Home Feature This is how we speak in Yucatan

This is how we speak in Yucatan

by Yucatan Times
0 comment

Mayan words used in everyday conversation – Part 4

Yucatecan Spanish is a peculiarity of the Spanish spoken in Mexico, characteristic of the Yucatan Peninsula. In previous writings, we have touched on how we, Yucatecans, express ourselves daily, for many, in an unintelligible way.

Our way of speaking is exceptionally different both phonetically and in lexicon and syntactic composition, easily identifiable among us, but different for non-peninsular people and even less so concerning the way of speaking in the rest of Mexico. This is due to the significant influence of the Mayan language, still spoken as a mother tongue by about half of the peninsular population, particularly those living in the rural areas of Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo.

Today, we will talk about the “mayismos” that form an intrinsic part of our deeply rooted everyday speech: expressions, words, and phrases highly embedded in our lexicon. 

Let’s start with a word we use a lot. Yucatecans do not say “Vamos” -let’s go- to each other when leaving for somewhere, but we use the Mayan word “co’ox” (pronounced co-osh) whose meaning in Spanish is “vámonos” (let’s go). Co’ox is to go anywhere, not necessarily to any specific place. It is also a word that denotes haste. So instead of saying “hurry up, let’s go,” we use expressions like “co’ox… it’s already late”. 

There is a word that describes a male who has exceptional sexual activity. We Yucatecans call this man of great potency and virility “dzizón” (pronounced tsis – són), which comes from the Maya word “dzis,” which means “to fornicate.” Hence, when a man is a “player,” he is called “dzisón.” The expression “Co’ox dziz” is formed using the previous word and this one, whose translation is more than evident.

We Yucatecans are not sad, depressed, or listless. We are “t’o’nan.” While this word denotes a specific mood in birds, particularly poultry such as chickens, which are sad, tired, and “don’t lay eggs,” this word has been transposed over time into our everyday lexicon. So the next time you see a sad, down, or listless friend, remember that person is “t’o’nan.”

One of the most used words by us Yucatecans, it is only two letters long. In a single expression, we can destroy reputations and express repulsion, disgust, and rejection for something or someone. That expression is “fo” (pronounced “fó”). Fo is the name for that which causes disgust, or repulsion. In other places, the equivalent of this same word would be “yuck.”

An example would be. “Let’s go to eat at a restaurant “X.” Fo no… that place is disgusting”. Another example would be: “Mari, Juan wants to go out with you. Fo, I’m not going anywhere with him”. 

If there is one thing we Yucatecans have, it is a lousy way of conducting ourselves with no sensitivity when talking to other people, particularly those close to us. Hence, it is not unusual to hear a word used as a nickname or as a qualifying adjective for someone who has gained weight. That word in question is “purux” (pronounced purush) which means pot-bellied, overweight. Hence, when a friend has gained weight, he or she is called “puroxón” (pronounced purushóm). This word is composed of the Mayan word “purux” and the Spanish augmentative ending “on.” In the case of a woman in the flesh, it is called “puruxona.”

-The “hach” and off we go-
While there are hundreds of words that we will touch on another time, such as “xic” (armpit) or “tzirís” (small child), we close with a word that denotes precisely the opposite of “purux.” That word is how we -Yucatecan men- refer to women of poise and good looks. That word is “tintinkí,” whose literal translation is tight leather. So, for us, a pretty lady with finesse and good looks is “tintinkí.” 

See you next week. 

José E. Urioste Palomeque
For Times Media Mexico / The Yucatan Times
November 23, 2021
Merida Yucatan, Mexico.
Facebook: @JoseUriosteMx
Twitter: @JoseUrioste_

Spanish version “Así hablamos en Yucatán” 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Our Company

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consect etur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis.


Laest News

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin