CVIndependent

Wed10162019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Dear Mexican: In 1983 or 1984, I was walking home from work down Haight Street in San Francisco one evening and stopped at Watusi Records to look through the dollar cutout bin. I flipped through it for a bit and then stopped dead when I saw the Jonny Chingas Pachuco LP. I looked closer, saw what was written in small print on the license plate of the car on the cover (“se me paro”), and went, “Holy shit! I've gotta have this!”

The record (especially the title cut and “Corrido del Bato Loco”) was funnier than shit (and musically not too bad). A dozen years later, just after the Internet came in, I ran a search on AltaVista and got a single result, for a little indie record company in East L.A. I wrote to ask them if they had any more Jonny Chingas recordings and received a single-sentence reply: “Hey man, I think the vato’s dead.”

Running a Google search now, there seems to be no info whatsoever on who the dude was, other than his name, Raúl Garcia, which matches the credits on the original Billionaire Records LP: “R. Garcia.” In 200 words or less (to match your column length), who was this incredibly funny, talented guy, and what in the hell happened to him?

Ye Olde Gabacho

Dear Gabacho: “Se Me Paro”! Literally translating as “It Stood Up,” but Mexican Spanish for “I Got Hard”—as in, “My Chorizo Is Ready to Get Into Your Pink Taco” hard! By the legendary Jonny Chingas, the Blowfly of Chicano rap!

Man, I hadn’t heard that song—a raunchy doo-wop Spanglish retelling of a homeboy getting it on with his heina, complete with moans and mecos—in years. And I urge everyone to give it a spin, as it was a rite of passage for all Mexican men who came of age during the 1990s to listen to this rola off their cholo cousin’s Lowrider Magazine Vol. 1 CD.

Chingas’ other songs are similarly hilarious—including “Corrido del Bato Loco” (“Ballad of a Crazy Vato”), “Yo Quiero Tirar Chingasos” (“I Want to Fuck Someone Up”) and “La Dolencia” (“The Longing”), the most romantic song about blue balls EVER. But who was he? His real was name Raul Garza, and he recorded mainstream Chicano tracks with a bunch of East L.A. Chicano rock bands during the 1960s and 1970s under the names Raul Garcia and Ruly Garcia, but he achieved immortality with the Jonny Chingas persona. J-vibe of Dragon Mob Records produced some of Chingas’ last recordings—and, yep, Chingas is now cruising alongside Jesus in that dropped ’64 Chevy Impala in the sky.

Finally, sorry for crossing your 200-word border, but you know how we Mexicans are with imaginary boundaries …

In what state and city are the cintos piteados made?

Una Metiche que Quiere Saber si Sabes Tú Información del Piteado

Dear Nosy Wabette Who Wants to Know If I Know Information About the Piteado Technique: You’re referring, of course, to the belts featuring arabesque designs that are a staple of hombres from central Mexico. The most-famous city for production is Colotlán, Jalisco, but the best ones come from Jerez, Zacatecas—not that I’m biased or anything.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Can you please tell me something? How do you think it’s fair that all the people who come to our country and stay get treated far better than some of the people who have busted their butt all their lives here? Tell me, how is that fair?! You people take all the white man’s jobs and leave us wondering how to support our families, and you people have NEVER heard of the condom, because if you have noticed—I sure have—your trashy kind are taking over. And you would think that if you go to another country, you would respect the people enough to learn the language spoken, which here in the United States of America is ENGLISH! Please go back where you should be, and stop taking all the benefits white people deserve. You all disgust me.

South Carolina Taco Eater

Dear Gabacha: This is what I love about ustedes Know Nothings: Your aggressive ignorance of facts.

A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center revealed that the birthrate for Mexican women is falling sharply, for both Chicanas and mexicanas. And while the birthrate for those mujeres is still higher than the birthrate for gabachas, it’s expected, not so much because Mexicans are naturally fecund, but because immigrants in general tend to have more kiddies than native-born Americans. Don’t believe me? The Pew Research Center also revealed that the percentage of children with foreign-born mothers is as high as it was at the turn of the 20th century, the last time trashy, non-English-speaking immigrants came to this country to save the States from native-born pendejas like yourself.

