In this part of Mexico – I can’t speak with authority to the other parts – but in this part of Mexico, diminutives and nicknames are used a lot.

Examples of diminutives are huevitos; for ‘little’ eggs. A person neither orders nor receives plain old huevos but huevitos. Maybe because huevos are slang for testicles. Anyway, coffee isn’t cafe but caficito or ‘little’ coffee. The list for the use of diminutives goes on and on.

My friend Francisco is called both Pancho and Chivo. Pancho is the diminutive for Francisco and Chivo (goat) is his nickname. He is Chivo in his cantina and Chivo to his childhood friends but Pancho to people like me. His mother calls him only Francisco.

I would imagine that Pancho’s wife calls him something other than Francisco (except when she’s angry) or Pancho or Chivo. What, exactly I don’t know. And I’d be prying if I asked and Pancho is so cunningly wise that he’d laugh and then wouldn’t give me a straight answer to a question like that anyway.

Today I go buy packing materials at the local huarachero warehouse owned and run by a grim shrunken up old bastard whose nickname I just found out is ‘La Burra’; translating loosely as the female ass. What did he do to get a nickname like that I wonder? The local huaracheros snicker whenever they speak of La Burra.

To 95% of the people here I am called ‘guero’ which means ‘light skinned’. I am hailed in the street by both cab drivers and shop owners alike as guero. It is done in a kind and friendly way and carries with it none of the negative connotations as the term gringo. So if people don’t know me well enough to call me by my Spanish name of Felipe, I am simply guero.

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