The Diminutive

The Bolivians love the diminutive (the form of a noun with an “ito / ita” suffix.) It means that the noun is small. So I could say perrito (perro=dog, so un perrito is a puppy or small dog.) Here they add it on to nouns all the time without regard for whether the noun is actually small. It’s just the Bolivian style of Spanish. The old man who runs a little general store around the block is really into it. With him, we don’t deal in bolivianos (the national currency of Bolivia) but bolivianitos. He doesn’t ask for monedas (coins) but moneditas. In the spirit of the diminutive tradition, my boss and co-workers decided today at our weekend soccer games that I don’t attend Fordham, but Fordhamcita. The diminutive knows no bounds in Bolivia.

The Diminutive