Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it:

  • pansito
  • panesito
  • panito
  • panecino
  • panecillo (Although this one has most of the time another meaning...)


I know short question, but seemingly difficult for me. Is there a definitive diminutive form?

Are there multiple accepted forms?

share|improve this question
What do you want to use the word for? A bread roll or bun? A small loaf of bread? A chunk of bread? A slice of bread? Maybe include a photo for us! – hippietrail Nov 18 '11 at 12:44
Good idea I'll look for a picture :) – Joze Nov 18 '11 at 13:10
For pansito: Pancita is the diminutive of panza; you wouldn't want to confuse those. – Brian Nov 19 '11 at 3:48
@hippietrail: hey just wondering, what is the difference between "definite" and "definitive"? (I know not related, but I'm curious because of the edits) – Joze Dec 2 '11 at 15:19
I think definite has a broader range of meanings and "definitive" means something like canonical or officially correct or something. This is not a great explanation sorry )-: It's probably a really good question for English Language & Usage though! – hippietrail Dec 2 '11 at 15:24
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In Mexico is well addressed as panecito, and I think anyone would understand it, however is not a real word as far as I know, at least couldn't find it on the dictionary, I found this however:

"Los monosílabos o no perminten derivaciones o lo hacen con -ec-, pasando a ser la palabra un cuatrisílabo"

  • pan- panecito
  • Tren - Trenecito
  • Pez - Pececito
  • sol-solecito
share|improve this answer
Here in Chile it is a bit different: Pancito, Trencito, Pececito, Solcito. There's even a very famous chocolate brand called "Trencito". – Nicolás Nov 18 '11 at 17:46
@Nicolás: same in Argentina – leonbloy Dec 2 '11 at 17:00

"Pan" is a generic term, it means bread in general, not an actual piece of bread. In this sense you would not use it in diminutive form, would you?
That said, we do use "panecillo", at least in Spain, for a small, one-helping piece of bread. That is the only word, among your suggestions, which is present in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española. "Panecito" looks all right too, and probably the reason why it is not in the Diccionario is, they don't include diminutive forms of all words... and "panesito" and "pansito" seem spoken versions of "panecito", I guess they are common in Latin America.

share|improve this answer
+1 Xabier (Colombia, Peru and Venezuela also use Panecillo) – Randolf Rincón Fadul Nov 18 '11 at 12:22
Not Colombia... I disagree. I am from Colombia myself and we don't use it as interpreted in other countries. it also depends from what region of colombia are you but bogota and cali don't use it to mean "Small bread" – Joze Nov 18 '11 at 13:08
Not in Venezuela, either. I would say pancito. But then again... Venezuelan spanish has issues with all diminutive forms. – carlosdc Nov 30 '11 at 16:54

Here in Perú I was taught and learned it this way:

I memorized the key: "REN(cito)" -- Meaning when a word ends in "R", "E" or "N" append "-cito" (masculine) or "-cita" (feminine). Otherwise, words ending in "O" or "A" likely get "-ito" (masculine), "-ita" (feminine), or seemingly less common "-illo" (masculine) and "-illa" (feminine).

Therefore, and confirmed by what is practiced here in Hauncayo, Perú we say Pancito to refer to a smaller piece of bread or smaller roll.

share|improve this answer
+1 This is actually a very coherent explanation. Give me some sources and I'll accept the answer. – Joze Mar 2 '12 at 22:32

It is very common to use the term panito in Guatemala actually.

share|improve this answer

Panecillo (a small bread baked in that form, not a slice) is itself a word. You could say "panecillito" for a small "panecillo".

So, for "pan" (any kind of "bread") I would say "pancito" or "panecito". "Pansito" and "panesito" are wrong.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.