Eva Longoria And Michael Peña Are Here To School Us All On The Art Of Mexican Slang
Eva Longoria and Michael Peña may be two of Hollywood’s biggest Mexican-American stars, but now they can add teaching to their long list of experience.
You’re probably thinking, neta? Yes, really! Okay, well, technically…
Longoria and Peña, who are starring in this summer’s live-action Dora the Explorer film as Dora’s mother and father respectively, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, sat down with Vanity Fair to teach us (and test their own knowledge) Mexican slang. Whether you’re Mexican or not, you’ve probably heard a few of these classic phrases floating around. For example, “no manches,” which Peña explains has a lot of different definitions depending on the context, but generally translates to “get out of here” or “shut up” when responding to something that’s surprising or you just can’t believe. But these two can definitely explain it better than I can.
The definition and use of terms such as chicano, pedo, chamba, naco, among a ton of others are also broken down by the Dora and the Lost City of Gold actors in this hilarious video.
Now, be honest, how many of these do you use on a daily basis? Or how many did you have no idea what they actually meant?
The 44-year-old Corpus Christi native and the 43-year-old Chicago-born Narcos: Mexico actor aren’t the first to be recruited by Vanity Fair to teach us Mexican slang. In 2017, while on a press run for her film How to Be a Latin Lover, Salma Hayek sat in the tutorial hot seat to challenge others in the art of Mexican slang. The 52-year-old actress, who was born in Mexico, listed a few of the same phrases as shared by Longoria and Peña, but also explained the meaning behind several expressions such as “no mames,” “hombres malos,” “eso que ni que,” “tienes feria,” and “me vale madres.”
I think it’s safe to say that Salma Hayek taught us a lot of important ones here, amirite?
With Peña and Longoria’s new film, it’s probably important to become acquainted with a few of these phrases—Dora is, after all, an iconic Latina character. And the latest live-action movie features a number of Mexican and Mexican-American actors (Peña, Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, Danny Trejo, Adriana Barraza Isela Vega), so who knows if some of these terms will make their way to this big screen debut.
Based on Nickelodeon’s highly popular educational pre-school series, Dora the Explorer, Dora and the Lost City of Gold follows a teenaged Dora (played by Isabela Moner) as she heads off to high school—which just might be her biggest and most challenging adventure yet. The quirky fun film sends Dora off on a mission to track down her parents, who are in need of saving, and enlists the help of her friends, including her primo Diego (played by Jeff Wahlberg) and monkey Boots. Along the way, she comes across familiar faces, like Swiper the Fox (voiced by Benicio del Toro)—who remembers the catchphrase, swiper no swiping?—while also trying to solve the mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
The character of Dora the Explorer has played such an important role for Latino and non-Latino children alike.
Ok, so perhaps not teaching them Mexican slang like our friends Eva Longoria, Michael Peña and Salma Hayek, but most definitely teaching them Spanish. That was the case for one of those behind this new live-action take on Dora.
“My daughter knows Spanish because of Dora,” Dora and the City of Gold director James Bobin told the Los Angeles Times. “When she was little, I remember saying to her once, ‘What’s your favorite animal?’ And she said, ‘Ardilla.’ And I went, ‘A deer?’ and got a picture from a book of a deer. And she goes, ‘No, no, no, no, ardilla’ and pointed out the window [because] ardilla in Spanish is squirrel.”
And like its cartoon counterpart, Dora and the City of Gold hopes to appeal to all audiences. “The beautiful thing of the story is that thematically, it’s pretty universal,” Eva Longora said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I think everybody’s going to understand it and relate to it. You don’t have to be Latino, but it is a celebration of our culture within the movie. Our language is in it, people who [reflect] our community are in it, it’s organically Latino. It wasn’t like ‘Insert Latino here.’ ”
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is in theaters everywhere August 9.