I checked out of the Newport Beach Public Library a 2012 film titled For Greater Glory merely because my favorite actor (Peter O’Toole) was in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself watching a well-told tale of a dramatic piece of Mexican history—La Cristiada—I’d never heard of. It seemed a pretty cut-and-dry instance of good versus evil: President Plutarco Calles in the 1920s brutally repressed Mexican Catholics from practicing their Catholicism.

What surprised me was to then visit the IMDb message board for the movie and find some Mexicans who had viewed the film vehemently taking the side of President Calles. Are Mexicans not so hyper-Catholic as I imagine?

Bewildered WASP

Dear Gabacho: Just because one doesn’t side with the Cristeros doesn’t mean that one can’t be a good Catholic. (And, yes, custodians of Shakespeare: I just used three negatives in a language where double-negatives are a no-no!) And, as typical of Hollywood when it comes to Mexican tales, For Greater Glory grossly simplifies the Cristeros revolt—but instead of me preaching, I’ll direct you to a withering critique offered by Rudy Acuña, the legendary godfather of Chicano studies who’s still at it in his golden years. (He also just put the smackdown on the Mexican’s pal, Ruben Navarrette, and his bizarre attack on undocumented students.) You can find the profe’s piece here, and his summation is one that I agree with: Calles was enforcing the secularization mandates of the Mexican Revolution, which sought not to stop people from expressing their faith, but rather take away the meddling might of the Catholic Church—you know, that whole chingadera about the separation of church and state.

The Catholic Church, like today in the United States when it comes to Obamacare, took Calles’ enforcement of the Mexican Constitution as an existential attack on Mother Church, and the two sides butchered each other. Los Cristeros are still hailed as martyrs in Catholic Mexico, while historians nowadays consider Calles’ attack on Mexican Catholics as a continuation of the country’s constant conflict between the Church and its natives. But if you think Calles was a butcher, you should’ve seen what the padres did to the indigenous folks back in the days—simple facts that Cristeros fans never want to acknowledge, because those priests made Calles look like Blessed John Paul II.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: What is it about Mexicans and collecting old cars? I have three Mexican neighbors with middle-class incomes, but in each case, when the old car or truck wouldn't run anymore, they would buy a nearly new replacement—and then let the old clunker sit in the driveway up close to the house or garage ... for MONTHS! Hood up, radiator out on the ground, flat tires ... etc.

Flying With My Ford

Dear Gabacho: When my brother became of age, I lectured him on the facts of life. No, not sex, as that's for him to discover with cousins his age watching Tube8 on a laptop (as opposed to my generation of cousins, who'd watch pornos on scratchy VHS tapes while all of our parents were gossiping during carne asada Sunday), but on what would make him a man: when he could afford a classic car.

Just like our fathers and abuelitos in la patria weren't real men until they had a beautiful horse to call their own, modern-day Mexican males in the United States aren't real hombres until they have enough disposable income to afford a classic car, be it a bomb or boat. It shows you have money; you have taste; you know your way around an engine; and you have an investment you can sell in a second if you ever need bail money for some primo or other. We don't drive these often—you always need a dependable daily vehicle to drive as well—but a classic ranfla is so much better than the latest Lexus or BMW that every gabacho douche buys for their bit of conspicuous consumption. A la chingada con stocks: Nothing valuates better than a '59 Chevy Impala convertible that stays in the garage 360 days of the year and is equipped with an air-raid siren, custom rims and an Aztec maiden mural on the trunk.

Dear Mexican: Here's my question. I hope you take me seriously ... what's so great about the U.S? War, bad politicians, Social Security gone, stereotypes, drunk driving, gang wars, scary public schools, no respect for anybody who doesn't want to live the way they live, etc. I know my family risked their lives so I could be born here, but I hate it. The jobs aren't that great. and there's crime everywhere. How is that any different from the Mexico they left? Is the American Dream over?

Pocho Ready to Go

Dear Pocho: As I've written before, the United States basically is Mexico without Aztec pyramids at this point, thanks to Republicans. Horrible violence (14,043 murders in the U.S. in 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal, compared to the much-ballyhood narco-murder rate of 15,273 in Mexico that same year), an ineffectual government, stuck-up fresas who insist there's such a thing as “authentic” Mexican food—we've become Mexico in its worst manifestations.

But is the American Dream done? Not even close, as long as we have Mexicans and other immigrants who flee bad lives and want to improve themselves in the country where it's historically been possible. That's becoming harder and harder, of course—net migration from Mexico to the United States has been nearly zero for the past couple of years because of the Great Recession—but the American Dream will live as long as we have someone crossing the desert in the middle of July, as long as we have fake passports, and as long as people willingly stuff themselves into cars for the opportunity to hear their gabacho bosses bitch about how horrible life is.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Readers: My muchos apologies for this Best Of edition—I’m still at the rancho getting faded on the Herradura and stuffed with tamales, pozole, birria and empanadas. But this is an oldie-but-goodie even Art Laboe would appreciate: a 2007 piece ripping apart former CNN personality Lou Dobbs, who I hear does magic shows at Tea Party events now to pay the bills.

What’s amazing about this is that Know Nothings still cite the discredited stats mentioned here as proof of Reconquista. Need proof, pendejos? Just look at the sales figures of salsa! Enjoy!

Dear Mexican: Is Lou Dobbs right when he says that close to 80 hospitals in California have been closed because of the illegals, or is he lying?

Cabrónes No Necesitamos

Dear CNN: Dobbs is right to a certain point, and only in spite of his idiocy. The father of two half-wabs spouted off his closed-hospitals claim at least three times: in a Dec. 11, 2006, interview with Charlie Rose; an Oct. 18, 2006, CNN broadcast (in which he incorrectly attributed the figure to a spring 2006 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine); and a May 1, 2006, special on that year’s amnesty marches. During that May special, Dobbs said, “Well, just for the record, it’s about 60 hospitals and clinics in California (that) have had to close (because of uninsured illegal aliens), and in Texas. This is not a new phenomenon, and it’s just one of the hidden costs that the national, the mainstream news media, hidebound by political correctness, doesn’t want to deal with.”

Know Nothing blogs, radio bros and activists repeated Dobbs’ assertion as gospel, transforming it into an Alamo moment for those circles. Dobbs first discussed California’s shuttered hospitals in a June 8, 2005, interview with Madeleine Cosman, who had just published “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine,” an essay in the spring 2005 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dobbs identified her as a “leading medical attorney,” but the Southern Poverty Law Center later exposed her as little more than a résumé-padding racist who once said of Mexican immigrants, “Most of these bastards molest girls under 12, though some specialize in boys, and some in nuns.”

Cosman’s paper claimed that 60 California hospitals shut down between 1993 and 2003, and that “84 California hospitals are closing their doors,” using a Sept. 24, 2004, Los Angeles Times article as citation for the latter stat. Problema is, Times reporter Jia-Rui Chong never wrote such a thing and didn’t even mention immigrants in her piece.

Cosman, by the way, is the same “expert” who claimed illegal immigrants introduced 7,000 leprosy cases to the United States over the past three years, a fallacy repeated as fact on Dobbs’ show that he later retracted. And later, the pendejo stated on Lou Dobbs Tonight, “We would never have used (Cosman) as a source if we had known of her controversial background” when he aired her leprous lie.

The loco-est part of this mess is that both Cosman and her parakeet Dobbs have their figures relatively right: According to the California Hospital Association (CHA), 82 hospitals in the Golden State folded from 1996 to 2006. But in an August interview with The New England Journal of Medicine, CHA vice president of external affairs Jan Emerson noted, “It would not be fair to place the blame solely on undocumented immigrants, but certainly, they are a contributing factor.” The article by contributing editor Susan Okie, M.D., also revealed that illegals make up only about 20 percent of the country’s residents who lack medical insurance, and about 10 percent of the “uncompensated care in California hospitals”—10 percent too much, sí, but hardly the invasion the now-dead Cosman and still-whining Dobbs want Americans to believe.

