Colloquial (or pejorative ) use of the word, "mariquita"
On an Argentine website I saw the word, "mariquita" used in an apparently pejorative sense in reference to someone's body shape. Isn't a mariquita a ladybug? Is this a playful use of the word or is it meant to hurt? I remember quite well the Spanish sense of irony, especially in nicknames, but, I have a feeling this was meant to wound someone.
Can you clarify this subtlety for me?
I used to live in Buenos Aires and as far as i was aware "Mariquita" is seldom used to mean Ladybird or Ladybug. Its commonly used in a slightly pejorative word as a diminutive of the word "maricón" meaning gay or homosexual and could be used as an adjective or as a noun. I think it is best translated as a noun as " queen, sissy or poof (or even little queen)" or as an adjective as "poofy, queeny or camp" (Though maybe in your neck of the woods the word poof is not common as it is here in the UK.) So in answer to your question I think the word as used in Argentina is pejorative but only slightly though I guess it might depend on the exact context how hurtful its supposed to be!
Hope that helps!!
Yes, we English speakers definitely don't hold the copyright on that one.
I distinctly got the impression that they were implying a less than masculine appearance. I appreciate your prompt reply! I guess people can be nasty in all languages! LOL
Muchas Gracias por todo
Mariquita - n. ladybird, ladybug, any of a number of small and brightly colored beetles; sissy
If you got the idea that they were using in a negative way, they might have been calling someone a "sissy". It is hard to determine the intent without seeing the context.