1 Vote

What does negrito hermoso mean in Spanish? Specifically around the the lower South America region like Argentina or Uruguay. I heard that "negrito hermoso" was a saying or phrase that people use for friends in those countries.

  • Posted Oct 17, 2011
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7 Answers

6 Vote

All right, since nobody is answering this, I'll give you my native point of view.

This means literally "my beautiful little black (person)".

In the Spanish-speaking world, it is not generally considered rude to address people by some physical feature of theirs; in fact, it is very common:

So it's quite common to call someone who is blond "hola güero",or "¡epa catire!"; someone who is heavy-set: "gordo"; "mi gordo", "gordito". Someone who has Asian features will probably be referred to as "chinito", and someone who is black, or merely dark skinned, will quite naturally be called "negro" or "negrito", as a term of endearment.

I think that to call someone "mi negrito hermoso", meaning "best friend" is a lot of nonsense, and in fact quite dangerous out of context. If you're male, and try to address your best buddy in a bar as "mi negrito hermoso", you'll probably get a fist in the face for publicly acting like a homosexual.

And if a girl addresses a casual friend like that, then this friend may think her intentions are not so casual after all.

Furthermore, it is absolutely silly to address a white, blond person as "negrito hermoso": they'd probably think you're being sarcastic!

I think this kind of expression is something that a lover may safely say to his/her dark-skinned lover, or a mother to her dark-skinned kid.

Dark-skinned, by the way, does not necessarily mean actually Afro-black. Just as long as the person is not shiny-white / blond, this may fly.

Context can make a huge difference in terms of how this is perceived, obviously.

  • I laughed when I read about the fist in the face part since I could see how this comment could easily cause offence - FELIZ77 Oct 17, 2011 flag
4 Vote

Welcome to the Forum, Joe.

This should be easy enough to figure out if you look up each component in the dictionary: negro (diminutive negrito) and hermoso.

Keep in mind that while this expression will never be acceptable in the English speaking world in general, and the US in particular, it is perfectly safe and harmless in Spanish.

  • Right, in general it's just best to avoid calling someone a noun unless it's "boy" or "girl".. There are even people who object to the word "student" now. - rabbitwho Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • Boy and girl can definitely get you into trouble. Heaven help you if you use a noun A N D an adjective. :-) - KevinB Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • I cannot understand why anyone would object to being described as a student if they were one It is truly ridiculous! As for the words boy or girl I use girls and guys in England generally and among young people and have seldom recived any complaints in ov - FELIZ77 Oct 17, 2011 flag
1 Vote

I just talked to someone from Uruguay and he said that females use it often, but towards friends mostly.

That is so incredibly weird to me. Every time I've heard the expression "negrito hermoso" it has never been between 'friends'. I've heard my Colombian friend call her husband "negrito hermoso" in such a sexy way it made my knees buckle. I've heard many husbands and wives use this term, but never 'just friends'. Interesting, I've learned something new I guess.

  • It can mean either in Uruguay. It can mean the person has a good heart apparently, or the person is beautiful person (on the inside) - JoeHerring Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • In England such a term would be considered an insult if said to a complete stranger, and be questionable towards an acquaintance, Infact,You would need to know a person very well to use it at all (in private) let alone in public - FELIZ77 Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • Interesting to know Joe, thanks for checking it out. - Jack-OBrien Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • Since I have never been to Uruguay, Joe, I am unable to contradict you with any digree of certainty. I have never heard such an expression from my Uruguayan friends, however, and my Latin American experience forces me to find your explanation ... - Gekkosan Oct 17, 2011 flag
  • ...highly doubtful, although I'm willing to accept and learn something new, if I can be shown to be wrong. A quick search for "uruguay + 'negrito hermoso'" in Google does nothing to dispel my deep scepticism, though. - Gekkosan Oct 17, 2011 flag
1 Vote

It is true that in Spanish speaking countries, mostly in Latin America, is normal to give people a nickname from some physical feature (something unacceptable in English countries).

So, even famous people may be called as "el negro (name)", "el gordo...", etc.

There was a famous Argentinian singer called "la negra Sosa" because of her darkish complexion of aboriginal descend in a very affectionate way, I know because when I went there I heard people say it and explained this to me.

0 Vote

It certainly sounds like a complement to me 'bold and beautiful' grin

  • at least that is what a double click gave me, seems from other posts that is not entirely accurate. - MaryMcc Oct 18, 2011 flag
0 Vote

I asked some people from Uruguay, it's something you say to a friend, not a lover. That's very different from Mexico where it means beautiful, or handsome person. In Mexico it seems to be something used to show attraction. On the other hand, in Uruguay it's a phrase or saying that is used towards a friend. It's kind of like saying good person or something like that. In Uruguay, "Negrito Hermoso" is equivalent to best friend. That's strange how different the meanings are. If anything has anything to add that would be appreciated.

0 Vote

I just talked to someone from Uruguay and he said that females use it often, but towards friends mostly. It is more of a phrase in that country. I guess it means the person is a beautiful or good person. It's applying to the person's character. In Uruguay, it can be applied to looks apparently, but not often like in Mexico. He also said that men don't use it towards other men.

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