Trending
MOST READ
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

News: The increasingly overt and bitter fight over VIA’s proposed downtown modern streetcar should have come as no surprise to anyone knowledgeable about San Antonio... By Heywood Sanders 7/23/2014
Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

News: If a petition meant to derail a $280 million streetcar project in downtown San Antonio isn’t successful, two... By Mark Reagan 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

ASK A MEXICAN

¡Ask a Mexican!

Photo: , License: N/A


Dear Mexican: Where did the notion of adding an -o to the end of an English word and assuming it makes it a Spanish word come from?
Juanito

Dear Wab: “Anglos have long held power in making Spanish and Spanish-speaking culture invisible,” writes University of South Florida assistant professor of foreign language education Adam Schwartz in his excellent essay, “Mockery and Appropriation of Spanish in White Spaces: Perceptions of Latinos in the United States,” published in the 2011 publication The Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. “But Spanish can be made selectively visible for the purposes of Mock Spanish,” a term popularized by legendary University of Arizona anthropologist Jane H. Hill to refer to what gabachos have deemed acceptable Spanglish—think terms like “vaya con Dios,” “cojones,” “mañana, mañana,” and “chinga tu pinche madre, pinche puto pendejo baboso.” As Schwartz points out in his work, the addition of the masculine –o suffix to Mexicanize English arose both from its widespread use in popular culture (think “No comprendo” or “Drinko de Mayo”) and by gabachos taking Spanish classes in high school and college and only remembering one part of the language’s grammatical structure to bend for their racist needs. “This reclamation by Anglo monolinguals of the Spanish language itself is indeed a fashionable act—there is something oddly chic and cool about embracing the stereotype of ignorant gringo,” Schwartz writes. And full disclosure—he was kind enough to cite this columna in the piece, which we find awesome-o!

Being one of two gabachos in my neighborhood on Federal in Denver, I'm wondering exactly how many Mexicans can fit in one car? This is a broad question, so assume that in a two-parent family there are six kids, three of which have three kids. The age range will be from around 50 to five months. We'll also assume that it's Sunday, and as many family members as possible need to get out on Federal. The car would most likely be a two-door Chevy truck, or a Saturn sedan on 20-inch rims.
Craving Some Chubbys!

Dear Gabacho: Depends on the situation—a Mexican car expands and contracts according to need like the Mexican mail panza. Car goes to church? Only women can fit in—and since they’re prim and proper, the max is 10. Going to a party? 25. To school? Just one adult, and all the neighborhood chamacos that can fit themselves in the footrest part of the carro. And if a car is going to a Republican function? It magically doesn’t fit anyone other than the vendido cousin driving it.

Like my Mexican co-workers, I'm a migrant to the City of Angels. In my home state of Louisiana, there is an integral distinction to be made among folks whether one is Protestant or Catholic. But ask a Mexican what a non-Catholic Christian is and they will tell you “Christian.” But, a Catholic is a Christian. I've inquired, and Mexicans don't seem to have a word for Protestant. In fact, there are many words that are basic to my vocabulary that don 't seem to translate into Spanish, i.e., “self-esteem” and “desk drawers.” Why is this?

Dear Gabacho: Of course a Catholic is a Christian—can you tell that to evangelicals? As for your translation queries: a Protestant is a protestante, desk drawers are cajones del escritorio, and “self-esteem” is tequila.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano, or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • ‘The Other Side’ Tackles the Impossible: Writing about trauma I didn’t take any notes while reading The Other Side because by the time I paused to pick up a pencil, I was already three-quarters of the way through. And for... | 7/23/2014
  • 7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... | 7/23/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): A report in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ says that almost one percent of young pregnant women in the U.S. claim to be... | 7/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus