Let us know your thoughts and what your family and friends call you in the comment section below.
USWNT Player Nicknames (According to Me)
- Hope Solo: Bitchface
- Heather Mitts: Mittsy
- Christie Rampone: Captain America
- Becky Sauerbrunn: No Sleeves
- Kelley O'Hara: Officer KO
- Amy LePeilbet: LePelbie
- Shannon Boxx: Boxxy
- Amy Rodriguez: A-Rod
- Heather O'Reilly: HAO
- Carli Lloyd: Princess
- Sydney Leroux: The Kid
- Lauren Cheney: Chensaw
- Alex Morgan: Baby Horse
- Abby Wambach: Killer
- Megan Rapinoe: Pinoe
- Rachel Buehler: Bulldozer
- Tobin Heath: Tobs
- Nicole Barnhart: Barnie
- Ali Kriger: Kriegs
- Ashlyn Harris: Godess