Pancho – Translation, and Meaning in English

When using Mexican slang, you may hear the word Pancho which could be referring to one of the nicknames of ‘Francisco’. However, in other contexts, this word could also be used to express that someone is ‘making a scene’. It’s also a synonym of ‘calm’ or ‘relaxed’. 

What does ‘Pancho’ mean?

  • Translation #1: ‘Pancho’ is a nickname for the given name ‘Francisco’. 
  • Translation #2: In Mexican slang, pancho is a word that we use to say ‘make a scene’. 
  • Translation #3: This word can also be used as a synonym of ‘tranquilo’ or ‘despreocupado’. As a result, it can be translated as ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’ or ‘unconcerned’

How and When to use ‘Pancho’?

  • As a nickname for ‘Francisco’. This is one of the most common nicknames for ‘Francisco’. We can also use the feminine form Pancha if the given name is Francisca. Keep in mind that these nicknames are appropriate in informal conversations or with people who you’re friends with.   
  • To express that someone is ‘making a scene’. In Mexican slang, this word is used to say that a person is being dramatic. In this context, ‘pancho’ will work together with the verb ‘hacer’. Hacer pancho is an informal way to say ‘to make a scene’.
  • As a synonym of ‘calm’, ‘unconcerned’ or ‘relaxed’. This word can also be used in formal contexts to describe a person that is ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’ or ‘unworried’. However, when using pancho in this situation, you’re not describing a positive attitude. Instead, you’re saying that this person isn’t troubled even if they are dealing with a bad situation. 


The following are some examples that will help you understand when and how to use this word correctly. 

As a nickname for Francisco

Keep in mind that although ‘Pancho’ is very common in Spanish for this situation, you may not find a direct translation into English. 

Pancho y yo vamos a ir a estudiar español Pancho and I are going to go study Spanish

Dile a Pancho que lo veo mañana a las 10 Tell Pancho that I will see him tomorrow at 10

To express that someone is making a scene

As mentioned before, in order to use ‘pancho’ with this meaning, you need to add to your phrase the verb hacer. Here are some examples: 

Karla me hizo un pancho porque no la invité al cine Karla made a scene because I didn’t invite her to the movies

A mis hermanas no les gusta hacer panchos cuando están enojadas My sisters don’t like to make a scene when they’re upset

As a synonym of ‘calm’, ‘unconcerned’ or ‘relaxed’

In formal Spanish, pancho works as an adjective to describe a calm person. Be aware that in this context, you will need to match ‘pancho’ in gender and number with the noun. 

Tenemos muchas cosas que hacer y tú bien pancho viendo la tele We have a lot to do and you’re so calm watching TV

Ayer perdimos nuestras maletas y Mariana bien pancha nos dejó hacer todo Yesterday, we lost our luggage and Mariana let us do everything. She wasn’t worried.

Who Can You Use ‘Pancho’ With?

Pancho as a nickname is only used by people who are friends with a Francisco. However, if this person is a girl, we don’t use this nickname a lot unless we’re talking about an elderly woman. 

Hacer pancho is an expression that is only used in Mexican slang, as a result, it’s only used in informal situations. 

And, finally, pancho as a synonym of ‘calm’, ‘relaxed or ‘unworried’ is appropriate in all contexts, just keep in mind that it doesn’t imply a good attitude. 

Other Ways to Say ‘Pancho’

Here are other synonyms that you can use to replace ‘pancho’ if needed.

  • Paco  This is another popular nickname for ‘Francisco’, as a result, you can use it instead of ‘Pancho’. Here, I’ll give you the most common Mexican nicknames that we use with our friends.
  • Hacer drama This phrase is a standard expression that you can use to replace ‘hacer pancho’. 
  • Hacer una escena → Hacer una escena is the direct translation of ‘to make a scene’. As a result, it would be the formal version of ‘hacer un pancho’. 
  • Tranquilo This is the Spanish word for ‘calm’ and a synonym of ‘pancho’
  • Concha → Concha is a Mexican slang word that we use as a synonym of ‘pancho’ when referring to someone being ‘calm’ or ‘unworried’. 

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

Recent Posts

Pin It on Pinterest