A Dictionary of Spanish Barrio and Border Slang
Harry Polkinhorn and Alfredo Velasco, editors
148 pages perfectbound
"This dictionary is a much-needed update of the slang of California's border region. While Chicano caló has been recognized as a youth argot since before World War II, when its speakers were known as pachucos, each region and generation has added new words and phrases, its speakers adapting the dialect to their current reality. By using it, Chicano youths and other insiders sometimes hide their true intent, playing with language and at the same time paying homage to the camaradas who have gone before them. Caló: A Dictionary of Spanish Barrio & Border Slang allows the uninitiated into a world of living on the edge. It will be invaluable to readers who have learned Spanish in school but want to know how it's spoken on the street."
- MaryEllen García, PhD, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, The University of Texas at San Antonio
"Caló is a vibrant and often joyous explosion of linguistic tricksterism. Depending on the listener, it can either be delightful or intimidating--sometimes both at once. This book is fascinating and hilarious. So put on your best calcos, grab your weesa, and take the ranfla out for a cruise--and keep this volume in the glove box."
- Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Into the Beautiful North, The Devil's Highway, and The Hummingbird's Daughter.
"Polkinhorn and Velasco have busted the borders of linguistic analysis and Chicano talk assumptions. I hear the voices of my uncle Beto from El Paso in the 30's, the new multi-vocalities of the "¡Orale!" generations of Latin America and the ever swashbuckling cross-cultural speakers and singers of the world. This is the unchained rap of the people! Tune into its poetic-love, community-renaissance and heart-rhythm dance. A twenty-first century ring-tone. ¡De aquellas! Right on!"
- Juan Felipe Herrera