Thursday, July 30, 2009


A relic from the time when Mexico was closed to international trade and illegal imports (a.k.a. fayuca, fa-YOO-kah) were coveted by their quality relative to Mexican products.

Chafamex (chah-fah-MEX) is composed of two parts, chafa and mex. Chafa, which most likely comes from the English term chaffy, is used to denote poor quality. Mex is used to imply that we are looking at "the Mexican version of" the product. In sum, a chafamex product is made in Mexico and, consequently, it has poor quality (see Malinchista). The use and meaning of chafamex are very similar to those of "El Cheapo."

Ilse: Oye, está padrísima tu secadora del pelo. ¿La compraste en el gabacho?
Mimí: Nel, es chafamex. Lo compré afuera del metro.

Ilse: Hey, what a nice hair dryer. Did you get it in the U.S.?
Mimí: Nope, it's made in Mexico. I got it outside of the subway.

Note: As Mexico opened to trade, product quality has met new lows thanks to Chinese imports.

Ink done with a Schizophrenic attitude.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Fusilar (foo-see-LAHR) literally means to execute by firing squad. However, in Chilango slang it means to copy usually without any permission. The result of such copying is referred to as fusil (foo-SEAL), which literally means rifle.

Maestra: ¡Muy bien, Pepito!
Pepito: No se haga, maestra, luego-luego se ve que es fusil.
Maestra: Pues sí, pero normalmente te fusilas las tareas equivocadas.

Teacher: Very good, Pepito!
Pepito: Drop it, teacher, you can immediately tell I cheated.
Teacher: Yup, but you normally cheat by copying the wrong assigment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Piel & Cuero

The word piel (lit. skin) is used to refer to a very attractive woman. It is a spin of the old school term cuero (lit. hide) which is a reference to a very attractive man or woman.

Abuelita: Ay mijo, ¡estás hecho un cuero! ¿A dónde vas?
Nieto: Con unas pieles, abue. Presta unos centavos, ¿no?

Granny: Wow honey! You look gorgeous! Where are you going?
Grandson: With some hotties, granny. Can I borrow a little dough?

Beach volleyball is a sport in which many pieles show a lot of skin.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The term pacheco (pah-CZECH-awe) allows Spanish non-native speakers to grasp the difference between ser and estar. On one hand, estar pacheco means to be stoned. On the other, ser pacheco means to be a stoner, a pothead. Caution: Pacheco is also a common family name.

Also helpful to know:

La pacheca: the act of consuming cannabis.
Pachecada: something a stoner would say or do.

Mensajero: Buenas tardes, ¿es usted Pacheco?
Gutiérrez: No, yo nomás ando pacheco.
Pacheco: Déjate de pachecadas, Gutiérrez. Disculpe joven, yo soy Pacheco. Este cabrón es un pacheco.

Messenger: Good afternoon. Are you Pacheco?
Gutierrez: Nope. I'm just a little stoned.
Pacheco: Stop the stoner non-sense. Sorry, I am Pacheco. This dude is a pothead.

Apparently Gutierrez is a fan of cannabis.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hijo de papi

Hijo de papi means "daddy's boy." It is used in reference to a dude whose professional, social, economic, or political position is not the result of his effort or talent but a consequence of his daddy's intervention. An equivalent term is junior.

In the clip below from a cheesy soap opera, Roberta tells Diego he's still un hijo de papi. Pay attention to the rancor she coveys when she uses the expression, accompanied of juniorsazo--a more emphatic version of junior.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Originally spelled panbol (lit. bread-ball). Panbol was used pejoratively by Mexican snobs to refer to soccer ("the sport of bread bakers"). Nowadays it is spelled pambol or pambola and it is used in an affectionate way to refer to Mexicans' favorite sport (soccer, of course). It is not offensive in any way.

A person is said to be pambolero or pambolera if he or she is a fan of pambol. A thing is said to be pambolera if it is related to soccer (e.g. fiebre pambolera, soccer fever).

Lula (Brazil's President) gave Obama (U.S. President) and Calderón (Mexico's President) a jersey of Brazil's national soccer team autographed by all its players. By their reaction you can immediately tell who is pambolero.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Como huevo de perro

It is usually accompanied by: hasta atrás y cubierto de tierra. Como huevo de perro literally means "as a dog's testicle." Dog testicles are located at the very rear of the dog's body and, in the case of the street dogs that abound in DF, usually covered in dirt. Hasta atrás (lit. to the very rear) means wasted, utterly drunk. Cubierto de tierra (lit. covered by dirt) means that, being so drunk, the person has fallen to the ground repeatedly and gotten noticeably dirty.

Maclovio: Bueee...nass ...ochesss.
Venancio: Otra vez vienes como huevo de perro: hasta atrás y cubierto de tierra.

Maclovio: Ooood eve...ninnnn.
Venancio: You're hammered and dirty again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Taco de lengua

One of the most delicious dishes in Mexican cuisine is tacos de lengua, or beef togue tacos. The meat is so soft and has such a delicate flavor that it is only steamed and put on a tortilla, topped with jardín (chopped cilantro and diced onion), lime and salsa verde.

The expression de lengua me como un taco literally means "of tongue I shall eat a taco." It is used to express disbelief on someone's claims. It comes from the allusion to ser lengua, or to be a person characterized for saying things that are usually not true. In this context a person that is lengua is also an hablador, a liar.

Luis: ¿A quién crees que vi en Acapulco?
Mario: Me vale madres.
Luis: A Bernie Madoff, el estafador. Estaba esquiando en Puerto Marqués.
Mario: De lengua me como un taco. Pinche hablador.

Luis: Guess who I saw in Acapulco.
Mario: I don't give two shits.
Luis: Bernie Madoff, the scammer. He was waterskiing in Puerto Marques.
Mario: You are not more full of shit because your not taller.