Chili Queen & Chiquita & How's tricks?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Sep 20 20:27:45 UTC 2006

I've heard Hispanic mashers in NYC address attractive young women with, "Hey, chiquita !"  This  happens especially during lunch break at Midtown construction sites.

  There's also the fabled Chiquita Banana.


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: Re: Chili Queen & Chiquita & How's tricks?

I don't have a Spanish dictionary, but I'd suppose "chiquita" represents a diminutive of "chica" ('girl, [attractive] young woman'). Furthermore, given the semantic similarity, many English speakers probably associate "chica" with "chick"; women often find both epithets offensive.

In any case, I happen to recall (or think I recall!) that "chica" comes from Latin "ciccum" ('something little, worthless'--or, literally, 'pomegranate seed'), from the Greek. English "chick" or "chicken," although the etymology is somewhat obscure, is purely Germanic.

So: "chica/o" is probably not directly related to the proper nickname "Chuck" or the older use of "chuck" as a term of endearment. And, of course, the name "Carlos" wouldn't easily produce the nickname "Chuck" or "Chick"-- or "Chuco"!


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 13:18:12 EDT
>From: Bapopik at AOL.COM
>Subject: Chili Queen & Chiquita & How's tricks?

>Perhaps "Chiquita" (female name) is relevant to the "Chick" (male name) discussion.

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