Chiquita – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Do you have a friend who’s particularly short and you want a nice nickname for them? Or do you have a little girl in your life and want something cute to call her? In that case, “Chiquita” may be just what you need.

While you may associate Chiquita with bananas, this word actually has a myriad of other usages.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The phrase “Chiquita” is used to refer to someone- usually a female- who is particularly small or petite. It can also be used to refer to a child. While it is usually a term of endearment or a cute nickname, it can also be used as an insult. The word Chiquita in Spanish literally translates to petite.

You may call someone “Chiquita” when they are much shorter than you or most other people, or if they are particularly skinny. You may also call someone “Chiquita” when they appear to be or are young. It may also be used by some to refer to a girlfriend or significant other.

Example Usage

“Look at that Chiquita. She’s barely five feet tall”.

“She’s a Chiquita. She weighs less than 100 pounds”.

“That Chiquita looks very young. She probably isn’t even 18 yet”.

“Hey, Chiquita. You look good today”.

“You are my little Chiquita, but you have a big heart”.

“Right now you are Chiquita, but you may grow with the right meal plan”.

Origin

Translated from Spanish, the phrase “Chiquita” means “small or petite”. The term was originally used to refer to a young girl, but grew to also encompass a woman who may be a little older but is small or skinny in stature. Though it is also the name of a brand of bananas, its use in that way is not what made the term popular.

The word has been around as long as the Spanish language and can be found in text from various Spanish cultures. The word Chiquita can be found as far back as the Spanish inquisition and beyond.

Phrases Similar to Chiquita

  • Little girl/little one.
  • Half pint.
  • Young girl.
  • Short stuff.
  • Small woman.

Phrases Opposite to Chiquita

  • Older woman.
  • Big girl/woman.
  • Big stuff

What is the Correct Saying?

  • “Chiquita” – “Small” or “little one”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Chiquita

The term “Chiquita” is used to refer to a variety of different people. It can be used in reference to a young girl, a woman who is small in stature, or a girlfriend or wife. If you were to use it incorrectly, you would have to use it in reference to someone who is the opposite of these. An older woman, or a woman with a larger stature, or someone you do not like, you would not refer to as “Chiquita”. For example, saying something like, “That woman is definitely a grandmother. She is a Chiquita” would be wrong..

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Chiquita

If you were to refer to a young girl, you may say something like, “Chiquita, where is your mother?” or “are you ready for school, Chiquita?”

When referring to a woman who is small or slender, you could say, “you’re so skinny, Chiquita, you probably way less than 100 pounds” or “hey, Chiquita, I have your size one jeans ready”.

To use the phrase as a term of endearment in reference to your girlfriend or wife, you may add the phrase on to a sentence instead of saying their name or some other pet name. Something like, “are you ready to go, Chiquita?” or “happy six months, Chiquita”.

Other examples are:

  • I bet that Chiquita over there could fit in this space, why don’t you ask her?
  • It’s not often that we see a Chiquita male on this side of the city. Everyone likes to lift weights over here.
  • I am looking for clothing that will fit a Chiquita without looking like they are for a child.

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