Spanish and Portugese Speaking People of America: What To Call You?

Inspired by this thread. How do those of you who are Spanish and Portugese speakers of North, Central, and South American want to be referred to?
Latino, Chicano, Hispanic, Abya Yala, …? Do you mind being called Mexican if you are not from Mexico?

Hispanic or Latino are both fine, if someone called me mexican i’d simply tell them im from Peru but i wouldn’t be offended.

Hispanic or Latino are both fine with me as well. Mexican-American works in my case. If someone called me Mexican, I’m not sure what I’d do; I don’t generally like to go into vast detail about what it means to be Mexican and how I know I’m not, even though I have lots of family there and love many things Mexican. Probably depends on context…


You can call me Daniel, if you want. Other than that, Hispanic or Latino are fine. Latin American or Latinamerican are also fine if you have the time for all that. Being called “Mexican” would certainly not offend me (I am not Mexican, of course) but it would make me wonder about the intellect or intentions of the person saying it. I would be very surprised if you called me Venezuelan as I don’t believe there is a specific giveaway to nationals of my country.

Chicano would really sound some alarms (I really don’t look the part, heck I don’t even look Latino to the untrained American eye).

Spic, wetback or any other obvious ethnic slur would bring the conversation to a prompt end.

Other than that, I can’t imagine being offended by being called anything based on my apparent nationality. You can call me Belgian or Paraguayan and all you would get is a smile and a polite correction (if important)

Sapo is a guy?! Whoops.

What does Chicano mean to you, Sapo? I ask, because I haven’t really heard the word in a donkey’s age–like since the days of Chico and the Man kind of years ago.

Chicano is specifically Mexican-American… although I’m not Sapo. :slight_smile:

My dad’s family is from Mexico and most everyone is Spanish-speaking. I believe my aunt uses “Latina.” My dad, on the other hand, simply identifies as “American,” and he really doesn’t recognize himself as having any other cultural identity just because his parents are from Mexico. If you ask him about it (because he definitely looks latin), he will tell you that his cultural background is wonder bread.

Chicano I haven’t heard in ages myself (not common when I was in FL, much less now in PR). It is used for mexican-american, although I have almost always heard it from the mouth of other Latinos from outside of the mexican border influence sphere (the SW) in a despective manner to refer to the transcultural issues in the SW (mostly to refer to spanglish abominations)

and yes, I am a guy. I often have that effect on women sobs. I will try to type all my posts in blue from now on. :slight_smile:

I’m not from Mexico and don’t want to be called Mexican.
I don’t like Chicano, either.
If you must label me, I prefer Hispanic. Of-hispanic-descent is too wordy, I understand, but my family has been California as far back as we can trace. No relatives in Mexico. No Ellis Island. No green cards. We wear sunglasses year round and eat Taco Bell.

Latino, Hispanic, Latin American is all fine. Brazilians are not Hispanic though, Ibero-American (includes Portuguese and Spanish-speaking Americans) describes them better.

The Sheckstress prefers to be called Latina (she’s Brazilian). She wouldn’t care about Hispanic, but the SPANISH speaking Hispanics don’t consider Brazil to really be a part of Latin America around these parts, and will refer to her as strictly Brazilian. FTR, they also don’t consider Suriname, Guyana, French Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, or the like to be Latin America either. Racists!

I had a good friend of Mexican descent who, when asked, prefered to be called “brown”.

If I can ask a personal favor, OP, just don’t ever call someone who speaks Spanish or is from Latin America “Spanish”. That drives me nuts!

Don’t call me gringa. :wink:

Hispanic, Latina, boricua, Puertorrican, etc. are fine.

If you think I’m from another country, you can ask me where I’m from. I don’t care if you think I’m from Russia, so long as you don’t keep calling me that after being corrected.

I have some Puerto Rican friends, and was just wondering about boricua (at least now I know how it’s spelled). Where does it come from? Does it have any other meanings, like a slang term applied to Puerto Ricans, or does it simply mean Puerto Rican?

Thanks in advance for the etymological lesson.

Borikén or Borinquen is the name the Taínos (the Indians living in Puerto Rico at the time of the Spanish conquest) gave to the island. Depending on where you look, it is translated as “land of crabs (the edible kind)” or “land of the proud lord” (or something similar).

Boricua and borinqueño(a) are gentilicios derived from that word. Yes, it means the same as Puertorrican. It doesn’t have any other meaning. I much much prefer being called boricua than puertorra (the later sounds more vulgar). And I’ll take any of them over gringa.

Puerto Rico is not the only one with an alternate Taíno (or Indian) name in the Caribbean. Haití is an indigenous name, for example. And Dominicans (from the Dominican Republic) call themselves quisqueyanos because Quisqueya is the Taíno name for their region.

I never hear Chicano anymore except when it’s conflated in the “all-inclusive” Chicano/Latino.

I always self-identify as a Latino when people ask my ethnicity (I’m from Ecuador).

The only people I ever hear use the term “Hispanic” are non-Hispanics (though the term itself doesn’t bother me).

Most *boricuas * I know (and I live here, darn it) are offended by portorro, unless used by another boricua, of course.

Aye Sapo, that’s why I don’t like it. And even by another one, it just sounds vulgar!