Get Ready to LOL At The Top 21 Words Latinos Commonly Mispronounce — Bistec, Anyone?
Life has its highs and lows, but there’s something that’s guaranteed to make you laugh no matter the circumstances: yep, we’re talking about words us Latinos commonly mispronounce, usually with unintentionally-hilarious results.
Who doesn’t remember their mom saying she was going to order Papayóns for an epic birthday pizza party? Meanwhile, all you wanted were the chicken nuggets from Guendy’s, even though Makdonal’s fries were the best. And who could ever forget about Cojco runs with your tía, grabbing all the bulk cleaning supplies that would make every corner of your house smell like Fabuloso? We’re just realizing we’ve all lived the same life, but are we mad about it? Not at all. In our opinion, our very-Hispanic word mispronunciations give life a roll-on-the-floor-laughing twist we wouldn’t replace for the world.
Now that TikTok’s @beardedmakeup just uncovered that “Bistec” is actually the Spanish way of saying “beef steak,” Latinos everywhere are bonding over the anglicismos that made us who we are today. Ahead, find the top 21 words we’ve all probably mispronounced at least once.
Ah, the Latino mispronunciation that started it all: “bistec” for the very-American “beef steak.” This TikToker is all of us taking orders from mami at the grocery store, asking for a cut of bistec without realizing it’s always been an anglicismo all along. Comments like, “I went my whole 20 years of life thinking bistec is an actual Spanish word when this entire time it’s literally just beef steak???” represent all of us right now.
Your abuelita’s favorite social media, and most probably her favorite way to pronounce it too: we will always hear about how she saw our prima upload all those cute vacation pictures to “Feisbu,” code word for Facebook. Extra points if you remember 2011’s iconic “Te Borro del Feisbuh” by La Ogra.
Only a Latino understands how every single cereal under the sun is referred to as “Conflay,” no matter if you’re actually talking about Corn Flakes, Lucky Charms, or Raisin Bran. Our “brefast” culture? A bowl of conflay, an empanada if we’re feeling lucky, and un cafecito, of course. Extra points for a weekend sweet treat like bakery-fresh Mexican conchas.
Just like bistec, “safacón” is an epic anglicismo we were missing this entire time. Commonly used in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, “safacón” means trash can — and actually derives from the classic brand “Safe Can.” The more you know!
No Latino household is complete without at least a couple of jars of “vivaporu,” otherwise known as Vicks Vapor Rub (but we have to say our way has more of a ring to it). Tus papás have probably told you to put vivaporu around your nostrils to cure congestion, on your belly for stomach aches, on pimples to cut inflammation, and everywhere else with a prayer to La Virgen María — a foolproof combination.
Will we ever get over mispronunciations ending in -lay? Probably not. Just like cornflay, “getolay” is the unofficial best way of saying “Gatorade”— we don’t make the rules. We can just picture mami letting us stay home sick from school when we were 13, sipping microwaved Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, snacking on galleticas de soda, and drinking tons of orange getolay.
It doesn’t matter what type of “sangwish” we’re talking about, whether going for un sangwish cubano or a classic peanut butter and jelly, this pronunciation gets us every time. Other sagwishes that have our hearts? Argentinian choripanes, medianoches, and sangwichitos de lomo. Perfection.
Who wants a Coca-Cola or 7 Up when you can drink a tall, cold glass of Esprite? Your abuelita probably starts most “s” words with an “es,” including the “esky,” the “esnake” in your backyard you freaked out about, and the “estop sign” that she swears just appeared out of nowhere. Plus, word on the street is that Esprite and vivaporu is the perfect combination to ward off the common cold — just sayin’.
Need to fix that crack in the wall, replace your floor tiles, construct that dog house you’ve always wanted or paint your ratty patio chairs? Hondipo offers you all the solutions. Just a bit different from Home Depot, Hondipo comes with extended family members hearing about your shopping trip and sending you pictures of 15% off “cupones” they received in the mail.
Yet another anglicismo we hadn’t noticed until just this moment, moniorden has us mind-blown. While we always heard family and friends talking about moniordenes at their local Western Union, turns out they were talking about money orders the entire time. Have we been living a lie this whole time? Between this and bistec, it’s a bit too much to take.
Who else remembers getting excited about stacks of pancays on Sunday morning? Best served with a gallon of fresh tropical juice from your local place (shout out to Miami’s El Palacio de los Jugos), and with your choice of Aunt Jemima’s or just some miel, childhood weekend memories are all about pancays, Ben & Jerry, and papi reading el periódico with a café con leche.
While this might seem obvious to everyone but us, we hadn’t fully realized that chocomil was just a shorter version of chocolate milk — and yes, we might be judging ourselves a bit for that one. Whether going for Milo, Ovomaltina, or good ol’ fashioned Nesqui’, we’re chocomil lovers for life.
As Twitter user @tigmotropismo puts it, other people tend to always find the debate between ketchup and catsup controversial. Us? We’re here just asking our hermanita if she can pass the kecha, because we need to overload our perrito caliente with all the possible condiments, papitas, and salsita de piña.
The even more hilarious cousin to Cojco and Hondipo, Gualmar is basically a Hispanic institution. Where else can you find affordable Christmas decorations, Bimbo bread for sangwichitos de mezcla, and new pantuflas all in one place? Forget Bed Bath & Beyond (or, beba an’ beyo’ as we like to call it) — Gualmar has everything your heart desires and then some.
Who else can remember their mami threatening “no tricotri” this Halloween because of bad grades and pranking your hermanito? The Hispanic version of “trick or treat,” we have to say that saying “tricotri” for tons of “kendi” (hopefully some Bon Bon Bum passion fruit lollipops) is what our childhood nostalgia is made of.
16. Pikza with Peksi
Now, we present to you the best combination of all time: cheesy pikza from Papayón or Domino’, served with a perfect glass of fizzy Peksi. Because pizza and Pepsi just aren’t the same, these mispronunciations just make this meal taste better — don’t @ us!
This one still surprises us every time we think about it, especially when much of Latinoamérica uses the anglicismo without a second thought. While many of us call sneakers “tenis,” we never really thought that the word actually came from tennis shoes. Sure, we’ve found ourselves saying “esneakers” more than once, but “tenis” is shaking us to our core.
Who else grew up saying “poloche” for any kind of shirt, from t-shirts, to long sleeves, to button-downs? Even if you might not have realized it, “poloche” actually comes from the words “polo shirt,” commonly used in the Dominican Republic and other Latino countries. As one Twitter user puts it, “I get [an] easy laugh every time I remember Dominicans call any shirt ‘poloche’ = polo shirt,” and yeah, our day just got that much funnier.
Because you can’t have a nice Saturday poloche without some “chores” to match, this is another anglicismo we’ll never stop using — nope. Code word for “shorts,” the word “chores” just makes sense to us on a deep level. There’s no verano without our chores — or “appopai” and “faiwor” (apple pie and fireworks) on Cuatro de Julio, of course.
If your parents really like Bruno Mars (and who doesn’t?!), they might have been surprised at his “unexpected” pronunciation of “Versace on the Floor.” Faraway from “versash” (extra points for staying on the last “sh” sound for a few seconds), the regular pronunciation just isn’t the same.
And last, us Latinos raised in the U.S. know that Nochebuena is one thing, but Crijmas will always have a place in our childhood, and our hearts. For us, Crijmas is synonymous with “Mi Burrito Sabanero,” pounds upon pounds of arroz con pollo, beef-stuffed tamales or pastelitos, and dressing to the nines even if you’re just staying at home with close family. A Latino Crijmas is the best — and this mispronunciation is, too!
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