How to Speak Like a Mexican: Blah, blah, blah

In English, when we fast forward part of a story, we use “Blah blah blah” (and a few other fun phrases).

However, I kinda like the Mexican version: Sha la la, Sha la la

Example:

  • English: I went to the store to buy eggs, then blah blah blah I ended up buying an entire cart of food!
  • Mexican: Fui a la tienda para comprar huevos, sha la la, sha la la Terminé comprando un carrito lleno de comida!

Much more sing-songy, doncha think?

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: Chancletazo

In yet another one of the fascinating mysteries of Mexican slang, I bring you… the -azo.

This phenomenon is quite possibly my favorite part of learning Mexican Spanish. It’s not something they’ll teach you in school, even though it’s part of everyday language. I think the reason I love the -azo so much is because it’s so incredibly convenient, yet we have nothing like it in English.

Here’s the gist of it: Add the ending -azo onto any tangible noun, and it will translate to something like “a punch/hit/slap with a …”

I’ll give you some examples.

Mi hermano me dio un codazo = “My brother hit me with his elbow.”

Le dio un cabezazo al balón. = “He gave the ball a hit with his head.” (Often used in soccer, it’s the equivalent to the English term for heading the ball.)

A "cabezazo" by Chicharito (the David Beckham of Mexico)

My favorite is chancletazo, from the Mexican slang word chancleta, meaning “flip flop”. Jorge uses this one A LOT when killing cockroaches. Le voy a dar un chancletazo! =  “I’m going to smash him with my flip-flop.”

A few other examples:

sartenazo = a blow with a frying pan

rodillazo = a hit from the knee

toallazo = a towel snap

puñetazo = a punch (from the word puño, meaning “fist”)

avionazo = an airplane crash

There are other more specific uses for this ending, but I won’t confuse you with the subleties quite yet. 🙂

Bottom Line: Add the -azo ending onto ANY TANGIBLE THING and it will make sense. Anything that could possibly come into physical contact with you. Seriously.

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: Ahorita

When I moved to Mexico 6 years ago, I had a pretty good grasp on the language after 7 years of Spanish classes. I would soon find out that in Mexico, there were thousands of local words and phrases that I had yet to learn.

One word that perplexes me to this day is ahorita. Most of you have probably heard the Spanish word ahora, meaning “now”. In Spanish, there are also diminutive words ending in -ito, -ita, -itos and -itas (depending on plurality and word gender). When adding these endings onto a word, it implies that something is small. So the word “ahorita” would directly translate to something along the lines of  “little now”.

I first learned that ahorita means “right now”. Ahorita lo hago would translate to “I’ll do it right now.” Easy, right? It’s just a matter of quick memorization of one commonly-used phrase!

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

For months, a Mexican might tell me “ahorita lo hago” and I would be confident it was being done right away. Sometimes, however, nothing happened for hours or even days, causing this gringa to get pretty encabronada. Eventually I was told that ahorita actually has two meanings… it can mean “right now”, but it can also mean “in a little while”. WHAT?

Six years later, I’m still bothering Jorge every time he says “ahorita lo hago“. My response is always, “ahorita, ahorita? O ahorita al rato?” (Ahorita right now? Or ahorita later?) Luckily Jorge’s ahorita usually means “within the next half hour”. I guess I still haven’t figured out the subtle nuances of the Mexican people.

"No te preocupes, amor... ahorita lo hago!"