Top

blog

Stories

 

Five Ridiculous Nicknames Americans Have for Mexican Food

Thumbnail image for tequilagabachoflickrfczuardi.jpg
Flickr user czuardi
While you will find no greater apologist for the American love affair with Mexican food, even I have my limits. While I understand language is a fluid thing, with the same viscosity as a big ol' bowl of queso, sometimes Americans go too far. While I understand gabachos don't speak Spanish as a first language, and the American tendency is to butcher foreign tongues, the following manglings, elisions or outright appropriation of popular Mexican dishes is downright revolting. Let the horror show begin...

5. "Torts" for Tortillas

mamastortillas.JPG
Photo by Das Ubergeek
Bad gabacho tortillas

I do believe this term was more prevalent in ye olden day, as I rarely hear it anymore, and I understand why it originated: people didn't know how to pronounce the double-l sound in habla, so decided to chop off that inconvenience rather than sound the fool. Of course, shortening the word to a judicial term is not only pendejo, but has led to far too many horrible puns demanding "tort" reform--get it? Tort? Tortillas? AHAHAHAHAHAHA...oy vey.

4. "Guac" for Guacamole

Thumbnail image for girl_guacamole.jpg
Of course, this girl can call it "guac" any day...

Another nickname that originated because gabachos couldn't pronounce the term, leading to all sorts of hilarious misspellings over the years. Unlike "torts," however, "guac" is a term that doesn't seem to be leaving us anytime soon--but at least it makes some type of sense, despite the fact that the sole syllable by itself is thisclose to guácatela, the Mexican Spanish term for disgust.

3. "'Dilla" for Quesadilla

No damn 'dilla, but a quesadilla

This is one I would've never believed could've possibly existed until I went to a restaurant in Missouri and overheard someone ask for a 'dilla. J-Dilla? Godzilla? Roc-a-fella? Really--'dilla for a quesadilla? Really. Again, I attribute this nickname to the gabacho refusal to learn how to pronounce the double-l--but, unlike "torts," it seems that gabachos now revel in their inability to bother to learn how to say that which they so love to devour.


My Voice Nation Help
169 comments
BightMi
BightMi

"tortilla" is derived from "torta" (cakes), so "torts" is kind of ok, but I think of lawsuits when I hear it.

Donn Law
Donn Law

I just love your blogs. However, as a Latino myself, I feel you overreacted a bit on your 'Roach Coach" rant, mijo. When I was in the Coast Guard in Long Beach in the early '70's, the call would ring out from the quarterdeck around lunchtime whenever ANY type of lunch truck came down the dock, "Roach Coach on the Approach!"

SickSnail
SickSnail

And while were criticizing races for the way they speak, why TF cant Mexicans pronounce shower or sandwich properly when the way they pronounce each one wrong indicates they should be able to pronounce each one correct? If you can say "chower", why can't you say "sandwich"? And if you can say "sandwish", why can't you say "shower"? " pendejos

gorditaheaven
gorditaheaven

Folks, don't want tacos for your next event? We cater delicious Gorditas made with real masa and filled with homestyle braises. Steak or pork in our delicious chile negro. Chicken mole and many more fillings. All of the dried chiles we use are brought in from central Mexico. Taste the difference compared to the chiles sold here that sit in supermarket shelves for months. gorditaheaven@gmail.com

pwzap
pwzap

I thought "dillas" are vegan quesadillas, you know without the cheeze.

merlinlacy
merlinlacy

We called all of the trucks "Roach Coach"  not just the hispanic ones.   Number one .... most Mexicans do not eat the food served in these "fast food"  places.   Many Mexicans eat fish and fruit especially if they were raised  near Guadelajara.  Many of my Mexican friends told me they had never eaten or never even heard of most of these foods.  I was born 10 miles from Mexico and raised in Los Angeles the largest Mexican city in the world .... outside of Mexico.    Please do a little more homework and you will find Tex/Mex and street food has taken over for the authentic Mexican Cuisine.

the_suedebear
the_suedebear

Or what about Calling Tortillas "Wraps",,,,lol

Guillermo Arias
Guillermo Arias

lazy S, call tomatoes= matoes, potatoes= tatoes, we don't do dat sheet. & we are immigrants

David Tanaka
David Tanaka

Cmon now you know all the Asian sh*t gets butchered up the same way! Pho=PO Tofu=TOOFOO etc etc. Be glad you are here & not in a state where they think Mex food is tacobell n Asian food is top ramen

Papereater Elisabet
Papereater Elisabet

1. Please visit a European country some day & then tell us all about how authentic, correct, or acceptable your pronounciation & identifying food terms were. 2. I'm pretty sure the factory-dwelling & construction-working "gabachos" in the early 80s had little to nothing to do with coining "gourmet food truck" as a term for glorified "roach coaches." 3. And being a gabacha myself, as well as a daughter of someone who ate from a, endearingly-termed, "roach coach" on an almost daily basis throughout the entirety of the 80s & 90s, I can assure you there was not a single tone of racism in any of our discussions about them & their amazing, inexpensive, conveniently located & probably roach-ridden existence. But thank you for projecting your racism on me. 4. 99% of my co-workers (although you would probably like me to refer to them as "subservients" or "prep guys" or "dishwashers" or "little brown oaxacan people") don't give a flying fuck what white people call their shit. Just like we don't bother to point out, laugh at, mock, or write poorly-articulated articles about the thousands of misspelled, mispronounced, misunderstood words we read, hear & communicate about on a daily basis. Because why? It's RUDE. And arrogant. Like you :] 4. Do you know where "apples" originated? Why don't you call them by their central-asian name? Oh it's more convenient to use a widely-popular term for it? (Mad cool points to anyone who has a. read this far & b. knows what the central-asian word for apple is. S a D, chilango. And if I didn't obnoxiously abbreviate that enough for you, F U & T M H Y R I O. I T F? U R SO MAD BRO.

