What does "nano" mean in Spain? Is it an offense to call somebody "nano"? Somebody in Spain called me "nano" and I don't know what it means.

Hola, nano, que tal todo?

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    En la habana lo usan como un diminutivo de enano cuando hay confianza con alguien que es pequeño, en el mismo contexto que tu lo estas usando. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 23:44

3 Answers 3


'Nano' is a shortened form of 'Enano' ('dwarf'). 'Enano' itself is used in some areas to refer to children:

  • ¿Cómo está tu mujer?
  • Bien, gracias.
  • ¿Y el enano? -> ¿Y el niño? -> ¿Y tu hijo?
  • Bien, también.

In Comunidad Valenciana, this shortened form 'nano' is more commonly used than 'enano' due to the influence of Catalan (the sister language of Spanish speaked in Andorra, Catalonia, Comunidad Valenciana and Baleares, which is named as Valencian there, albeit being the same language). Also, it has get commonly used to speak to (not about) people who are not children but you have confidence to speak to in that way.

It is clearly not formal, but I would not say it is clearly vulgar.


Here in Chile is very very common call "nano" to people whose name is "Fernando", "Hernando", or any name composed by [*]nando. We say that "a los Fernandos se les dice Nano" (something like "someone named Fernando would be called Nano". As common as informal. I don't know the country where it was heard, so answer this question just in case.

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    I'm from México; my name is Fernando and when I was a child my relatives used to call me 'Nano'... well, actually some of they still call me that way! Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 10:31

It is usually used in Comunidad Valenciana (Spain) to, as you do in english:

Ey dude

Hi broher

It is a Spanish slang word. It is not an offense.

But as I suggested you in the "o sea" question, do not use it, it is kinda vulgar

  • 1
    Yeah. In Madrid, at least, it is used in a very vulgar way. Used normally by young people from the outskirts, specially people who is normally going out to disco bars and things like that. (To be more specific).
    – darkgaze
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 10:05
  • You are totally right :) Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 10:07

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