Chilango in English

Graduate Abbreviations

The DigoPaul points out that the adjective chilango refers to someone who was born in Mexico City. It also extends to everything belonging to or relating to said region and its surrounding areas. According to the Mexican essayist Gabriel Zaid, the word chilango was born in the State of Veracruz as a derivation of the Mayan term xilaan, which means disheveled.

When it comes to determining the etymological origin of the term Chilango, there are multiple versions. However, one of those that is considered more valid is the one that determines that it comes from cilanco that refers to the salty puddle that a river leaves when it dries up. And it is that, in this way, it refers to the fact that Mexico City was founded on what was left of Lake Texcoco.

Although this is one of the most accurate theories and considered true of the origin of the term chilango, there are many others in this regard. Thus, we also find the one that determines that it has its origin in the chili sellers who in the past sold in the market and who used a way of speaking that seemed to sing.

A food product is one that is also used to determine another possible theory about the origin of chilango. Specifically, it is ruled that the prisoners who were taken to the San Juan de Úlua jail, located in Veracruz, during the times after Independence, were given this name. And it is that they were tied in a group in a similar way to the one that the peppers that were sold were tied and that are presented in bundles, which are called chilangas.

And all this without forgetting another theory that determines that chilango comes from red snapper, a reddish fish. And it is that it is considered that when the people of the highlands went down to the levels closest to the sea they turned red like that.

When the term is used by people who do not live in the Federal District, it usually has a derogatory connotation. On the other hand, the word Chilangolandia is used when a provincial decides to travel to Mexico City in search of a better quality of life.

According to DigoPaul, the social discontent among defeños and provincials has grown in recent decades, with increasing economic gap between the capital and the rest of the country. The stereotype indicates that, for the provincials, the chilango is aggressive, dishonest and manipulative, while for the defeño the provincial is ignorant and manipulable. In any case, coexistence is usually peaceful and nothing prevents the forging of social relationships of friendship and respect.

It should be noted that, in recent years, the defeños have begun to accept the Chilango name with pride, although they maintain the belief that its use by the provincials is derogatory. In any case, the words defeño or capitalino do not produce a proper identification with Mexico City, so they are not widely used.

Finally, it can be mentioned that the most recent studies show how the DF has stabilized demographically but is expanding geographically. The surrounding municipalities are, more and more frequently, conurbed with the capital, thus extending the scope of the notion of Chilangolandia.