How do you know you’re puertorrican? (an email i received plus some culture 101)

As you can see, its been a while back since my last entry (Dec.2009 to be exact). Not knowing of what to write about I decided to make an entry about this email i received (one my bf’s cousin sent me, that his gf’s uncle sent him) ,   just to share some of our puertorrican slang and colloquial verbs. The title reads “Prueba de Puertorriqueñidad” – or in english ‘The Puertorrican Nationality Quiz’. I’m not much of a FWD email opener, in fact i detest them, but this kind of quiz emails always get my attention. So obviously i read this one, specially since it had PR written all over it. For some reason these are always a sure laugh. For those that dont get spanish, well here’s a chance to learn a bit. haha

Just to explain some, puertorrican spanish defers a lot from other latin – spanish speaking countries starting with how fast we talk and specially because of our slang. You can probably see the existence of colloquialisms in America, Europe and just about any country/region in any part of the world. But of course, we do it better. Much of the Spanish we speak in Puerto Rico has been highly influenced by the North American culture. Being that our current status is a United States Colony (future 51st state) we have taken a lot of words that are used in the day to day from the American English Language and just adapted them to however it comes out to our convenient sound, called Anglicisms. Some have been accepted by the Real Academia Española (Real Spanish Academy, who are basically the ones that put the rules in the language), some are just badly pronounced/lazy english. Aside from those history & culture facts, we sing when we speak, we are loud, we talk fast as hell and on the way of doing so we usually omit some syllables or letters in words. For example- the “s” at the end of a word is usually gobbled up. The “r’s” are substituted by “l” when used in the middle of a word or at the end and some even make a german noise with them with the back of their throat. Perhaps the spanish we speak has lost some structure along the way but I like to think its whats makes us unique. Please take note we do pronounce Puerto Rico correctly, for those of you that like to mock the “Puelto Lico” its not even funny, thats like a chinese person saying it. We have some sayings and words that only puertorricans will understand of course. Like I said before, Anglicisms as are the words adapted from english to spanish are very common in PR.

So, Here Goes! Hope you find it as funny as i did, and if you understand half of it, Well, you know what that means! LOL

*If everything that’s good you say its: “chévere”
*If you say “Ay Bendito!” very often (really can’t find how to translate)
*If you know what a “pisicorre” is?
*Intense cold is referred to as “frio pelú” or correctly translated, hairy cold.
*Does your car have a “bompel”, “mofle” , “estaltel”, “espoiler”, “wiper”, “cloche”?  (Muffler, bumper, starter, spoiler, wiper, clutch- sound familiar?)
* If you refer to extreme hunger as: I am -“esmayao”
*If you have ever flown a “chiringa” – kite
*If you took your “merienda” in a “lonchera” – snack in a lunchbox
*If you’re naked, you’re “esnú”
*If you’ve ever danced “en una loseta” “apestillao”  “afincao” in a “pari de marquesina”
which roughly translates into danced really in one tile, really exaggeratedly close, intertwined in a garage party.
*Did you run a “velocípedo ” when you were little, or better known as a tricycle
*If you’ve used “chancletas” (flip-flops) or received a “chancletazo” (the act of a parent hitting you with a flip-flop)
*If you’ve left “grama bajo el arbol de Navidad para los 3Reyes Magos” – or left the 3kings grass under the Christmas tree
*If at some point in your childhood you were scared by “el cuco” or the “boogieman or candyman” which ever, lol.
*Called big exaggerated ugly shoes (like those of construction workers) “bodrogos”
*If you ” te eñangotas”  get down and sit as if you were squatting
*If  you use “el blower” -hairdryer
*If you’re a guy and can call your “panas” (close friends): bad words like “cabrón” (asshole) or “maricón” (fagot) with different tones and have it go from good (hey brother) to the actual insult depending on how they say it.
*If you know what “mayoketchup” (mix of mayonnaise and ketchup) is and can’t eat “sorullitos” or “tostones” without it..
*All sport shoes are called “tennis”
*All women sanitary pads are referred to as “kotex”
*All cereal is “cornflei” (or cornflakes)
*All blenders are “osterizers”
*All diapers are “Pampers”
*If a traffic jam is referred to as “tapón” (usually formed by people LOOKING at an accident or even a car that has turned off on the side of the road).. Curious people= “Averiguao’s”

*If you know what a “Limber”, “Piragua” or “Equimalito” is (different forms to eat ice)
*If you know that “Cocolo” is a person who listens to salsa
*If you’ve referred to your boyfriend “jevo” or girlfriend “jeva” (actually said hevo or heva in english)
*Know that “manganzón” is a baby huey
*Know that “zafacón” is a trashcan
*If you called every teacher you had in kinder through  high school “missy” while raising your hand or had a question
*If you know that a proper meal is accompanied by “arroz con habichuelas”

Ok i could keep on writing.. Theres a ton more for sure.. But thats about it for now! haha

I’m sure you’ve learned that you either are or aren’ t. If you aren’t hope this served as a 101! If you are then you surely had a laugh..


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