ASK A MEXICAN
¡ASK A MEXICAN!
Published: July 3, 2012
I was wondering if you could provide me with a word or phrase I could use with the Spanish speakers that their abuelitas would use to tell them to clean up their language. I also know, and talk to my students about this, that sometimes on the streets you must talk a certain way to survive, but in my classroom they must talk in a way that is practice for job and college interviews. Just because they are currently incarcerated does not mean they do not have real futures, and I want to do my best to help prepare them. Gracias.
— Creencia del Mejor en Mis Estudiantes
Dear Believer in the Best of Your Students: "No digas malas palabras" ("Don't say any bad words") is good, but better is "¡Ten vergüenza!" ("Have shame!"). Better? Combine the both. Best? "¡Cállate el hocico!" ("Shut your mouth," but more accurately "Shut your snout"). It's technically rude to say in Mexican Spanish — and that's why parents and grandparents say it to their young ones, the linguistic version of a chancla.
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