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Love in two languages: bilingual nicknames

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Ahhh, love.


It’s such a beautiful thing. People in love or showing love.

Parents spend a lot of time thinking of the perfect name for their little one. A name that suits their personality, a name that reflects a family´s language, culture, values and that will identify this new person as they grow. A name with hopes and dreams and that we will embody as we grow.


Despite all the effort put into the act of love that is naming a person, if you set foot in my house, you won’t hear any names. You’ll hear Bebs, Chiqui, Teso(ro) and Guapo. At home I am Nelson, Nelsi, Teso, Tecito, Dulzura, but never Mariana. To my close friends, I am Carmela. Nicknames can be a way of showing you care, a sign of closeness and of love.


As far as I can remember, my first name was only used in school and when I was in trouble. Here in Germany, I almost never hear my name. I am always Frau Ramirez, rarely Mariana.


The language of nicknames


You may or may not have noticed that most of the nicknames I mentioned, if not all, are in Spanish. This is because I am Mexican and the people that gave me these nicknames speak Spanish as well. However, an issue arose when I started dating and then married my amazing German husband.


At first, we just referred to each other by our first names, but as time went on and our relationship got more and more serious, we wanted special ways to call each other. My husband wanted to use words like Schatz (treasure) or even Maus (mouse), but I wasn’t having it. I thought to myself “we are unique, our nicknames need to be unique”. We don’t just speak German in our relationship, we speak Spanish and English as well.

And so our bilingual nicknames began.


Here’s how to do it:


  1. Take your favorite nickname or word to refer to your significant other in any language you

want. I suggest you make a list of them, your top 10? Top 5?


Example:

  • Maus (mouse)

  • Hase (rabbit)

  • Bear

  • Darling

  • Cielo

  • Dulzura


2. Think of the prefix (or suffix-depending on the language) that makes things small(diminutive).


Example in English:

  • Table → little table

Example In Spanish:

  • Mesa → Mesita

Example in German:

  • Tisch → Tischchen or Tischle if you speak Swabian.


3. See if there’s a nice-sounding way of combining them. It takes some tinkering, but it’s fun to play around with words to create a special and unique nickname for someone.


  • Maus + ito = mausito

  • Hase+ ita = hasita

  • Darling + chen= darlinchen

  • Dulzura + le= dulzurle

  • Cielo + little = little cielo


4. Find your favorite one and see it sticks. Maybe you have just created a beautiful new word that is as special as you are.


I hope this small trick helps you showcase your individuality and shows some of your personality. I’d love to read what you come up with and how you call the special people in your life.






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