First clear attestation dates to the 19th cent. A 15th cent. recording of ñonio is of unclear meaning. From Late Latin nonnus "monk," "elderly person."
Reconstructed by de Vaan (2014) as from Proto-Indo-European *nVnV "daddy," "nanny."
Cuba ñongo "indiscrete," Venezuela ñongo "insecure," "high-maintenance" (< Vulgar Latin *nonicus). Note zero palatalization in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua noneco "silly," which reflects Vulgar Latin *nonus with suffix -eco, indicating deformity. Also note 12th cent. variant nana "married woman."
Western Vulgar Latin: Italian nonno; Eastern Vulgar Latin: Romanian nun
Brythonic: Welsh nain "grandmother"
East Slavic: Russian njánja "child nanny" South Slavic: Bulgarian neni "elder"
Ancient Greek νάννας (nánnas) "uncle," "aunt"
Indo-Aryan: Sanskrit nanā́ "mother"
Double palatalization of Latin n-nn-
> Spanish ñ-ñ-
is unusual, though not unheard of, and may have been deformed by children's speech. This may reinforce the theory that various *nVn-
words in Vulgar Latin are of nursery origin (cf. niño