Tom, Dick and Harry

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Here are some equivalents for Tom, Dick and Harry in Spanish:

Perico el de los palotes

Here’s how it works:

The first three are traditionally used together, although zutano has sadly fallen out of use. So, in most situations, only fulano and mengano are used. Their feminine version is, of course, fulana and mengana, respectively. And, for both male and female, the diminutive form is even more common: fulanito, fulanita, menganito y menganita.

Here’s an example:

No quiero tener un blog porque cualquier fulanita o menganito puede escribir un comentario hiriente desde el amparo del anonimato.

I don’t want to have a blog because any Tom, Dick or Harry can write an offensive comment from the shelter of anonymity.

Interestingly, fulano comes from the Arabic term fulān, which is believed to come from the Egyptian term pw rn, which means “this man.” Mengano comes from the Arabic term man kān, which means “whoever.”

What about Perico el de los palotes? This one is kind of similar to John or Jane Doe, but with a funny connotation to it. It literally means “Perico, the one with the two drumsticks.”

Here’s an example:

Name: John Doe
Occupation: Unknown
Address: 123 Main St Anytown, USA

Nombre: Perico el de los palotes
Ocupación: Desconocida
Dirección: Calle Mayor 123, Dondesea, España

We hope you found this interesting. Try to throw some of these in on your next conversation in Spanish!

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