Could be translated into the English language as a sissy, pansy. Initially, both Marica as Mariquita were pet forms for the name María (Mary). Thus this term is recorded in the DRAE of 1869 as diminutive of María, and in 1884 as diminutive of Marica. It is not until 1925 when it is included for the first time the meaning of effeminate man. Despite used interchangeably, it seems that the difference between Mariquita and Maricón is the degree of effeminacy of the person against whom it is used. Although currently the DRAE retains the meaning of effeminate man and does not include the meaning of insult to homosexual men, it is a fairly common insult used against any man, gay or not, effeminate or not, and even as an affectionate joke between macho-man friends.
It is also the name given to the popular insect, the ladybug.
Variations: Marica, Maricón, Marieta, Mariquitilla, Mariíca, Mariconada, Mariconazo, Maricona, Mariconcete, Marimarica, Maruso, Marusa, Marico (Venezuela), Maricona dramática (Colombia, Miami, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico), Mariquilla (Bolivia), Mariquito (Miami, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela).
Read more: Mariquita. Gay Dictionary (Spain).