Luis de Alba and his sad ‘pride’ for inventing the word ‘naco’… which is also wrong

Luis de Alba and his sad ‘pride’ for inventing the word ‘naco’… which is also wrong

Louis of Alba.  (Getty Images)

Louis of Alba. (Getty Images)

We’ve all heard the word naco before. It can be difficult to remember how and when for the first time. Luis de Alba says it’s his creation. According to his testimony in an interview with Escorpión Dorado, it was he who invented a word that is now being collected by the RAE and the Mexican Language Academy: Popcorn. According to him, the character is Pirruris – whose original name was El Chico de la Ibero – was born a critic, with a devotion to the classicism he had seen front row when he was a student, at the Ibero to be precise.

“Classes fell in love with me. I came from Lagunillero, Tepiteño and Garibaldeño, well, you know, with the brave troops. I started doing a parody of that kind of wave and that’s how I put it. You used a word ‘chundo’ to talk about what a naco is, but they were classicist,” he said.

The actor mentioned that the idea came from one drunk night and that he says he never intended to coin a discriminatory term, although that remains the essential usage of the word. Despite the Histrion’s claim, there are several antecedents that refute its authorship. For example, in 1959 the writer Francisco J. Santamaria He was already aware of the existence of the word Naco, and the meaning he gave it was that of “Indians in white trousers”.

Secondly, Carlos Monsivais wrote in Days of Keeping that Naco may be an abbreviated word for Totonaco, an indigenous people of Veracruz. Its use dates back to colonial times, according to Monsivais, to emphasize “what miscegenation does not resolve: the characteristics of indigenous origin, the mark of the iron race”. In Scenes of Modesty and Ease, he mentioned that the characterization of the naco in Mexican cinema found an obvious precursor in cantinflas called the pelado.

In this regard and according to the author Enrique Serna In his essay El naco en el país de las castas, the word naco is a development of the terms lépero and pelado, which have been used as pejorative terms since the 19th century. Serna states that the word naco actually became popular in the 1970s, and was then widely used by a section of the population who saw their customs threatened (among other cultural and social factors) by migration from the countryside to the city. . “On the part of the discriminating minority, the message conveyed by the new moniker reflected a mixture of outrage and fear: outrage at having created their own caricature, fear of being embarrassed by the display of the status“.

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You can say that in that way de Alba helped popularize the term massivelybut it’s not about the creator of the word, as he explained in his interview: he couldn’t say how the idea of ​​using exactly those four letters to characterize his idea came about. And this happens simply because the word already existed, as documented by Santamaría.. In short, Luis de Alba massed the use of Naco. And in doing so, it also contributed to the downplaying of a pejorative term from its origins, even though it intended exactly the opposite.

It is important to point out that Alba is also credited with creating other popular words and phrases such as “cool” and “I hate you with hate jarocho”, who, however, elude classicist debates and have adapted neatly to life together. It would be the subject of another debate to analyze these expressions in depth, but at least in the case of chido, whose origin is Asturian, it can be concluded that de Alba was doing the same thing as with naco: bringing to the screen words of popular usage that later They achieved national fame.


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