What does the word Chinito mean?

I was walking around with my Asian friends in Riverside, CA at a festival and this Hispanic looking guy who passed us said something Chinito. I assumed he was referring to us because there were very few Asians there. Is this a racist term?


The culture is kind of strange because when I see white black or brown people I don’t go out of my way just to point out their appearances.

The culture is kind of strange because when I see white black or brown people I don’t go out of my way just to point out their appearances.

8 Answers

  • <Me>
    9 days ago

    Lol- no. The term in itself is not bad. But the context could make it so.

    Like people above have pointed out:

    “Chino”: would literally mean something along the lines of “chinese man” (“china” for chinese woman)

    adding “-ito” or “-ita” on the end as a diminutive is generally supposed to soften it and make it very inoffensive and more “flattering” or kind of “cutesy”. Thats not to say that they couldn’t still have been saying something bad about whoever they were speaking of, though.

    Really, like you already said, its part of the culture. In hispanic culture, its perfectly normal to call people by physical traits, and in fact, its often thought of as loving. In the same way that english-speaking people will refer to loved ones as “sweetie”, “honey”, or “baby”, spanish speakers will call people “mi negrito” (my little black boy), “mi rubia” (like an anglo-looking woman), “mi gordito” (my little fat boy), etc, and the names don’t always make sense- as in, it’s not unheard of for a light-skinned person to be called “mi *****/negra/negrito/negrita” or a thin person to be called “mi gordo/gordita/gordito”.

    In fact, one of my friends is Colombian, but has “asian features”, and her mom calls her “mi chinita”, in a perfectly loving way.

    In the same way, I can’t tell you how many male hispanic friends I have that go by “Chino” because it was just what they were called their whole lives simply because their family and friends have thought that their facial features looked less hispanic, and more asian.

    And don’t be mislead into thinking that if a hispanic person knows that an asian person is not chinese and still calls them “chino”, they’re meaning to be offensive. Hispanics will call anyone who looks asian or doesn’t look but is asian “chino/a”,


    Mother: “Y como esta tu amiga” (how is your friend)

    Child: “Cual amiga?” (which friend)

    Mother: “La chinita…. ehhhh” (The “chinese” girl…. ummmm)

    Child: “Ah- Laura?”

    Mother: “Si, eso es- como esta?” (Yeah, that’s right- how is she???)

  • LiveLaughLove
    9 days ago

    Chinito means asian basically. Whenever a hispanic person sees a person they think is asian they say that. To us it’s like calling a black person black, or a white person white. It’s not racist or derogatory in anyway so don’t take offense to it.

  • Se Habla Español
    9 days ago

    Chee nee toh is from China. Little Chinese.

    Occidental people link any asian to China, because we can’t see much difference.

    Just like United States people link any central and south America to Mexico as mexicans.

    Is not racist, but you could take it as insult if you were not Chinese, Like saying HEY IM NOT CHINITO, IM JAPANESE or somewhere else. It just depends of your mood.

    Just dont get mad, just play the game. Nextime call him mexicanito or little mexican haha.

  • guido
    9 days ago

    It means Chinese, literally little Chinese. It’s kind of a term of endearment in Mexico for Chinese (Asian) people.

    There is also one for black people Negrito. None of them is racist at all.

  • steve lopez
    9 days ago

    It means you are a Chinese looking type. And it’s not racist.

  • friendlyboy
    9 days ago

    Only if he was mad dogging you. It just means little Asian.

  • Kary
    6 days ago

    a derogatory term

  • Smiles
    9 days ago


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