July 30, 2008

Words of the Week: Pari and more

Per request I'm tackling some English words used to pasarla bien... nothing complicated, just a few words in case you want to go out. This isn't a complete list by any means (or really even a list), mostly because I'm hardly mentally conscious at this point, but I wanted to get something up anyways. Please add your own.

As you know English has had a profound effect on the island's speech, particularly slang. However, I'm not really up to getting into a whole linguistic and cultural analysis at the moment, although I'm not sure there'd be much of one. It's not uncommon for one language to adopt slang or vocabulary from another, particularly in cases like that of Puerto Rico where there is a close, sustained relationship with another country, its language, and specifically its media (American television and movies usually do the trick). Puerto Rico has constant exposure to English and countless words are Spanglicized each year. So I'm sorry, Janine, but tracing pari/party to its original Spanglish roots (as in when it made the transition from English to Spanish) would require great etymological feats that I am simply incapable of performing. Regardless, this does merit a bit of reading on the topic in general, so I'll see what I can find next time I'm on the island.

Just a couple words in the meanwhile to whet your appetite:

  • Pari - From the English "party". While it can be written any combination of ways (party, parti, pari, pary, etc.), particularly online, generally the t is not pronounced. Other words from pari are parisear (to party, not surprisingly) and pariseo (from the verb).
  • Janguear - From the English "to hang (out)". While hanging out in English isn't necessary thought of as partying, generally it does here. The verb form is janguear.
  • Chilin - From the English "chilling". It's usually spelled "chillin" but I decided not to confuse anyone with the double l here. For whatever reason every time I've seen it it's only been used as an adjective, as in "'Tá chillin"... the best way I can think of to translate it is "It's pretty sweet" or something to that effect. Suggestions?

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