Chilanga + Gabacha = Chilangabacha

One of the biggest challenges of speaking Spanish in Mexico is not being able to express yourself as clearly as you would in English. You might be a regular Dave Barry spouting off one liners and clever anecdotes in your native tongue, but when it comes to Spanish, by the time you think of some hilarious pithy remark and remember what the past perfect form of “chinga” is, the conversation train has already left the station.
One easy way to gain self confidence and gain new friends is by making up new words and insults yourself. Some of my recent favorites include: Guanaco – an extremely handsome naco and Tiaguis su Madre – tell yo mamma to go to the store,and of course, Chilangabacha.

Let’s break this word down into its two parts.
First we have “Chilango/a.” Depending on who you ask it can be anything from an insulting term for a person born in the Distrito Federal, or an innocent apodo for anyone born outside of the city but currently residing here. The common theme is that it refers to a person who has lived in DF. So, for the purposes of this blog it can be anyone who lives, has lived, wishes to live, or will live in Mexico City. If you stopped by for a couple of weeks to get cheap plastic surgery, you’re cool too.
Then there’s “gabacho/a.” According to the most famous question answering Mexican, Gustavo Arellano, a gabacho is “a gringo. But Mexicans don’t call gringos gringos. Only gringos call gringos gringos. Mexicans call gringos ‘gabachos.’”

Add an “a” at the end to denote femininity and there you have it – Chilangabacha. Drop it in to your next conversation and see what kind of reaction you get.



15 responses to “Chilanga-What?

  1. Dew

    Chilangabacha nice “new” word.

    I recently add it to my “personal dictionary” but a little different.

    I used it like “querelanga” you know it means a “chilanga” in queretaro….

    first time in your blog and i liked it!!! sorry about my bad grammar I`m just learning your language.

  2. ¡Que padres! Stuck up here (para hoy) in the gringo-ghetto of Mazatlan, this is a great site for keeping me up to date on my calo chilango…

  3. Jademb

    Hey cuz i love your blog. I especiallt like the one about your grandmother. HAhah it was funny.just wanted to tell you that in the article you wrote about the guy living in the airport, you put her insted of he.Thats all. TTYL (hahahhah)

  4. Jademb

    hey cuz, love ur blog. I cant live without it. Your sooo funny. Yay.

  5. Mercedes

    So happy to have found your blog!

  6. chilangabacha

    Thanks, Ruth! I’d be happy to help out. Just curious, how did you find out about Chilangabacha?

  7. I wanna be as funny as you! I´m liking sanmiguelinga, although you are right, nobody says gringo but the gringos.
    Sue in San Miguel

    • chilangabacha

      Thanks, Sue! Its always great to hear from other writers. I still haven’t had a chance to go to San Miguel, but its at thte top of my list.

  8. Hola, Chica! Me gusta tu sitio; muy divertido!
    Hace mucho tiempo; vuelvete pronto.
    Con carino – Una Tia Gringa

    • chilangabacha

      Que chido que has visitado Chilangabacha, Tia Melissa! Tengo planes de visitar muy pronto. Ojala que nos vemos.

  9. williamlawson

    Saludos de Merida, guey!

    Aqui no decimos guey, decimos ‘hija’.

    As in: “Que onda hija? ” Ver más en (es mi tienda que te puedo decir)

    Ya vinistes a Mérida? Vi tu post en Frommers! Panuchos, salbutes y cochinita oh my!

    I enjoyed the post on your trip to Puelto Lico!

    • chilangabacha

      Gracias, Guillermo. I did have a chance to visit Merida back in the spring and I loved the region. I hope you’re staying cool!

  10. nashira

    Loved your sense of humor and your style!
    BTW /FYI, we ecuadorians call the gringos gringos… They hate it, though.

  11. Pingback: Gabachilanga? « Chilangabacha

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