1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Dialogue Mexican slang for sister?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alesia, Apr 17, 2014.

    I'll admit it: my Spanish is not that great. Having grown up in So. Cal, I can speak and read the language to a fair extent, but I'm unclear on most of the slang, particularly informal slang for "sister." I know the proper word is Hermana, but I've also heard you can say something along the lines of "como esta, carnala!" as a way of saying like "what up sistah, how's it going?" Any native speakers out there care to help me out?

    P.S. I know dialects vary by region and country. What I'm looking for specifically is Mexican/Chicano slang like what they would use in the Latino areas of Los Angeles.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've just popped your question into a thread in one of my 'terp forums. Since I'm a little island boy from the Caribbean, I felt my Chicano friends would be better sources of current, correct, idiomatic street slang of the here and now. As soon as I get replies, I shall quote them here. ;)
     
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  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Chica?
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Manita is a common contraction of hermanita. You hear that one in PR too. For dudes it would be 'mano or 'manito.
     
  5. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    So then I would be right by saying?

    I knew about manita, but I was hesitant to use it as to my understanding that one is more in reference to a little sister, or can it go both ways?

    The speaker is basically a ginger-haired white girl who's been hanging around a lot of Mexicans, has picked up their slang, and tries her best to act like a Latina -- including putting on a fake Chicano accent. Kind of like the little wannabe gangsta's you see driving around blaring rap music and trying to emulate African-American culture.
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What if she is a Cholo? Do they call each other anything different?
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, this is being used correctly.

    You are correct in that the -ita suffix makes that word a diminutive, thus technically meaning little sister. But the Spanish culture is very fond of its endearments and in Spanish, this class of words is much, much bigger than it is in English, especially since the PC revolution of the 90's in America where many endearments found themselves tabooified.

    The diminutive version of Spanish endearments is much more often used to invoke a greater sense of intimacy/friendship/caring than in its more literal meaning of "little". It's also sometimes used as a kind of emotional manipulation. We have a thing in Spanish culture called the ay bendito (that's a whole other conversation all by itself) and when someone is trying to pluck your heartstrings for personal gain, they will invoke a bunch of diminutive endearments at you to almost shame you into doing what they want. Almost like "look how servile and humble I am being before you, almost groveling, how can you possibly say no?" It the same cultural paradigm that gives rise to syntax that Hispanics view as polite and proper, but which to an American ear sounds servile and uncomfortably syrupy, like: Este humilde servidor desea señalarle a usted... which literally means This humble servant would like to indicate to you..., but actually means I want to tell you....
     
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  8. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    So then I could technically use manita and it would still be correct? Because that's what I wanted to use because I think it flows a tad better.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Absolutely. ;) It would be perfectly common to hear in that context.
     
  10. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Awesome! Thank you! :)
     
  11. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I feel so neglected. I was being serious about the cholo question because I know a female cholo is called a different name and it is a certain lifestyle that Alesia might not have heard of before. The girls that shave their eyebrows and then draw this long thin funky ones and where certain clothes.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just to emphasize the truth in the above statement... Carnala is not used where I live, and frankly, it sounds awful to me. :( It sounds too much like the word for meat in Spanish and also things that are sexual (the carnal of carnal knowledge is the exact same word in Spanish). It freaks me out just a little to think of carnala being used like that. But there are lots of words like that across the Latinosphere. For nearly all Latinos a bicho is just a bug or an insect. In Puerto Rico you cannot use that word in polite company because it means cock/dick. For Puerto Ricans fregar los trastes/platos means to do the dishes. Everywhere else in the Latin world fregar is the F word. *shrug* :oops:
     
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  13. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I know which ones you are talking about, but I forget what they are called.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Chola is the female cholo, at least in LA.

    My brother tells me carnala is a 'homegirl' in LA.
     
  15. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Yeah, that's not what I'm going for. It's more of a "hey sis, long time, no see." type of thing. I'm thinking in that context carnala would be the equivalent of "what up gurlfriend!"
     
  16. Hilary
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    Hilary New Member

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    If they're female they're called a chola not a cholo..
     

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