Tocayo – Translation and Meaning in English

‘Tocayo’ is a word that Mexican speakers in general use when two people have the same name. As a result, this word means ‘namesake’.

What does ‘Tocayo’ mean?

  • Translation #1: ‘Namesake’. It’s a word that we use to say that another person has the same name as you.

How and When to use ‘Tocayo’?

  • As a way to say ‘hi’. If Mexicans run into a person that they not only know but that person also has the same name as theirs, they may use the word ‘Tocayo’ to say ‘hi’.
  • To reference this person when he or she is not there. When you have friends in common, instead of saying this person’s name, you just use the word ‘Tocayo’.
  • With the verb ‘ser’. When you want to introduce your ‘tocayo’ to your family or friends, there’s no need to say his or her name. Mexicans speakers only use the word ‘tocayo’ as a way to introduce.


Here are some examples that will help you understand the way Mexicans use this word.

To reference your namesake

¿Cómo está mi tocayo? How is my namesake?

Andrea y su tocaya fueron al cine Andrea and her namesake went to the movies

¿Sabes algo de mi tocayo? Hace mucho que no lo veo Have you heard from my namesake? I haven’t seen him in a while

Notice that the word ‘tocayo’ has to agree with the gender of the person it’s referring to. As a result, you would say ‘Tocayo’ for a male namesake and ‘Tocaya’ for a female. However, if a person of the opposite sex has the same name that yours, he or she will also be your ‘tocayo’.

Daniel and Daniela son tocayos Daniel and Daniela are namesakes

To name a person that has the same name

Mira, mamá, te presento a mi tocaya Look, mom, I want you to meet my namesake

There’s also the chance that a mutual friend introduces you guys:

Mariana, mira, esta es tu tocaya Look, Mariana, this is your namesake

As a way to say hi

¡Tocayo! ¿Cómo has estado? Hey! How have you been

Although the direct translation of ‘tocayo’ is namesake, in English, it would be a little bit weird to say: ‘Namesake! How have you been?’. However, in Mexico, is very common to use this word to name a person.

Who Can You Use ‘Tocayo’ With?

You can use this word with people that have the same name as yours. In this case, there’s no difference between formal and informal situations. However, tocayo is a word that is used when we are close or comfortable with our namesake.

Other Ways to Say ‘Tocayo’

For this word, we don’t have synonyms. As a result, you won’t get confused with other similar words.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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