Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

Hello again, Jose?

If you think about all the people whose names you’ve forgotten, it can be quite embarrassing. Especially for the people you’ve forgotten, some of whom were once important people in your life.

You run into them years later without recognizing them, and they have to remind you that they once saved your life by providing a kidney.

Here in Mexico, getting names right can become even more complicated because Mexicans often use several paternal and maternal surnames together out of respect to all their various lineages, with their paternal last name first like a middle name and their maternal name last.  And then first names interchanged with what are called nombres hipocoristicos or pet names. Francisco becomes Paco and Jesus becomes Chuy (pronounced Choowi), Eduardo becomes Lalo.  And Jorge Francisco Alejandre Rodriguez might even answer to ... George.

It’s a challenge for we elderly gringos when our memory banks have shrunk to the size value of a centavo.


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