Pocho, Tourismo

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 19 06:42:19 UTC 1999


    From the OED:

_pocho_ (Mexican Sp. Sp. _pocho_ discoloured, faded, pale.)  A citizen of the
United States of Mexican origin; a culturally Americanized Mexican.  Also
_attrib._ or as _adj._
1944 _Newsweek_ 14 Aug. 76/3  A pocho in good standing will drag his fititoes
(feet) up the estrita (street).

    I've been going through some materials on Mexico.

SATURDAY REVIEW, 15 September 1951, pg. 61, col. 1:
_Mexican-American Slang_
   (...)  This slang is called _pochismo_ which itself is derived from the
word _pocho_, the colloquial Mexican term for a Mexican-American.  It is, in
fact, spoken not only by thousands of Mexican immigrants in the United
States, but as well by Mexicans living below the Rio Grande.  All along the
border, on the American and Mexican side, and as deep into the USA as Saint
Paul and Detroit, the words the _pochos_ have coined are of current use.
Some words belong to the everday speech of Monterrey and Tiajuana, while
others, carried by "wetbacks," have reached Mexico City.  Undoubtedly, Ciudad
Juarez may well be called the capital of "Pochilandia," unless, of course,
San Antonio (Tex.) claims this linguistic privilege.
     The word _pocho_ became of current use about fifteen years ago with the
publication of Jose Vasconcelos's autobiography "Ulyses Criollo."  To
describe an individual as _pocho_ is a mixture of affection and insult.  The
word was needed and stayed.  Better than any other it describes the hybrid
mixture of U.S. attitudes in the Mexican mind.
     Not a single _pochismo_ has added to the beauty of our Spanish language;
on the contrary the new words are ugly, hard to listen to, and difficult to
read. (...)

MEXICO REVISITED (1955), by Erna Fergusson
Pg. 20  The border speech is _pochismo_, a hybrid of Spanish and English,
named from _pocho_, a slang word for the Mexican-American.  Jose (Pg.
21--ed.) Vasconcelos first used these words in print in his autobiography,
_Ulises Criollo_.  Scholars hate _pochismo_; they say it has added no beauty
to the language.


    We have:

1953 Aztec two-step
1961 Montezuma's revenge
1962 Mexican two-step

     I couldn't find much.

TRAVEL magazine, May 1953, pg. 15, cols. 1-2:  Old expatriots, however, told
me that they have seen Electropura bottles filled from ordinary taps.  Thus,
the average tourist falls victim to the _"tourismo"_ sometime during his stay
the _"Toursimo"_ being caused by a mild amoeba of moot classification but
distressing dysenteric effect.

TRAVEL magazine, July 1953, pg. 41, col. 1:  Climate, sanitation methods and
food preparation in "manana-land" necessitate alterations in the American's
ordinary customs.  If such precautions aren't taken, the unwary eater and
drinker may easily fall victim to a common ailment known to menu-wise
Mexicans as _Turismo_.


    Over a year ago, I suggested adding "Dialect Oscars" to our
"Word-of-the-Year" awards.  It's free press for the ADS in all those
entertainment sections--we'd get new members.  No one was interested.
     Those _Time Out New York_ drinks are definitely _served_ at those bars,
which may-or-may-not have invented the drinks....Passion Fruit Batida
Brasileira was read incorrectly (as "Bolido").
     This NEW YORK documentary is over!  I'm free!
     The final episode was the same as the others.  "There had never been
anyone quite like Al Smith"--all the bad prose was back!  The extended focus
was on the stock market crash and the Empire State Building (and what F.
Scott Fitzgerald thought about them), leaving out the George Washington
Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, the New York Yankees, Jack Dempsey, horseracing,
vaudeville, Jimmy Walker, Fiorello LaGuardia, the 21 Club, Jimmy Durante,
Legs Diamond, Texas Guinan, the New York Graphic, the Daily News...
     I had meant to say that documentary ignored the fire department _until
the 1911 fire_ (when we finally learn there was an NYFD!).  As David Shulman
pointed out in American Speech, it was the great 19th century character of
Mose the fireman that helped to popularize the New York dialect
("Brooklynese").  It was from a fire company that William Tweed (and
cartoonist Thomas Nast) created the Tammany tiger.
    Here are some reviews of a program/book that never once mentions the Big

ALBANY TIMES UNION:  Burns unreels the Big Apple.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:  The Big Apple of Ric Burns's eye.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE:  Really Big Documentary on Big Apple.
COMMONWEAL:  ...the new program zeroes in on the Big Apple...
USA TODAY:  ...a lot of Big Apple to swallow.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Even Chicagoans who have a bias against the Big Apple
should come away impressed...
HOUSTON CHRONICLE:  Ric Burns' television history is bigger than the Big
PEOPLE WEEKLY:  The Big Apple's all here, and it's awesome.

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