¡Ask a Mexican! Connecting Warsaw to Guadalupe with Language

Dear Mexican: I used to frequent a cantina in Chicago where half of the bar was Polack and the other half beaner. The Polacks would speak in their native tongue and either start or finish all of their sentences with the word kurwa. I understand this to mean "whore" in their language. In the other half of the bar, the beaners would use the word buey in all of their sentences. Sometimes, the beaners would become emotional and interpolate buey with pinche, as in pinche buey. Perhaps the Polacks and beaners were each talking about the other group at the bar! I understand that the word buey in mexicanismo is a castrated bull. But I've got to imagine that the beaners are not always talking about castrated bulls. However, I can understand why the Polacks are always talking about whores. What are the ramificaciones? —El Polaco Loco

Dear Loco Polack: Chingao, wabs and Polacks at a bar! Where's a mick when you need one? I think you misheard the word and meant güey, derived from buey, which you noted correctly is an ox, the word Mexicans use to call someone an ass—not a hooved ass, but an ass ass. Like madre, güey is a Swiss Army knife in Mexican-Spanish cussing—we use it affectionately ("¡No mames, güey!" translates as "Don't suck dick, ass!" but actually means "Don't bullshit me, brother!"), in anger ("Eres un pinche güey" is "You're a fucking idiot"), or as a boast ("No me haces güey"—"You won't make an ass out of me"). Ramifications? Use with caution—if you say that to a man, you might get a backslap or kick in the huevos depending on the circumstance, just like its bro cousin, fuckface.

I'm half-Hispanic and half-white. I'm really opposed to illegal immigration and any type of free health care to illegals because, as a health care worker, I see too many Americans who can't afford health care. I've noticed that people like Texas Governor Rick Perry appear tough on illegal immigration by showing a gay-looking photo of him standing next to border agents with a serious look on his face. I've seen Perry sit on both sides of the fence by adding more agents to sit on their butts on the border, and pass legislation to allow in-state tuition for illegals. My question: Would a Mexican support a bill that would tax only illegals who transfer money to Mexico? Now, you and me both know that the illegal has a cousin who is an American who will do the transfer for him. Anyway, if I was a Mexican who joined LULAC, I would kinda like it. The reason is that 100 percent of the tax goes to illegal immigrant health care and not a dime would go to a homeless American. This is the only tax I know whose benefactor does not include green-card holders or American citizens. If this bill is passed, illegals can now claim they pay taxes! Wow, and since the majority are living in poverty, the majority would get the benefit from this tax. How would a Mexican vote? —Dr. Chichis, M.D.

Dear Wab: Before we begin, déjame deal with your health care assertions. The Pew Hispanic Center found this year that illegals and their kids comprised only 17 percent of the nation's total uninsured, and a 2006 RAND report estimated that the undocumented make up only "1.5 percent of the country's total national medical costs, half as large as their 3.2 percent population share"—and even they think that number might be overblown, since the survey focused solely on the Los Angeles area, and they noted the city "has the reputation of being an immigrant-friendly location for these services." So, for you and others to portray Mexicans as health care leeches is false, not to mention immoral. The answer to your actual question: A Mexican wouldn't care about your Mickey Mouse bill. Even if it was enacted, Mexicans would circumvent electronic transfers by using courier services or smuggling cash in tires on trips back home. We already know how to come in to this country illegally—you think bad legislation can stop us? Craftiness is in our DNA the way güey-ness infests the Guatemalan mind.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, myspace.com/ocwab, or facebook.com/garellano, find him on Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

 
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