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Chasing The American Dream

June 26, 2005


I studied Spanish from sixth grade through my freshman year in college. The only time I didn't get an A was in my senior year in high school when I was thrown into A.P. Spanish class where you couldn't speak any English. That coupled with a bad case of senioritis caused me to receive my first D ever.
That grade pretty much told me I couldn't read and speak fluent Spanish. Nevertheless, I could speak and understand the language pretty well.

That was then. Nowadays, the expression "if you don't use it you lose it," comes to mind. Man, I've forgotten so much, but it's been fun practicing and relearning. For the past two months, I've been working near downtown Miami for a client where Spanish is the predominant language. I've come across Spaniards, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Chileans, and Agrentineans just to name a few.

It seems all of these cultures have something in common. Everybody's got a nickname, a term of endearment perhaps. I've even got one. So from now on, you can call me El Flaco. Want to know what it means? Of course you do. But I'm not gonna make it *that* easy for you. You'll have to look it up. OK, OK, here's a little hint.


  • don't knock it....better than El Gordo. Unless we're talking about cocks.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 5:34 PM, June 26, 2005  

  • Yes, LX. It is. But I asked them what they call this overweight fellow. "El Gordo," I asked? They said no, that would be insulting. Huh? It's ok to call someone skinny but not ok to call someone fat? There's something wrong with that.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:42 PM, June 26, 2005  

  • Using "el gordo" would be akin to calling someone "fatty" whereas "el flaco" althought it means thin to us, implies more of a "he/she could use more meat on their bones". It's a more endearing term because it means they want to cook for you to fatten you up.

    By Blogger Jewels, at 5:08 AM, June 27, 2005  

  • However, I understand "Gordito" is more loving in nature.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 PM, June 27, 2005  

  • Hahaha..... Gordito....how cute.

    PLANT, You should be flattered that you were given a nickname, obviously that must mean the Latinos like you ;)

    Not to nitpick, but Colombians is not spelled with a 'U.' And you know why I know that, right?

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 5:16 PM, June 27, 2005  

  • The girls want to take care of you my man! It's the nature of a hispanic woman to do that!

    I'll just call you El querido, and you can look that one up!


    By Blogger Mari, at 2:09 AM, July 05, 2005  

  • Hey, at least it doesn't mean "The Flake," which is what it looks like.

    By Blogger PepGiraffe, at 6:25 PM, July 06, 2005  

  • Calling someone fat in English is offensive, but you have to keep in mind that cultures differ. Calling someone Gordo isn't considered offensive.

    I dated a Puerto Rican for a while who shared a house with an Argentinian, a Chilean, and an Uruguayan and they had a very dear friend named Richard. Richard was fat and everyone called him Gordo. No insult was intended and Richard (I forget where he was from, but he was latino also) never took offense. As an American, I always had a hard time with it. I just called him Richard.

    After having lived in Mexico for several years, it wouldn't bother my delicate senses these days. I would be comfortable with it.

    As for flaco, it can also be used for someone who's fat. Obviously it's meant to be a joke... One of my co-workers (our boss and a co-worker were both Peruvian) had the nickname of flaco, but he was anything but. He wasn't fat, but he was big and tall. Oddly enough, he's seriously flaco these days. Hardly recognize him.

    By Blogger Pedrito, at 6:24 PM, August 16, 2007  

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