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It turns out Wikipedia has an article with a map Central America seems to prefer español whereas South America mostly prefers castellano. But I don't know how accurate that map is. If we look at the map's history we see that some countries changed from red to blue or vice versa with no sources given.


2

I agree that it depends a lot on the country and even region. In some places I have seen "cariño" used among close frinds, mostly women. Also I have it seen used to mark distance (a superior woman calling an inferior "cariño" as a sign of superiority like the one has over her children).


1

It depends highly on Country (e.g. in Chile it would be acceptable, in Argentina the word is not very much used in this sense) Socioeconomic level (amongst high-middle class it would be acceptable) Sexism awareness So I'd ask directly if the use would be OK among your group.



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