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In Spanish, the diminutive form of names can be used to affectionately refer to someone. Are there any rules for how to derive the diminutive form of names (of people, not places), or is it different on a case-by-case basis?

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  • Do you mean the name of a person or names in general?
    – Laura
    Jan 13, 2012 at 12:31
  • @Laura: The name of a person, I'll edit to clarify.
    – jrdioko
    Jan 13, 2012 at 13:24
  • You mean using Ale rather than Alejandro(a) for example?
    – César
    Jan 13, 2012 at 14:54
  • @César: That would be shortening or abbreviation, rather than diminutive. I guess that's what the OP is pointing at, though.
    – leonbloy
    Jan 13, 2012 at 16:42
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    So, Alejandrito rather than Alejandro. This is a tough one
    – César
    Jan 13, 2012 at 16:49

2 Answers 2

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If the name ends in a vowel but no "I":

eliminate the vowel and add "ito/illo/ín/iño" (male) or "ita/illa/ina/iña" (female).

  • Eduardo - Eduardito/Eduardillo/Eduardín/Eduardiño
  • Manolo - Manolito/Manolillo/Manolín/Manoliño
  • Mirta - Mirtita/Mirtilla/Mirtina/Mirtiña
  • Marco - Marquito/Marquillo/Marquín/Marquiño
  • Carlo - Carlito/Carlillo/Carlín/Carliño
  • Carla - Carlita/Carlilla/Carlina/Carliña

Exception: a woman name ended in "O". Add "ito".

  • Rocío - Rociito.

If the name ends in a consonant or "I":

add "cito/"cillo/ciño" or "cita/cilla/ciña".

  • Javier - Javiercito/Javiercillo/Javiercín/Javierciño
  • Germán - Germancito/Germancillo/Germancín/Germanciño
  • Lilian - Liliancita/Liliancilla/Lilianciña
  • Marlon - Marloncito/Marloncillo/Marloncín/Marlonciño
  • Pati - Paticita/Paticilla/Paticiña
  • Pili - Pilicita/Pilicilla/Piliciña

Note: I'm not sure, but if the name ends in "I", don't use "cina", it sounds very bad and I've never heard it.

Two exceptions:

  1. names ended in "L". Add "ito/illo/ín/iño" or "ita/illa/ina/iña".

    • Isabel - Isabelita/Isabelilla/Isabelina/Isabeliña
    • Mabel - Mabelita/Mabelilla/Mabelina/Mabeliña
    • Raquel - Raquelita/Raquelilla/Raquelina/Raqueliña
    • Rafael - Rafaelito/Rafaelillo/Rafaelín/Rafaeliño
  2. names ended in "s" (irregulars?).

    • Carlos - Carlitos (also Carlín, Carliño, Carlillos)
    • Marcos - Marquitos (also Marquín, Marquiño, Marquillos)
    • Andrés - Andrecito (also Andrecín, Andreciño, Andrecillo)
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    Hola Ricardo, I tried to improve your formatting to make your answer look more schematic. If you don't like it, feel free to improve it or rollback :)
    – Alenanno
    Jan 14, 2012 at 11:19
  • Me hubiera gustado que quedara así desde el inicio, ¡gracias!
    – Ricardo
    Jan 14, 2012 at 12:04
  • Muy bien. :) ¡De nada!
    – Alenanno
    Jan 14, 2012 at 12:06
  • +1 Muy buena respuesta!
    – César
    Jan 14, 2012 at 14:52
  • Raquel no lleva tilde.
    – CesarGon
    Jan 14, 2012 at 22:00
0

There are only rules of diminutives such as -cito or -ito. But for personal names, there are no rules. Since such nicknames were created by children as stammer words Apensen know. An example is the name of Rodolfo is Fito and Felipe is Pipe.

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  • I actually was asking about diminutives such as -ito and -cito, not nicknames like Fito (see comments above).
    – jrdioko
    Jan 13, 2012 at 22:04
  • In fact the vast majority of personal names he has a nickname, and is classified as a diminutive and not as a nickname
    – AlejoNext
    Jan 13, 2012 at 22:12

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