That is, what does the nickname of the presumed leader of Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, "El Mencho," mean?

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    Interestingly, the DAMER does not define the word for Mexico, but in the northeast part of Argentina it means "persona que tiene mal gusto y costumbres poco refinadas".
    – Charlie
    Aug 24, 2019 at 18:44
  • @Charlie - Interesting! I read that this guy is known for his brutally violent way of running his business. So presumably he would be able to nip a nonpreferred nickname in the bud. I myself wouldn't want to have a nickname that means brutish lug. On the other hand, maybe this guy would be proud to have a reputation as a brutish lug.... Aug 25, 2019 at 15:25
  • I asked a friend from Jalisco, Mexico. He said that it's a nickname for people named Nemesio. I've noticed recently that the public figure in question is often refered to as "Mencho," to "El Mencho." That makes sense if it is a nickname. Thanks for your input. Mar 5, 2020 at 11:56
  • Looks like El Mencho might be sneeringly derived from mensch. Jun 28, 2020 at 20:49
  • @PeterKleinman - what makes you say this? Seems extremely unlikely to me. Mar 2, 2023 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


My guess is that it's a nickname. (And Wikipedia thinks so too.) Many Spanish names have nicknames where an S sound is replaced by CH and some other simplifications occur, for example, Lencho for Lorenzo, Pancho for Francisco and Chucho for Jesús. Thus, Frumencio and Nemesio (or Nemecio) are associated with the nickname Mencho. Therefore, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who is in the news right now, has the nickname “Mencho.” (See for example "Cómo obra la fonética infantil en la formación de los hipocorísticos" Author(s): Peter Boyd-Bowman Source: Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, Año 9, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1955), pp. 337-366 Published by: El Colegio de Mexico Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40296949 Accessed: 24-08-2019 23:29 UTC.)

In Spanish you can put the definite article in front of someone's first name or nickname to express familiarity. (See for example: link, which states, "este uso del artículo encierra afecto, cariño y familiaridad.")

Put those two elements together and we see that someone named Nemesio could become known as El Mencho.

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    I don't know if the paper cited here says that, but -cho seems to be a preferred way to form hypocoristics even when there's no /s/ in the name: thus Juancho from Juan, Tincho from Martín (< *Martincho), Manucho < Manuel (Mujica Láinez), etc.
    – pablodf76
    Aug 25, 2019 at 14:19
  • @pablodf76 - Good point. // I struggled to find something to document the nickname idea. There's so much that I feel I know in some vague way, but don't know how to document. I don't feel I found a good source. I had to log into a university library to be able to download the article, and it was ancient and didn't give as clear an overview as I would have liked. Aug 25, 2019 at 15:22
  • Would you perhaps know other people named Nemesio, beside this criminal, who you would call by the nickname "Mencho"?.. And from there it is easy to arrive at "El Mencho" because the "El" stands for "The One & Only Nemesto Ruben Oseguera Cervantes. Jul 20, 2020 at 9:19

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