Last updateFri, 10 Jul 2020 9am

Curse you Mark Zuckerberg!

Logging on to Facebook early this week, I was greeted with a personalized “Happy Friends Day” message, posted to mark the 12th birthday of the acknowledged leader in social media.

Mexican nicknames economize, simplify & extend familiarity

Chucho. Pancho. Nacho. Lupe. Cuca. If you live in Mexico, chances are you know at least one of these people. 

Have you ever wondered where their nicknames come from? “Many abbreviated names have their origin in infantile language,” explains Professor Jose Luis Iturrios, an applied linguistics specialist at the Universidad de Guadalajara. “The child pronounces an abbreviated name like Nacho [from Ignacio] and the family ends up saying Nacho too ... and finally as adults, everyone remembers Nacho ... [These nicknames] are already standardized and aren’t going to change.”

Mastering the Mexican Time Warp

Forget the dictionary definition, the most precise translation of mañana is “not today.” The term al rato means “in a while,” al ratito, “in a little while.” The word ahorita can signify right now, a few minutes from now, or any time in the foreseeable future.