Llanito, Yanito or Gianito? Gibraltarian actually

Dear Sir,

Llanito. The name Llanito has no place in the Gibraltarian dialect. The letter LL is purely Castilian, pronounced LY, and rarely if ever used in Andalusia.

The LL is as alien in Gibraltar as speaking with a lisp. 

Yanito. In the local dialect there is a high tendency of pronouncing the Y as a soft J as in John. It is unlikely that this nickname would have been spun by locals. It is more likely to be a corruption of the former nickname llanito. Don’t forget to pronounce it LY if you’re going to say llanito!

Gianito. This nickname came down to us presumably from the male name Giovanni due to its popularity at a given space in time. Never mind that a dialect takes a few lifetimes before it becomes established among a people with a defined identity. This is nothing short of a furphy. Sorry Giovanni, you missed out.

I am inclined to agree with the argument put forward by Mr. Joseph Lezano, that the nickname llanito was given to those who lived on the low lying flatlands, el llano. In the vicinity of today’s La Linea which is very flat and haphazardly built close at sea level, way past the then existing Laguna.

A friend who must have been reading about Gibraltar once asked what yanito meant. It was very decent of him to leave it as an open question. Not inferring yanito to be the name given by some to the Gibraltarians or it being the dialect. My friendly reply was that it is primarily the name given to the dialect spoken by Gibraltarians. I then mentioned a few words like, purish, tanita, piola, winchi, manchina, calamita, etc. followed with an explanation for each of the words.

Ours is rightly a dialect because it defines our place of origin. It is our very own L’Appellation d’origine protégéé! There’s no other in the whole World.

We may choose to call our dialect Janito. But we are Gibraltarians to the World and Janito among ourselves, if you so wish.

Best regards,

Manuel Correa,