Strangely, Dobbs has yet to mention Okie’s article.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Longtime reader, first-time writer. I need some advice. My wife (who’s a half-Mexican Los Angeles native, just so you don’t think we’re a couple of white hipster dickheads) and myself (who’s white, but an immigrant, so I hope that lowers my dickhead factor a little) have had it up to our orejas with our Hispanic neighbor’s music. He plays it so loud that being in our living room is like being in a bass bin filled with tubas. I have asked him directly (at 11 p.m. on a Sunday) to turn it down, which he did, but now every time he sees us come home, he either starts it up, or cranks it up if it’s already playing.

The thing is, he’s not having a fiesta. Ever. He’s a sad little man sitting all alone in his garage, getting drunk and scrolling through his iTunes. I don’t want to hate this sad, little man, but it’s getting out of hand.

Our Mexican friend informed us that the music he was playing was El Salvadorian and “really ghetto.” I’m not sure of the genre or origin myself, but it sounds like banda and cumbia made with a cheap Casio, packaged with low-res artwork and possibly sold at truck stops. See how depressing this is getting? If I were to blare the traditional music of my homeland at earsplitting volume every night, people would be burning effigies of Rush on my doorstep without blinking an eye.

I don’t want or need silence. I love music. I’m a musician myself. I just want to be able to have a drink and a smoke with my wife in our yard without having to yell over top of his music. Can you suggest a good approach to get him to turn it down? Call the cops? I’d rather not. Fight fire with fire? I have access to a PA system that could bury the whole block, but I’m not that guy. He’s that guy. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Not That Guy

Dear Hoser: You say you’re not a pendejo hipster, but then you prove yourself otherwise. Trotting out your half-Mexi wife as proof that you’re not racist is the first indicator (don’t you know that Mexicans are the biggest racists against Mexicans?), and then you say your tormenter listens to “El Salvadorian” music, a genre that must exist alongside “Britishtarian” at your local record store. Despite being a musician, you can’t distinguish between banda and cumbia, even though the former is a genre, while the latter is a rhythm, and then you speculate that the music is piratería—as if that’s somehow shameful. Then you top it off by name-dropping Rush—pinche pendejo gentrifying hipster!

Despite all these sins, I do feel for you. Your vecino is an asshole, especially after you’ve asked him politely before to turn the volume down, and he now cranks it up as a chinga tu madre to ustedes. Calling the cops is a waste of everyone’s tiempo, and I’m tempted to tell you to learn how to conduct conversations at ear-splitting volumes like any good Mexican. (Ask your wife.) But, still: You asked nicely, and the neighbor’s a dick. So do what any Mexican once spurned would do: Call la migra.

Dear Readers: As usual, gracias again for a wonderful 2012. Without your eternal love, hate and purchases of my books, I’d be just another Mexican working in an industry that’s going the way of the Olmecs. Feliz Año Year, and to a chignon 2013!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Many of my friends think I'm loco for playing with my dad the way I do. See, mi padre is now retired and living in Mexico, and is very worried that I am now 30 and not married yet, so he wants me to go back to where he lives to try and take an india from there back here to los EEUU, if only to at least look after me. I retaliate by kindly "reminding" him as much as possible that we are leprecanos (yes, I read your previous articles), to which he gets very angry. Everyone says that he's going to beat me up one day, but it never happens. Last year, I gave him for Navidad a bowler hat, an Irish soccer shirt and matching knee high socks. Let me tell you, he was so red for a second I thought he was going to explotar, but we still love one another very mucho. Are family relationships between gabachos so much different?

Concerned Green Bean

Dear Leprecano: Just a quick reminder for the gabachos and wabs that might've forgotten your ethnicity: A leprecano is a half-Mexican, half-Irish person and therefore probably the most raza borracha of them all. As for your question: Why are you asking me about gabachos? They're a bigger mystery to me than Mayan Long Count calendar. The one spiel I can pull out of your hilarious pregunta, though, is the idea of Mexican families in the United States sending their pocho sons to the motherland to find himself a nice rancho girl.

