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Which Words Do Mexicans Consider Bad?
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Dear Mexican: Is pinche considered a “bad” word amongst Mexican-Americans? Or is it like güey? Where it’s generally alright?

Mandilón in Manhattan

Dear Pussy-Whipped Pocho: Don’t forget that among Mexican-Americans, #fucktrump is considered appropriate for children five and over. But among Mexican Mexicans, pinche (which technically means a short-order cook) is still mostly a synonym for “fucking” in its adverbial sense; I, for instance, would never use it in front of my mami lest I get the chancla. But, like el Norte, Mexican culture keeps coarsening, making pinche more acceptable than ever before. One of the first news stories the Mexican ever wrote was a 2001 piece about how a Mexican yaktivist took out a radio ad calling former California governor Gray Davis a pinche güerito—a “fucking little white man.” Tellingly, the AM station bleeped out pinche so it sounded like pin-bleep. Fast-forward to today, and that radio station—now on the FM dial—regularly plays the track “Pinche Borracho” (“Fucking Drunk) by female duo Dueto Las Azucenas (a swap-meet version of Las Jilguerillas) without bleeping out pinche. What a pinche vergüenza.

 

Why is it that every time I pull up next to a Mexican in traffic, they’re bumping one of two things; either some polka-sounding stuff or Tupac? I like Tupac but it seems like Mexicans are single-handedly keeping his music alive. Why do Mexicans love Pac so much?

Confused by Colored Folk

Dear Gabacho: Tupac Shakur forever endeared himself to Mexicans thanks to his 1996 jam, “To Live and Die in LA.” In this ode to the City of Angels, he sang, “Cause would it be L.A. without Mexicans?/Black love, brown pride and the sets again/Pete Wilson trying to see us all broke.” Wait, that wasn’t Pac; that was Makaveli, since Tupac is ALIVE. Besides, game recognize juego, and Mexicans see Tupac as the moreno version of Chalino Sanchez, the legendary narcocorrido singer who was also assassinated before his time, and whose ballads made gangsta rap seem as imposing as the Mills Brothers.

 

History has shown that given time, all immigrants to a new country, eventually assume the new language. That being said, it is also important for Americans to help the immigrants cross the language barrier. Because of this, I do not understand why there are not more Spanish-language programs on television, not just for the Spanish speaker, but for everyone. Spanish Sesame Street would be great. I have studied Spanish and Japanese in school, and it has helped me understand my surroundings better. What are Americans afraid of? We flock to Mexican Restaurants. It would also be nice to see other foreign language programs on the television from time to time.

Bring Back Esteban Colberto

ORDER IT NOW

Dear Gabacho: That’s a problem exacerbated by Hollywood, which would rather greenlight shows about gangs and narcos than anything remotely dealing with the modern-day Mexican American experience. And by the way, there is a Mexican version of Sesame Street (well, besides the actual Spanish-language version of the show, called Plaza Sésamo); it’s called Dora the Explorer. Donald Trump has already announced she’s the first Mexican to get deported, since Dora taught millennials that Mexicans are actual humans and not baby-making cockroaches—a first on network television.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 
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  1. Thanks for the music recommendation, that’s a great song.

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  2. “History has shown that given time, all immigrants to a new country, eventually assume the new language”

    not Mexicans, there’s many who have been in the USA for over 20 years and hardly speak any English, they think it’s beneath them.

    English is the language of the dogs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @in the middle
    English is the language of the world, if they don't want to learn it, then who cares
  3. One of the first news stories the Mexican ever wrote was a 2001 piece about how a Mexican yaktivist took out a radio ad calling former California governor Gray Davis a pinche güerito

    Hilarious that a milquetoast libsoft like Gray Davis was receiving that kind of ire. Guess you can’t grovel your way to respect.

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  4. And in this week’s installment of Gus Writes Letters to Himself….

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    • LOL: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Tony
    Funny that all the questions have the same tone, like theyre written by some dicky white guy.
  5. “Which Words Do Mexicans Consider Bad?”
    Big. Beautiful. Wall.

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    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    Hmmm. . .other bad words for Mexicans:

    1) Papeles (auténticos y bien protocolizados en las actas)

    2) Indio

    3) Aborigeno

    4) Preservativo, condón, camisa
  6. @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Which Words Do Mexicans Consider Bad?"
    Big. Beautiful. Wall.

    Hmmm. . .other bad words for Mexicans:

    1) Papeles (auténticos y bien protocolizados en las actas)

    2) Indio

    3) Aborigeno

    4) Preservativo, condón, camisa

    Read More
  7. @interesting
    "History has shown that given time, all immigrants to a new country, eventually assume the new language"


    not Mexicans, there's many who have been in the USA for over 20 years and hardly speak any English, they think it's beneath them.

    English is the language of the dogs.

    English is the language of the world, if they don’t want to learn it, then who cares

    Read More
    • Replies: @laura r
    mexicans can work in the family grocery store or do house cleaning for thier entire lives, if they choose not to learn english. drivers tests, & voting are in 17 different languages.
  8. Tony says:
    @Sgt. Joe Friday
    And in this week's installment of Gus Writes Letters to Himself....

    Funny that all the questions have the same tone, like theyre written by some dicky white guy.

    Read More
  9. Cato says:

    Remember that old movie “El Norte”? These Guatemalan kids are trying to cross Mexico to reach the US, and have to pretend to be Mexican. They do that by using every curse word they know, in every sentence. Even back in the 1970s, Mexicans were the world’s most notorious users of bad words. The “coarsening” is not a recent phenomenon.
    Back in those days, I heard about “Calo”–kind of a thieves’ argot from Mexico City. I wonder if some of those words have worked their way into the mainstream?

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  10. laura r says:
    @in the middle
    English is the language of the world, if they don't want to learn it, then who cares

    mexicans can work in the family grocery store or do house cleaning for thier entire lives, if they choose not to learn english. drivers tests, & voting are in 17 different languages.

    Read More
    • Replies: @interesting
    i saw a funny picture once where in one frame there was a Hispanic man who had on a white coat, implying a doctor, with the caption "this man learned English" and in the next frame was Pancho holding up a basket of apples and the caption was "this man didn't".


    L.A. mayor villaraigosa, said to a crowd "we clean your toilets" and i couldn't help but think ....wow, is that all you want your Hispanic brothers and sisters to achieve?

    let that sink in, here's the leader basically saying to Mexicans that's all you'll ever be.....he should have been up there telling them like it is but nope just more of the same....
  11. @laura r
    mexicans can work in the family grocery store or do house cleaning for thier entire lives, if they choose not to learn english. drivers tests, & voting are in 17 different languages.

    i saw a funny picture once where in one frame there was a Hispanic man who had on a white coat, implying a doctor, with the caption “this man learned English” and in the next frame was Pancho holding up a basket of apples and the caption was “this man didn’t”.

    L.A. mayor villaraigosa, said to a crowd “we clean your toilets” and i couldn’t help but think ….wow, is that all you want your Hispanic brothers and sisters to achieve?

    let that sink in, here’s the leader basically saying to Mexicans that’s all you’ll ever be…..he should have been up there telling them like it is but nope just more of the same….

    Read More
  12. As a White man, I don’t care if the Mexican doesn’t want to speak English…
    In Mexico.

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