Pocho Ocho ironic nicknames that aren’t as insulting as they seem

El Flaco (left) and El Gordo

8. Gordo/a – This word (it means “overweight”) seems like an insult, but  it’s just another way to say, “Hey you!”  You don’t have to be fat to get this nickname.

7. Flaco/a –  And you don’t actually have to be skinny to get this nickname. Of course, you could be relatively skinny compared to everyone else in the room, but it’s just a way to speed things along.

6. Viejo/a –  This word (“old”) could be used to refer to one’s significant other, parent, or friend. Whether or not one is actually old depends on those involved in the conversation. 

5. Cabrón/a –  This word means ” #^$% billygoat,” but we all know better. It’s ironic because it has the opposite effect of the actual meaning. If someone calls you this affectionately, yes affectionately,  you should take it as a huge compliment. My grandmother, for example, used to call all of the grandchildren, “Una bola de cabrones.” It may not make perfect sense, but it makes sense.

4. Calabaza –  This is a nice way of saying you are an idiot: Your head is empty, like a pumpkin. Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

3. Este/a –  The language here (the word means “this”) is literally dehumanizing. “Este” makes  you an object, not a “he” or a “she.” It’s  like saying, “This thing is hungry,” when someone asked you for food. It’s an affectionate way of saying that you irritate someone.

2. Güey/Buey –  This is pretty much akin to someone calling you a turkey. Literally, it means a bull, but figuratively it refers to someone in a negative way.  Most young people use it like “dude,” but to older people it is kind of insulting.

And the numero uno nickname that is not really insulting is …

Pocho/a –  This word was a way to disparagingly refer to people of Mexican ancestry who were Americanized., i.e., not authentic. But, if you’re here on POCHO, you know it’s just another way to describe culture. And that can’t really be insulting at all.