Whatchamacallit: A mid-Gold Cup guide to Central American nicknames

As I advised to several of you over the weekend, it’s sometimes a lot better to watch the fútbol on the Spanish channels as they have hot Latinas in the broadcast and in the commercials.

While watching those broadcasts, you may be practicing your Spanish and hearing the announcers referring to the teams by certain nicknames which you, naturally, have no idea what they mean or who they refer to.

Today, I aim to rectify this wrong and provide you with a little insight into our southern neighbors. First off, let’s check your general knowledge.

In the table below, you will see countries and nicknames for the citizens of those countries. Your task is to match them up:

CountryNickname
1GuatemalaACatrachos
2HondurasBTicos
3El SalvadorCCanaleros
4Costa RicaDPinoleros, nicoyas
5Panamá EChapines
6NicaraguaFCuzcatlecos

Think you’ve got them all?

Let’s go through them one by one, from South to North:

Panamá = Canaleros

This one is fairly simple. Canal is the same word in English as in Spanish. They both refer to this:

Someone from the canal country is a canalero.

Costa Rica = Ticos

You may have guessed this one by thinking that Tico or Tica sounds a lot like a contraction of Costa Rica said really quickly. However, that’s not actually the reason for the nickname.

In Spanish, you can add “ito” or “ita” instead of “o” or “a” at the end of a word to give it a smaller size or, more colloquially, a special fondness. In Costa Rica, the people use “tico” or “tica”. Hence, Costa Ricans like to call themselves Ticos or Ticas. It denotes a fondness for their fellow Costa Ricans.

Nicaragua = Pinoleros, nicoyas

This one is a little bit tougher. Nicaraguans have two and sometimes three nicknames that they go by. The first one is the most obvious one and that’s why I didn’t include it: Nicas. That’s simply a contraction of Nicaraguans or Nicaragüenses in Spanish.

Nicoyas is similar to nicas but it’s slightly altered to make it more familial. Adding the “oya” makes it more of a term of endearment. The word is still derived from Nicaraguan/Nicaragüenses.

The last one has an interesting history. It is said that the term “Pinoleros” is derived from the word pinol, a form of toasted ground corn that is the main ingredient for Pinolillo, a powdered form of the pinol which is used in a variety of Nicaraguan cuisine and beverage preparations. Historically, indigenous tribes in Nicaragua depended primarily on corn-based products as their primary food staple. Given that they have used a lot of pinol in their history, the name “pinoleros” or “people that use/like pinol” stuck.

Honduras = Catrachos

This one is also grounded in history and, crazily enough, it involves asshole Americans! You see kids, in the late 1800s, slavery was, you know, OUTLAWED in the United States after the Civil War. However, there were assholes that were not too happy about that and ventured south of the border (south of Mexico, to be exact) to see if they could bring slavery back in another part of the world.

These asshole Americans were called freebooters or filibusters. One particular asshole named William Walker was an American physician, lawyer, journalist and mercenary who organized several private military expeditions into Latin America, with the intention of establishing English-speaking colonies under his personal control, an enterprise then known as “filibustering”. Walker usurped the presidency of the Republic of Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled until 1857, when he was defeated by a coalition of Central American armies.

One of the leaders of the Central American armies was a Honduran general named Florencio Xatruch (pictured above). As the general and his Honduran/Salvadoran soldiers returned from defeating Walker’s forces, some Nicaraguans yelled out ¡Aquí vienen los xatruches!, meaning “Here come Xatruch’s boys!” However, Nicaraguans had so much trouble pronouncing the general’s last name that they altered the phrase to los catruches and ultimately settled on los catrachos.

From that point forward, Nicaraguans referred to Hondurans as “Catrachos” and the use of the nickname spread throughout Central America. Btw, the term “filibuster” that is used for Congress hearings came from this original meaning.

El Salvador = Cuzcatlecos

This one has historical native people origins. Sophisticated civilization in El Salvador dates to its settlement by the indigenous Lenca people; theirs was the first and the oldest indigenous civilization to settle in El Salvador. The Lenca were succeeded by the Olmecs, who eventually also disappeared, leaving their monumental architecture in the form of the pyramids still extant in western El Salvador. The Maya arrived and settled in place of the Olmecs, but their numbers were greatly diminished when the Ilopango  supervolcano eruption caused a massive Mayan exodus out of what is now El Salvador.

Centuries later they themselves were replaced by the Pipil peopleNahua-speaking groups who migrated from Mexico in the centuries before the European conquest and occupied the central and western regions. The Pipil were the last indigenous people to arrive in El Salvador. They called their territory Kuskatan, a Pipil word meaning The Place of Precious Jewels,  backformed into Classical Nahuatl:Cōzcatlān, and Hispanicized as Cuzcatlán. The people of El Salvador today are referred to as Salvadoran, while the nickname Cuzcatleco (someone from Cuzcatlán) is commonly used to identify someone of Salvadoran heritage.

In pre-Columbian times, the country was also inhabited by various other indigenous peoples, including the Lenca, a Chilanga Lencan-speaking group who settled in the eastern highlands. Cuzcatlán was the larger domain until the Spanish conquest. 

Guatemala = Chapines

Yes, men would wear these too.

I’ve saved the most obscure one for last. The chapín or chapines were a type of platform shoe that came from Spain that was very popular in the 15th century. The name of the shoe was onomatopoeic as it mimicked the chap chap chap sound that was heard as people walked down cobblestone streets in those shoes.

Besides the phonetic and literal meaning of the word, chapín was also used as a contemptuous term to describe Spaniards living in the city of Santiago de Guatemala. After the political changes and independence in the 19th century, the contemptuous connotation increased in its reference to anyone from Santiago de Guatemala.

As time passed, the shoe which spawned the word disappeared and the connotation of the word turned from negative to positive and popular. Nowadays, Guatemalans refer to themselves as chapines in an affectionate way.

***

I don’t expect you all to go out and watch the Gold Cup, but at the very least you’ve hopefully learned something new today. Now, if Don T can write a post about why Puerto Ricans are called boricuas…

(74/69)

ballsofsteelandfury

ballsofsteelandfury

International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.
ballsofsteelandfury
Please Login to comment
16 Comment threads
30 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
scotchnautUnsurprisedtheeWeeBabySeamusLow Commander of the Super SoldiersMoose -The End Is Well Nigh Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
scotchnaut

Bolivian fans not loving Lampe at the moment.

scotchnaut

Look at you, Bolivia!

scotchnaut

“WTF? This doesn’t even have a collar!”

-Peru’s Andy Polo, looking at his team’s kit

scotchnaut

Shall we take a gander at Bolivia/Peru? Absoluto!

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

Thanks for teaching me about all these Mexican countries, Balls!

theeWeeBabySeamus

OK, that was fucking funny.

theeWeeBabySeamus

comment image

theeWeeBabySeamus

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I think this is from Argentinian TV….. regardless, it is a good show.

comment image

theeWeeBabySeamus

I’d watch that.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I’d “DVR” it…..

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

You should see their version of Dancing with the Stars. It’s softcore porn.

theeWeeBabySeamus

comment image

nomonkeyfun

A mid-Gold Cup guide to Central American nicknames

“Well, I just call them all sp-”
“Shut up. You aren’t supposed to say that out loud in public.”
“Why not, Jared?”
“Haven’t you ever seen Scarface, Stephen?”

-A scene from the White House, starring Trumps two house tribe members.

There is no word where Ivanka was at the time, but sources say there was five seconds of squeaking going on in the private quarters.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Don T

Q over last place Argentina: succulent.

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Even though this is not really about food I am now craving cuisine from the listed countries.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Me right now because I forgot raisins are just dry grapes and grapes hate me. Good thing I’m in public volunteering all morning.

Don T

Gotta say: I would’ve been a better behaved kid if my parents, uh, employed chapines.

comment image

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I am surprised that shoes made it into this post.

*Not surprised.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Don T

🤣🤣
According to the Spanish cronistas, “Borikén” was how the natives called the island. And from Borikén ➡️ boricua.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

blaxabbath

Go Panamá!

comment image

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

GO HONDURAS!
comment image

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Chiquita Rules!

King Hippo

Ya!

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“Is there a less ethnic version of those chapines available? Asking for a friend.” – Ben Shapiro

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“I too, have a friend who is interested in that product.” – Tom Cruise

litre_cola

Buy some Timberlands you little Scientology freak – G. Costanza

blaxabbath

I still don’t really understand Ben Shapiro. Like, after the first tier of Rush/Hannity/Tucker/Ingram — it’s just kind of one big group of obviously self-conscious white trash begging for air time.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Ben Shapiro isn’t white trash. He’s the next generation’s version of George Will. Except instead of using flowery words, he speaks quickly.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Will wraps his ignorance in eloquence. I guess that separates him from white trash.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

comment image

Don T

What… The nerve!
[tugs at collar, gulps]

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Well, I’m sorry to bring the news but he doesn’t live in a trailer either.

blaxabbath

Oh.

See? None of this makes any sense.