There is a funny little thing going on with names here. It seems there is a bit of an obsession with making and using nicknames. In my whole life in Norway I have never had a nickname. Here, I have 4 different names, in addition to my real name. That’s 5 names made out of my 8 character long name. I am impressed!
It seems it’s very common. People just make up new names for people, nicknames, shorter versions. I’ll throw in some examples for you to see what I mean.
Begoña -> Bego
Desireé -> Desi
Montserrat -> Montse
Concepcion -> Concha / Cochita
Manuel -> Manu / Manolo / Lolo (¿?)
Daniel -> Dani
…well I guess you get the picture.
But what I find really interesting and fascinating are the other names. The ones that change completely and seem to have nothing to do with the original name. For instance the male name Francisco. Most Francisco’s will also be called Paco! It took me quite some time before I realized that Paco was not the “real” name, I didn’t know it actually came from Francisco and that was the real name. Same thing happens with Jose, most Jose’s will also be called Pepe! I didn’t know why this is, but I found it so fascinating I had to find out.
So I started digging, and it seems that Jose comes from Padre Putativo, father of Jesus, Jose de Nazaret. Padre Putativo was abbreviated P.P., which made Jose become Pepe. ( How you pronounce PP in Spanish.) I knew there had to be some kind of explanation to this! This is just the history though, I don’t think Pepe is used with a biblical hint these days..
I also found an explanation for the Francisco/Paco-situation. San Francisco de Asis (Francis of Assisi, in English) was called Pater Comunitas / Padre de la comunidad. Paco comes from PAter COmunitas.
If these are the correct reasons, I have no idea, but at least I got an explanation to a phenomenon I found most strange. Thus far, I have only found these two “strange” name abbreviations. Maybe there are more? Feel free to share with me in the comment section if you know more about this!