21 January 2009

Panzaverdes, Freseros, Y Tuzos

I had an interesting discussion with Señor Jordan the other day. If you aren't already familiar with him then you should get to know him. He is a young Spanish teacher and the author of the excellent “Señor Jordan's Spanish Video Blog”. He mentioned the word “Panzaverdes” and “Momias” in reference to the people who live in the City of Guanajuato in the state of the same name. Since I live only about twenty five miles from that city I consider myself a “quasi” expert and therefore I felt empowered enough to correct him. The word “Panzaverde” or “green belly” usually refers to someone from the nearby City of León. The area around León is well known for the cultivation of things like lettuce, broccoli, and all sorts of other green vegetables. In particular the farmers grow romaine lettuce which is called “lechuga orejona”, the word “lechuga” meaning “lettuce” and “orejona” referring to “long ears”. As far as the City of Guanajuato is concerned...well the city is famous for its “momias” or mummies of course, but the traditional name for the people is “Tuzos”. This refers to a little rodent-like animal who burrows in the hillsides that surround the town called a “tuza llanera”. The scientific name is “Pappogeomys tylorhinus” and the English name is “Naked-Nosed Pocket Gopher”.

Most Mexican cities and towns have one or more nicknames for either the town or the inhabitants or both. The people of the city that I live in, Irapuato are sometimes called “Irapuatenses” and sometimes “Freseros” which means “strawberries” because traditionally Irapuato was considered to be the Strawberry Capital of the World. The people from nearby Silao are called “Catarinos” and the people from Salamanca are called “Salmantinos”. The people from Celaya are often referred to as “Cajeteros” after the wonderful candy called “cajeta” that they produce. The bloggers from San Miguel de Allende would never forgive me if I failed to mention that they are known as “San Miguelenses”. The people of Aguascalientes are “Calientes Hidrocaldos” and in San Luis Potosí we have “Potosinos”. Guadalajara gives us “Tapatíos”, “ Los Queretanos” come from Queretaro and in Morelia we have “Morelianos”. The people from the City of Monterey are “Regiomontanos” and the people from Puebla are “Poblanos.

There is an interesting nickname for the people of Mexico City. They call themselves “Chilangos” and they call Mexico City "Chilangolandia". They also think that they are the only ones who can rightfully use these terms and consider that any non-Chilango who uses these names is looking for trouble. The Mexican people in general tend to view Mexico City dwellers as "different" and more competitive (pushy), selfish, arrogant, less honest and more manipulative. For this reason when a fast moving car with plates from the District Federal (D.F.) or “Deh Efeh” cuts me off I am more likely to call them a “defequillo”. The word “defequillo” is a play on words with “DF” and the word “defecar”, “to defecate”. I am just going to let you guess what “defequillo” means and Mexico City itself I call “El Defectuoso”.

One more thing...in case I left out the name for the city or the people where you live please let me know so I can keep my young friend Señor Jordan from going astray.



Frankly Ronda said...

What about soem towns along the Pacific Coast?

YayaOrchid said...

You sure do know your Mexico, Mr. Bob. I'm impressed by your excellent spelling skills!

1st Mate said...

Mexico City is indeed El Defectuoso, with just about every defect a city can have, apparently. And yet when I mention DF among Guaymenses, they all wax rapturous about its attractions.

Guaymas, I've been told by a resident, is also called "Gaymas" for the large population of gays who live here. They even have their own parade for Carnivale.

I wonder what the nickname is for San Carlos folk. Other than "Los Gringos."

Anonymous said...

maybe you can advise....is there a word that's used when you are born in D.F. but your parents are immigrants to the city?

Houston, TX

GlorV1 said...

My goodness, such big words. I think you are a great teacher and you always teach us something new everyday. Thank you very much for the lessons "Irapuatenso." Have a great evening. Take care.

Carlos Ponce-Meléndez said...

What about the Oaxaquenos? but there are also the Jalisquillos, the Pochos are the people who left for the US, the nacos are the low-education people, cholos are people from the country who relocate to live in cities. Some of those nicknames are insults and racially charged, but they are part of the Mexican language anyway.

Anonymous said...

Carlos P-M- Maybe it's "cholo" that I was thinking of.

also, "chuntero" is similar to "cholo" in reference, right?

Houston, Tx

Reflections of a Spanish Teacher said...

Ándale pues, Bob. Gracias.

To be fair, the people who told me that were from Guanajuato, so I just trusted my source. They were probably not being as specific though when saying that.

Now I do a little better with people from other Central American countries. The ones that come to mind...
guatemaltecos = chapines
costarricences = ticos
nicaragüenses = nicas
hondureños = catrachos
salvadoreños = guanacos

Unknown said...


Y...¿Es Ud. fresero, catarino, tuzo o panza verde?

Anonymous said...


ArtCee said...

Veracruz - Veracruzanos o Jarochos!

Angel said...

Pata Salada from Mazatlan, but we share the area with Chupapiedras from Rosario and Culichis from Culiacan.


Anonymous said...

Guanajuato-guanajuatenses.....my dad from silao, gto I'm out their almost every year

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.