I was speaking with a friend recently, and I remarked on how odd it was that most people do not know the meaning and/or etymology of their own name even though they are called by it every single day.

She mentioned she had a horse named "Carinio" (apparently it used to be a famous race horse, I believe). I thought it sounded Italian, but I have had zero luck in finding any references concerning the name "Carinio" for a horse or otherwise (the only thing I managed to find was a reference to Carino's Italian restaurant).

Does anyone have a reference for such a name (or can point me to a proper place to look for references)?

  • 3
    Could you possibly mean: Cariño which might be considered a homophone?
    – Jim
    May 19, 2017 at 0:29
  • @Jim I saw that word in my search and it seemed plausible, but I don't think that's it. Could be though. May 19, 2017 at 0:40
  • 2
    @DanielW.Farlow If I had to guess about the DV: Names are often considered to be separate from the language. They're not found in most etymological resources, and there may well be no definite answer to this question. If I had to guess about the horse though, a quick google search brings up this page, which talks about a horse called "Carinio 7", although it doesn't seem to be a famous racehorse by any definition.
    – Laurel
    May 19, 2017 at 1:02
  • 2
    I'm not the downvoter, but it's not hard to imagine that origins of surnames is not going to focus on the English language. SE has its own board for this--genealogy.stackexchange.com/--which should be more responsive. Enjoy.
    – Xanne
    May 19, 2017 at 1:27
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about the English Languague.
    – David
    Jun 19, 2017 at 18:10

2 Answers 2


I speak Spanish as a second language. Cariño - pronounced (kareenyo) refers to the child like sentiment of love toward say a teddy bear. There is no English equivalent. I looked the word up in my Spanish dictionary and it says - affection, fondness, tenderness, kindness. I looked in (http://spanishetym.com/directory/c?page=6) for root meanings. One lead says "Roberts (2014) believes the source was from cariñar "to miss," a word endemic to Aragon. Alternatively, the word may come from Aragonese cariño 'id.' Both proposed etymologies likely come from Latin carere "to lack" (see carecer a word which directly derives from this verb)."
Since in Spanish cariño has the masculine "o" ending - I thought it odd since words associated with intimacy are linguistically a more feminine trait in Spanish. I would expect the word to end in "a".

Perhaps this word is associated with "caress" in English. Chambers Etymological Dictionary points to (Italian) carezza - endearment, (Latin) carus - dear [see charity]

  • You write that cariño is pronounced "kareenyo" but in Spanish it would be pronounced [kaˈɾiɲo] not [kʰəˈɻʷinjoʊ̯] as it would be in English. There are quite a few differences there with almost every phoneme being differently realized phonetically.
    – tchrist
    May 20, 2017 at 16:11
  • 'Cariño' in Spanish (pronounced 'kareenyo' in English) is used as an affectionate appellation in rhe same way as ''Dear' , 'Darling', 'Honey', 'Love' etc in English.
    – grateful
    May 20, 2017 at 16:35

if you take a look at the town of Cariño in Galicia you will note its kidney like shape. The word would seem to mean 'affectionate'.
go to wales you will see Ca'er/cadair at the beginning of placenames. In Ireland you will find caher. it means seat or chair from cathaoir. There is always a fort near by like cahersiveen for example. Riño means kidney. originally it may have been caer-riño. high seat shaped like a kidney.

Qatar cathar catherginians

Aerial view of town of Cariino


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