The intermarriage rates among Latinos continue to rise—the Pew Hispanic Center reported this year that 26 percent of Latinos marry outside their ethnic group, second only to Asians among America's largest ethnic groups—the reality is that Mexican immigrants want their children to marry within their old social structures. That's why a Mexican-American teenager's life is a perpetual weekend of weddings, quinceañeras, birthdays, baptisms and boxing matches—they're all staging areas for courtship. Of course, the best-laid plans of Mexis and madres usually fail here in el Norte, what with all the girls from Jalisco, Zacatecas and Sinaloa flirting their way toward every Mexican man's heart. That's why the fail-safe measure for parents is the rancho option: There's always going to be a third cousin in the ancestral village who's still a virgin, waiting patiently for pocho peen salvation.

Why do Mexicans all flock back to the motherland at Christmas for weeks at a time? They buy a shitload of presents, new clothes and basically check out of the USA. They blow their all feria, and then come back broke and start all over again. My folks are from the beautiful state of Chihuahua, and I cannot remember ever leaving at Christmastime for an extended trip to Mexico. ... Come to think of it, I can't remember any presents either. Shit...sucks for me.

Mexicana Por Fortuna

Dear Wabette by Fortune: Most of the Mexicans who historically made the trip back home to Mexico (I say "historically" because fewer Mexis are making such trips at the moment due to the narcowars and pendejo border fences) loaded up on presents for relatives back home, relatives that were usually poorer than them. Also don't forget the conspicuous consumption angle (immigrants want to appear as if they've found success, especially when going back home) and the fact that Mexicans return to Mexico because they're Mexicans and have Mexican relatives who still live in Mexico and want to see their Mexican relatives in Mexico because Mexico Mexico VIVA MEXICO, CABRONES!!!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: Why is it that many Mexican women hate on me for having an Asian (Korean, to be exact) novia? I notice this in a lot of places. We go to the store, and I get looks. We go to the movies, and people look or say things like, "Mira la chinita." I get looks from Asian people as well, but many Mexican women look at me with the evil eye. When I asked my co-worker who is Latina, she basically said it makes her and other Latinas feel unwanted.

I really do not see color lines. What does it matter? I don't judge others, so why do they judge me? My novia is a good person, and we are doing great. Her family and my family have accepted us with open arms—but, sometimes, we have to avoid certain places. The funny thing is she speaks Spanish fluently, and I am a novice with Korean. Many of the Latinas are hating, but they themselves can't speak the language of the culture they hold so dearly. I'm a shaved-head rocker, and I don't think people expect it when I say she is my novia. What's your take on this?

El Pocho Loco Del Burbank

Dear Pocho: "P.S.," you added at the end of your letter, "I love it when people talk smack about her, and she turns around and tells them, 'Entiendo todo lo que dicen, babosas.' It really freaks people out." HA! I'm glad she understands everything that the babosas say about her, too. And I'm glad that your chinita's parents accept you.

Back when I was dating a chinita (a Vietnamese girl, but who's keeping score?), her parents thought I was little better than a cholo-gardener-illegal-bandito, even though I dressed like a Chicano nerd (guayaberas, Chucks, slacks) and was a graduate student. (The cholo-gardener-bandito bit was only on weekends.) My parents, on the other hand, welcomed the chinita into our household. Then again, I've heard of situations like that flipped, so I wouldn't attribute Know Nothing relationship attitudes to any particular raza.

Stats on intermarriage rates between chinitos and wabs are hard to come by, which I guess prove your point—even demographers don't believe in the possibility of chinito-Mexi love—but I do know that Latinos and Asians are the two ethnic groups with the highest rates of marrying outside of their group, so your beautiful relationship is the shape of cosas to come, not some crime against nature à la a Mexican Republican.

Mexican women don't like your chinita? They're just upset no man is giving them the chile, period.

Why do some Chicano activists hate the European Columbus, but get mad because this Mexican (me) is not fluent in Spanish? Isn't Spanish a European language that half of our ancestors forced on the other half of our ancestors?

Apparently Slightly Pocho In San Anto

Dear Pocho: Shh! Don't introduce logic to a yaktivist! They might soil their maxtlatl!

Why do Mexicans here in Chiapas think that, because I'm a gringo, I will or am able to pay more for stuff? Nothing works, including, "No soy turista" or "¿Cuanto cuesta por los Mexicanos?" Now my pocho friend has to tell me to hide my skinny white ass around the corner while he negotiates the price for everything. ¿Qué paso? Do I have "tonto" stamped on my forehead, or what? Soy pobre maestro de inglés. No gano mucho.

Chiapasgringo

Dear Gabacho: You think that slumming it in southernmost Mexico teaching English to chiapanecos entitles you to everything Mexican, including easier haggling at the tianguis? Cry me a pinche river, Great White Padre. An American haggling Mexican vendors in Mexico is like a city bureaucrat demanding taxes from a kid's lemonade stand.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

(Editor's Note: This week, we welcome Gustavo Arellano's Ask a Mexican to the Independent. If you want a primer on the column, find a citizen-encyclopedia-writeup here.)

Dear Mexican: In President Bush's State of the Union address, he reiterated a need for a guest-worker program. What is your opinion of such a program? The program seems like mierda that screws people over in the long run to me, but what do I know?

Una Guerita Por Un Mundo Sin Muros :-)

Dear Gabachita for a World Without Border Walls: Sorry I'm answering your question—what, five years later? ¿Siete?

The sad part about my laziness is that the question remains relevant, and what Republicans once dismissed as Aztlanista claptrap from the mouth of Dubya (who will remain the best GOP friend to Mexis we'll ever have—mark my palabras) is now the gospel they're preaching after the disaster that was their outreach efforts to Latinos during the 2012 presidential election. It's been absolutamente HILARIOUS to see Republicans wake up and smell the tacos more than a decade after Latinos became a political force, to see them lamely prop up Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as a presidential candidate (the only position he's worthy of is being Secretary of Coños), to see gabacho pundits ask themselves what Latino voters want without having a Latino on their panels or asking said voters, and—most laughably—to watch them introduce the idea of resurrecting the guest-worker program.

Conservatives love the idea of having Mexicans work cheaply but not being able to become citizens, but it's an idea that'll fail as badly as it did the first time around, from the 1940s until the 1960s. For the last time, America: Mexicans are not just workers; they're humans who'll notice living conditions are better here and will want to stay here—how ya gonna keep 'em down on the rancho after they've seen Paree? A border fence? P-shaw.

While it's true some Mexicans might want to only work here and go back to Mexico, demographics and history show otherwise. "Immigration reform" without some sort of amnesty is like a burrito without the tortilla—and who the fuck besides calorie-conscious hipsters wants that?

I was with some cousins for a week in Lindsay, a major orange-picking city in Central California. They own a mini-market, and I'd go help them every day, and got to know some customers. Many of the Mexican customers would come in and yell "Agooshtoo" or "wey" to me and my cousins, and we'd yell it back, and they would smile and get their beer. When they would leave, they would say "a rato," and we'd yell it back. I asked my cousins, but they didn't really know much except that the first two were probably curse words. Any help?

Gabacho From Gilroy

Dear Gabacho "Wey" is easy—they're saying güey, which, as I wrote so long ago in one of the first ¡Ask a Mexican! columns, is the "ass" of Mexican Spanish, even though it derives from the word for "ox." But it's not a fighting word, and you and your primos should be honored—Mexi men use güey as a form of endearment among each other, à la the American English "fucker" and "man." If they really wanted to insult you, they'd call you puto, pendejo, baboso or—better yet—pinche puto pendejo baboso.

"Agooshtoo" sounds like a gusto (to be at ease), but it very well could be from an indigenous language like Mixtec or Triqui, since the Central Valley is home to tens of thousands of folks from Oaxaca. "A rato" is the elided form of al rato, which means "later"—in this case, they're telling ustedes güeyes that they'll be back in a bit for more beer.

Now that I answered your pregunta, do me a favor, and leave some cerveza on credit for my güeyes so they can be agusto, por favor!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Page 25 of 25