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?

  • 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! Nov 18 '11 at 12:44
  • 1
    For pansito: Pancita is the diminutive of panza; you wouldn't want to confuse those.
    – Brian
    Nov 19 '11 at 3:48

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
  • 6
    Here in Chile it is a bit different: Pancito, Trencito, Pececito, Solcito. There's even a very famous chocolate brand called "Trencito". Nov 18 '11 at 17:46
  • 2
    @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.

  • +1 Xabier (Colombia, Peru and Venezuela also use Panecillo) 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

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.


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.

  • +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

I am adding this summary following what was discussed in Juntemos en respuestas wiki las respuestas cortas específicas de regiones / Let's use community wiki to summarize set of short region specific answers. Feel free to edit to add the term used in your country or region.


  • Panecillo
  • Panecito


  • Panito


  • Panecito


  • Pancito
  • It is very common to use the term panito in Guatemala actually. Nov 18 '11 at 15:09

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