‘Flaquito’ / ‘Flaquita’ – Meaning / In English

In short – ‘Flaquito’ is the diminutive of ‘flaco’, which means ‘skinny’ in English, and if you travel to Mexico, you’ll likely hear this word in various contexts. For example, you might hear your friend call his boyfriend ‘flaquito’, or go to a family party where everyone calls their youngest cousin ‘flaquita’ – even if neither is actually of slim build.

But don’t get all flustered just yet! I’m going to explain everything there is to know about this expression, so you’ll know EXACTLY what´s going on the next time someone greets you with an ‘¡Hola, flaquito!’.

Let’s dive right in!

Uses / Meanings of ‘flaquito’ / ‘flaquita’ in Spanish

Flaquito / Flaquita’ can be used in the following ways –

  • As a diminutive of ‘flaco’ / ‘flaca

  • As a pet name

  • Used to refer to the ‘Santa Muerte’ (‘holy death’)

As a diminutive of ‘flaco‘ / ‘flaca

As mentioned above, ‘flaquito’ / ‘flaquita’ are diminutive forms of ‘flaco’ / ‘flaca’, which translate as ‘skinny’ in English.

Flaco‘ is basically an adjective that can be used to describe people – as in someone who’s thin – or to describe something, such as a narrow object.

But why use ‘flaquito’ instead of ‘flaco’, you ask?

Well, because Spanish speakers (and Mexicans in particular) have an affinity for diminutives. There are many theories as to why this is! Some say it’s inherited from the Spanish conquest, when natives had to speak in an ever-gentle submissive manner, while others suggest that it’s related to the structure of Náhuatl, one of Mexico’s original languages.  

Either way, you’re likely hear diminutives aplenty when in Mexico!

¿Ya viste a ese perro? ¡Está bien flaquito el pobre!

Have you seen that dog? He’s so skinny, the poor thing!

Está bien flaquito el árbol de Navidad que trajiste. ¿No los había más rechonchitos?

That Christmas tree you brought is too slim. Weren’t there any bushier ones?

As a pet name

Many couples use ‘flaquito’ / ‘flaquita’ as an affectionate pet name for one other, regardless of their physique. It’s also commonly used by parents, siblings and even friends.

There’s often no real connection between the word ‘flaquito’ and slenderness; ‘gordito’ is the diminutive of ‘fat’ (‘gordo’) and it’s also used indistinctly as a pet name.

Una chica a su amiga

Voy a comprar un regalo de San Valentín para mi flaquito. ¿Me acompañas?

A girl to her friend

I’m going out to buy a Valentine’s present for my flaquito. Wanna come with me?

Una mamá a su hija

¡Flaquita! ¡La comida está lista!

A mom to her daughter

Flaquita! Dinner is ready!

Used to refer to the ‘Santa Muerte’ (‘holy death’)

For centuries now, people in Mexico have referred to death as ‘la flaca’ – because what’s thinner than a skeleton, right?

You can find this expression in popular sayings, traditional songs and ‘calaveritas’ (traditional poems recited on ‘Día de Muertos’).

Furthermore, there’s a growing religious cult in Mexico and Latin America that worships death. Their main sacred figure is called the ‘Santa Muerte’ (or ‘holy death’ in English), also referred to as ‘la Flaquita’.  Its origins are somewhat obscure, but academics point to the emergence of this cult as a cultural response to the atrocities of the Holy Inquisition during the Spanish conquest.

For example –

Los altares de la Flaquita son cada vez más visibles en las calles de la Ciudad de México.

The altars of la Flaquita are more and more visible in the streets of Mexico City.

Mi flaquito’ meaning

Add the possessive adjective ‘mi’ in front of ‘flaquito’ / ‘flaquita’ and you’ll get an even sappier pet name.

Just make sure not to get ‘mi‘ confused with the pronoun me as ‘me flaquito‘ makes absolutely no sense!

Un chico tras recibir un regalo de su novia

¡Mi flaquita! ¡Qué bárbara, te luciste! Gracias.

A boy after receiving a gift from his girlfriend

My flaquita! OMG, you’ve outdone yourself! Thank you.

Flaquito/a’ pronunciation

To say ‘flaquito/a’ correctly, remove the ‘t’ in ‘flat’ to get ‘flah’, then pronounce the syllable ‘qui’ as you would the word ‘key’.

End with either ‘to’ sounding like ‘toh’ (for the masculine ‘flaquito’) or ‘ta’ sounding like ‘tah’ (for the feminine ‘flaquita’).

/ flah kee toh /

/ flah kee tah /

Similar expressions to ‘flaquito

Gordito / Gordita

Just as you can call someone ‘skinny’ in an affectionate way, you can also call them ‘fatty’, regardless of their actual size.

Just keep in mind that this is only for close relationships; weight can be a sensitive issue, just as it is in other countries.

Gordito, ¿y si hacemos un picnic romántico el domingo?

Gordito, how about a romantic picnic on Sunday?

Chiquito / Chiquita

The same goes for ‘chiquito/a’, which means ‘tiny’ or ‘little one’.

Mi chiquita hermosa, ¡te amo tanto!

I love you so much, my little one!

Flacucho / Flacucha

On the contrary, you may also hear people say ‘flacucho’ / ‘flacucha’ to describe thinness or narrowness in a rather contemptuous way.

Ve nomás, ¡qué flacucho te has puesto! ¿Estás a dieta o qué?

Look how gaunt you’ve become! Are you on a diet or what?

Final thoughts

And there you have it! Everything you need to know about ‘flaquito’ and ‘flaquita’! I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the intricacies of Mexican Spanish and that it’s sparked further curiosity about both slang and the Spanish language!

If you wanna learn all about an even sassier pet name, definitely head over to our article on mi cielo! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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