Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chicago Speak

I've lived in Chicago for about 7.5 years. It amazes me that only having grown up one state over (Wisconsin) the local slang can be so different. This post is about the Chicago terms I've learned over the years (and the Milwaukee counterparts I know):

Brazer: I know this term is so un-PC but I can't help but notice how much it's used amongst Mexican-Americans here in Chicago. It's the basterdized English version of the word bracero that is used to refer to [illegal] Mexican immigrants. A "bracero" is a worker, I believe. In Milwaukee I guess we were much more direct and would just say mojados (wetbacks...I know so wrong). It wasn't until I moved here that I noticed how everyone and their mother uses this word. Personally I think it's a pretty offensive word, what's so wrong w/ immigrants?

Cotillon: When I planned my 30th Quinceañera theme some of my coworkers kept calling it my Cotillon. I have never ever in my life heard this term before moving to Chicago. I asked my cousins from Milwaukee and we all agreed it must be a Chicago thing. What's so hard about saying Quiceañera???

ATM: It took me about a year of living her to stop referring to the ATM machine as the Tyme machine or my ATM card as a Tyme card. You see in Milwaukee the company that runs them is called Tyme, hence why the name has stuck w/ so many mootowners.

Those are all I can think of right now. Any others?

Edit

How could I forgot one of the most obvious?? As my Sista M already pointed out...

Water/Drinking fountain: So drinking fountain or a water fountain isn't necesarrily slang...but in Milwaukee we call them bubblers. Why? It was invented in Kohler, WI by Kohler Water Works and was originally dubbed "bubbler". As years went by the more popular water fountain became the norm.

5 comments:

Rata de dos patas said...

I hate, HATE people that use such terms to refer to illegal imigrants, but i absolutely despise those who use them when their parents or themselves got here in such legal terms. I've been known to use the word "Paisa" indiscriminately, especially when Im driving...

Isn't cotillon the puertorrican equivalent to quinceañera?...

Cheers!
rddp.

bomitoni said...

I have heard some Puerto RIcans use that term. But the two girls at work that used it were Mexican American. Apparently it's also popular amongst African Americans and that's why they both use it.

I totally agree w/ you about people who use such terms.

Chicago_Sexbox said...

I am not familiar with the first two terms but that is probably because I haven't spent much time in any of Chicago's ethnic hoods. I still have to remind myself to say ATM. Ooh, and I still say "bubbler" and "Vic Tanny"!

bomitoni said...

I think I will update this post and include 'bubbler'. Rob always makes fun of me. And the way I say "bag". It's very Wisconsin...

YoNoTePidoLaLuna said...

I thought ur post was about Chicago slang..why include Bubbler if its from Milwaukee?

The other terms NO ONE outside of Chicago has ever heard is "jooking"..i.e. "getting down, dancing". You and other people I have worked with never understand me when I use jook.