What Are Some Spanish Nicknames?

Some Spanish nicknames include Nacho, Pepe, Chava and Nando. Some Spanish nicknames are straight-forward shortenings of longer common names, while others are creative reworkings of the original name. Some are of obscure origin.

Nacho, besides being a delicious snack, is also a Spanish nickname for "Ignacio," a common given name for men. The food is actually named after Ignacio Anaya, a Mexican maitre d' who is said to have improvised the snack for American patrons when he could not find his restaurant's chef.

Pepe is a nickname for José. This has perplexed many academics and lay people, since the two words do not look or sound related at first glance. It is speculated that José was transformed into Pepe by way of religiously based wordplay. Joseph, the husband of the holy mother Mary, is named José in Spanish. He is called "padre putativo," or the putative father, of Jesus. Pepe, therefore, is ultimately derived from a shortened version of "padre putativo." Others speculate that Pepe is derived from "Giuseppe," the Italian version of Joseph.

Chava, somewhat similarly, is a nickname for Salvadore. Mexican Spanish often renders "s" sounds as "ch" sounds when shortening names into nicknames. Also of note is that Salvador is a man's name, but "chava" is also Mexican slang for a young girl.

Nando is simply a shortening of the male name Fernando.