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I read in the RAE that niño bonito/niña bonita was an expression.

What does it mean exactly and what is the etymology or the origin of this expression?

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  • Which publication of the RAE did you see this in? Did it not give a definition? Mar 5, 2018 at 2:24
  • Are you asking because of my comment to your other question? You know, in English one doesn't usually talk about a "pretty boy or man." Mar 5, 2018 at 2:47
  • Are you asking because of my comment to your other question? You know, in English one doesn't usually talk about a "pretty boy or man." Mar 5, 2018 at 2:47

1 Answer 1

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The RAE explains it clearly

niño, ña bonito, ta

  1. m. y f. coloq. Persona que recibe un trato privilegiado.

  2. m. y f. coloq. Joven presumido e insustancial.

For the first one it implies that someone is put above the rest just because they are "more special". The "history" could be the association between "preferred" and "better looking". We tend to like more the things that are prettier.

This second is like addressing someone as "pretty boy", and should be self explanatory. "Etymologically" might just be a ironic usage of the word or meaning "pretty but empty, inane".

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  • What about the female case? Mar 5, 2018 at 4:45
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    the expression doesn't applies to women, as this is used to point out the lack of manliness. there are other expressions that apply for girls, like "princesita". in any case, nina bonita won't have the same meaning as nino bonito
    – Mike
    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:34

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