Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Afro-Latinx – What Should I Say? [infographic]

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — September 24, 2020 — 2 min read
These terms are commonly used interchangeably to address the Hispanic community. Below you will learn what each of these terms means and how you can best apply them, depending on the situation. 

Hispanic and Latino are used interchangeably, however:


Refers to those who speak Spanish or those who are descended from Spanish-speaking countries.


Refers to the people from Latin America. Think geography, not language. Not everyone in Latin America speaks Spanish.

Spanish is a romance language, meaning it derives from Latin, and words in Spanish are considered either masculine or feminine.


Uses the A at the end to refer to women.


Uses the O at the end to refer to men, or a group of men and women.


Is a gender-neutral term to refer to someone of Latin American descent.

Unlike "Latino" or "Latina,” the term Latinx does not refer to any specific gender.

The word has been included in English dictionaries such Oxford and Cambridge but not in the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE).

Latinx is mostly used in the United States.

Afro-Latino or Afro-Latinx

Refers to people from Latin American countries with African ancestry, or Black Latinos.

Chicano or Chicana

Is a chosen identity for people of Mexican descent born in the United States.

In addition to these terms, many people prefer to identify themselves by their country of origin. For example: Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian.

What to Say Infographic
Was this article helpful?

Join our member newsletter