Argentinians probably used the same diminutive, but Mexicans have slang names for everyone. Maria del Carmen becomes “Cache,” because she had dimpled cheeks as a baby– she’s now forty-seven and still “Cache.” “Cachetes” means “cheeks” in Spanish and “Cache” sounds real cute.
If you are thin, you are “Flaco” and “Gordo” if you are chunky. I don’t even know the real name of a priest whom I met in Oaxaca who was forever lightening people’s burdens by peppering his conversation with the imperative word “Animo!” — meaning “Courgage!” He is simply “Padre Animo.”
Yes, “Pancho” holds a faint echo of paunch, but that’s O.K., our Pope Francis does have a bit of an
expanse at his belt-line. He looks vigorous, though, and I’ll bet he can be tough as nails when he has to. That’s O.K. Vigor is implied by the name Pancho.
It simply seems that we have a new pope who smiles easily and is already like a member of the family. So, Pope Pancho it is! Viva Pope Pancho!