Baboso: A slug. Can also mean “asshole.”
Why do Mexicans make up stupid names? I’m not talking about indigenous names that sound different, but when you say them, they have a standard pronunciation. I’m concerned about names that are entirely made up, like with extra syllables that aren’t linguistically logical. I’m also concerned about parents who name their children foreign names that they don’t know how to spell. I’ve met tons of little Mexican boys named Giovanni, but their moms or dads spell it Giobani, Geovany, Jobany. These spellings aren’t even phonetic in any particular language. This must be really embarrassing for them when they grow up. Also, I am sick of all the variations of Jazmin – Jasmin pronounced Yasmin, Yazmine, Yasmina, etc. Most of the time the J is pronounced like a Y when, in reality, the flower name Jazmin pronounced with the J from jalapeño is really beautiful. Was Disney’s Aladdin really popular among Mexicans or something? I’m also sick of all the Mexican kids named “Bray-yan” because Brian is a stupid name, even in English. What happened to naming kids after saints? Did that go out of fashion with the rise of so many Mexican-targeted evangelical movements? I’m just worried that the children of this generation will suffer because no one will take them seriously. --Linguistically Loco
Dear Wab: People bastardizing names is a hallmark of the human experience: the Hebrew Yochanan is the root for John, Jean, Juan, João, Ivan, Johan, Jan, Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Sean, and many, many other variants. And Mexicans stateside don’t use saints’ names in Spanish because – as I repeat in this column ad nauseum – they assimilate.
As the Mexican’s old UCLA professor Edward Telles and his Department of Sociology colleague Vilma Ortiz showed in their 2008 book, Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation and Race, the longer Mexicans live in this country, the more likely they’ll bestow non-Spanish names on their children.
No joke from me on this point – just basking at the satisfaction of stats proving the Know Nothing nation wrong again. Give up, already, pendejos!