Joseph Chavez
Joseph Chavez

How about black people who refer to tortillas as "burrito shells"?

Das Bass Boot
Das Bass Boot

Those damn bro-isms. But "tort" isn't too gramatically or phonetically far off from "torta," which is what "tortilla" is actually a diminutive of, correct?

Melissa Rios
Melissa Rios

people at my work say guac...its like nails on a chalkboard!!

Ezra Frida
Ezra Frida

Pendejasdas! Does anyone call burgers bugers?

Danny Medrano
Danny Medrano

Damn Gringos, now they want the change the language, charge them $ 2.00¢ extra on the bill at the Mexican restaurant. If they ask why, tell them , language charge.

gm0622
gm0622

Roach Coaches?

Seriously?

Those were the food trucks with diamond steel canopies that sold pre packaged garbage in the 70"s

lonhall
lonhall

just saw the comments about saying 'wraps' for 'burritos'. Bad news but 'burritos' are about as Mexican/Spanish as I am.

lonhall
lonhall

Oye, mi pinchi amigo, este gabacho entiende laespañolyhabla la (pues,labasuraloshombresdel"nuevomundo"llaman Español). But have to disagree that it is a problem how we mess with languages in EUA. Where would we be without chow mein, for example? Not that I would ever use any of these five pedos linguisticos. After all Chinese is a 'minority' language in EUA, while spanglish es la idioma de la mayoria en muchos partes.

John Sobery
John Sobery

Any food truck is called a roach coach. You can try to dress it up all you want. Even try and sell caviar and champagne from it. It is a roach coach. But, a street taco to me is referring to those little cocinitas that the old ladies in Mexico City set up and sell tacos to passer bys on the street, ergo street taco. Anything else is exactly how you said it, hipster BS. And if anyone ever says guac, dillas or torts should be punched in the throat.

Jeff Moore
Jeff Moore

Ever been to said commissary? Right. Let's all take a field trip. Pretty sure the health dept would find something to discuss.

Liz Sanchez
Liz Sanchez

yes guacamole is called guac here that's true. and Just like hispanics are poked at white people get poked at too. Take it lightly, i like all races, we each have something to contribute.

José López
José López

They have to shorten words to match other shortcomings! ;)

Juan Vasquez
Juan Vasquez

I don't think there's people in Vietnam correcting their friends, Melissa. "It's pronounced Hot Dogs!"

James Creely
James Creely

I want to just say STFU to people for their stupid shortcut words!

James Creely
James Creely

truth nugget of the day Kit :) shared (your first sentence here)

Rob Stanard
Rob Stanard

Preposterous, Nothing correct in this article. No one uses these terms.

Lyndsey Peterman
Lyndsey Peterman

And i correctly pronounce Spanish words...and learn to speak words i don't know. :)

Lyndsey Peterman
Lyndsey Peterman

I don't call them any of those things...my step dad is Mexican, have Mexicans in family, my boyfriend is Mexican, daughters father is Mexican... it's called having respect.

Jukes
Jukes

@SickSnail Mexicans?!  Why TF (as you say) can't AMERICANS pronounce "sandwich" properly?  Millions of native American-English-speakers, including the cooks on the Food Network, say "samwich."  The voiceovers on multiple national advertisements say "sammich" or "sangwich."  It's a simple, two-syllable word, named after a person whose name was not Lord Sammy.  Both of the syllables are easy to pronounce and are used every day in English.  "Sand," as in what's on the beach, and "which," a homophone for wich.  Sand-wich.  There is a D in it.  There is no M in it.  There is no G in it.  Once Americans get it right, then you can start criticizing non-native speakers.

klmchale
klmchale

@merlinlacy Sorry, but my very Mexican family made more than fish and fruit.  My grandma was a fantastic cook and made everything from refried beans (in bacon grease instead of lard...yum!) to pork and green chili to her own salsa (we always called it "chili"), her own tortillas (both flour AND corn) and tamales every New Years. I may look gabacha but I have good chicana blood, thanks to my daddy! ;-)

marafaust5
marafaust5

I call tomatoes maters...and potatoes taters!

merlinlacy
merlinlacy

@Oscar Martin Montes Molina   No quiero taco bell  en la Boca cerrado no entan la mosca .... Verdad ?

merlinlacy
merlinlacy

@klmchale @merlinlacy  Kimchale ..I was speaking about Mexicans from a specific area .... I only repeated what my Mexican friend told me .  He was raised along the ocean and advised me that Mexican people from different areas eat different diets.   I was raised ten miles from the border of Mexico and raised in and with many Mexicans   all my life,  like you that have been Americanized by living in the states .

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...