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  #1  
Old 09-28-2002, 05:37 PM
Gneen Gneen is offline
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"Ai Chihuahua"

Yup - I know it's a fairly common expression of surprise.
But I don't speak Spanish and I'm not sure why this phrase
was familiar to me! Suggestions so far:

1) Simpsons - apparently used by The Bumblebee man in one episode but not a regular catch-phrase like "Aye Carumba"

2) Taco Bell ... no evidence ... does the talking Chihuahua say this?

3) Name of a "Road Rules" episode (but this isn't me).

4) Uttered on a Love-Boat episode by Charo

5) Desi Arnaz or Speedy Gonzolez or Jose Jiminez - but no evidence

I've googled 'til I'm blue but I can't find anyplace in pop culture
that would explain my familiarity with the phrase ...

Can anyone help with either origins or usage?

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=Gneen
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2002, 06:41 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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The Spanish slang phrase ai, caramba! goes back before 1838, which is when it appears in print in the US.

Ai Chihuahua! doesn't seem to appear in a slang sense that early. Indeed, My Mathews on 'Americanisns' from 1951 would indicate that it wasn't much in use in English before the 30's or 40's as slang here.

I'll just bet that if you viewed most movies made in the US in the 1930's and earlier with a Mexican theme, you would hear ai caramba! but not ai Chihuahua!.

I'm gonna wager it appears in early tv stuff. Cisco kid, etc.

My Looney Tunes upbringing doesn't remember ai Chihuahua until much later than ai caramba.

My guess, the popularity of the dog breed coming to American helped make the word popular. Only a short jump to using it in a slang interjection.

The above is strictly speculation on my part. I could be proved wrong easily.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2002, 06:42 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Well as I can recall hearing the phrase from when I was a kid, I think it's certainly older than 1-4. As Desi Arnaz was a Cuban, he wouldn't be the origin either.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2002, 06:58 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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I always thought it came from "Ai, chingado!" (not being a Spanish speaker, I don't know about the spelling). Although I don't know what chingado means, I have the impression that it's vulgar. If so, then perhaps it was changed to "chihuahua" for radio and television broadcast. (Everyone who was meant to, would know what it means.)
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:11 PM
zen101 zen101 is offline
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So this thread isn't about an adorable artificial dog and his journey of discovery?
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:44 PM
Sternvogel Sternvogel is offline
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Your impression is correct!

Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny L.A.

Although I don't know what chingado means, I have the impression that it's vulgar.
As explained at the site linked below, "the verb ‘chingar’ has very negative connotations. It denotes impotence when faced with violence, failure, has sexual implications and is a very strong swear word. (Octavio) Paz says: ‘It is a cruel, active, masculine verb: it stings, injures, shatters and stains.’ To call a person, particularly a man, a chingado is a great insult as it implies that the individual is passive, inert, open to abuse, and female identified, exactly that which the macho Mexican male claims not to be."

http://www.cf.ac.uk/euros/newreading...e6/davisl.html
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:52 PM
cdhostage cdhostage is offline
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Ha! ARtifical dog!
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:59 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny L.A.
I always thought it came from "Ai, chingado!" (not being a Spanish speaker, I don't know about the spelling). Although I don't know what chingado means, I have the impression that it's vulgar. If so, then perhaps it was changed to "chihuahua" for radio and television broadcast. (Everyone who was meant to, would know what it means.)
That's an interesting theory. Yes, chingado basically equates to f**ked,at least in Mexico. As in English, there is a practice in Spanish of substituting mild words containing similar sounds for swear words, like English "Sugar!" Examples from Spanish include Ajo!, Chuleta!, and Miercoles!
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