Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word?
During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries. They asked 20 writers which word they consider “best reflects your country.” The storytellers, poets and essayists responded with what they consider the most authentic words from their country, and this the word from Mexico:
Mexican Spanish Word: PINCHE
Mexican poet, essayist, novelist and short story writer José Emilio Pacheco believes that pinche is the word that best represents Mexico. He explains the Mexican meaning by quoting the definition from the Diccionario del español usual en México, warning that it is a rude word:
1. That is negligible or very petty.
2. That is of low quality, low cost or very poor.
“It is, therefore, an epithet that degrades everything it refers to. The word suggests profound anger towards something that offends and humiliates us, but we cannot change it,” he adds.
Here are some example sentences that use the word pinche from the Quick Guide to More Mexican Spanish:
1. Este pinche libro está horrible. (This damn book is horrible.)
2. El carro nuevo que compró está bien pinche. (The new car he bought is very low quality.)
In common Spanish a pinche is “a person who provides basic services in the kitchen,” or a kitchen assistant.
Check out these other Mexican Spanish Slang Word articles.