Tag Archives: mexi

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo


It’s one of those words I’ve heard all of my life. Although until one of our recent road trips, I had all but forgotten about it to be quite honest. We were driving to California, past New Mexico somewhere, when all of the sudden the deejay on the radio started saying pellejo over and over again.

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo

It really took me back to all of those times I’d heard my parents, my uncles, my aunts, their friends, and so many others use this palabra in Spanish.

Back then all it would make me think about was the papada on a turkey. You know, the turkey neck. Because after all pellejo in it of itself is basically referencing one’s skin.

I told Anjelica about it and we had a little conversation about what the word actually means when it’s used in references like: me salve por el puro pellejo; sali, pero con el puro pellejo.

We both agreed on the meaning in the end. Basically that you avoided something “by the seam of your pants” or “just barely.” The idea being that you just avoided or completed something, but pretty much just by a stroke of good luck or something.

Now if you’re looking for a more technical definition, here’s some of what WordReference has to offer:

– Piel quitada del cuerpo del animal.
– Piel de los animales.
– Toda la lana que se esquila de un animal.

UrbanDictionay does not yet have a definition in their database for this word.

Should I go in an add one?

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo

No te achicopales 

Lately we’ve been having a lot of conversations about thinking big. As in thinking beyond the limitations placed on us, either by ourselves or by others. 

In truth, the subject is one that resonates with me very much. It does because I think it really speaks to some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my own life. A veces, en algunos momentos de mi vida, the biggest obstacles that I have needed to overcome were internal. It wasn’t so much who told me what I could or couldn’t do. Nobody has ever really placed those types of limitations on me. Instead, at times my own personal beliefs (or disbeliefs more to the point) have been what have held me back from doing or wanting more. 

I think we all probably struggle with believing in ourselves at one point or another. So from somebody who’s been there and is still there sometimes, no te achicopales. 

You can do it! 


¡Ukela chistosa!

¡Ukela! ¿No que no?


Believe it or not, each one of these expressions carries its own weight when it comes to defining the word ukela. Yes, you’re right, if you’re thinking it sounds a lot like the word ukulele. At least it’s spelled very similarly. But ukela is more a PG-version of saying words like chingao, or even ¡cheet!

The latter, of course, is one of my absolute favorites.

Never mind that along the road to improving my own Spanish I learned cheet is one of those words many would refer to as an anglicism. If you’re not familiar, a word or phrase borrowed from English into a foreign language. Think words like troca, parqueadero and washateria. All words that are a hybrid between English and Spanish.

I think those words are my favorite because they come to be naturally. They’re not imposed on us as part of our accepted vernacular. Instead, they become a part of popular vernacular because we exercise their usage more often than maybe we should. They’re organic, if you will.

And, well, for me, I’ve always found them more fun.

So in summary, but not really… ukela is that word you use when things just aren’t going your way. When you want to say so much more, but remember “less is more.” When you’re just about to get mad and then decide to just laugh instead.

¡Ukela! ¡No te digo! 

This picture is pretty gratuitous, I’ll admit… but it very well might make you say ¡ukela!


Cultura. How do you put it into words? It’s an expression of who you are. A representation of where you come from. A legacy that transcends your present, past and future. A connection deep enough to touch your soul and strong enough to pulse emotions through your heart. It’s like walking into a room full of strangers and feeling immediately at home. It’s stepping into a land you don’t call home and sensing the blood running through your veins coming to a complete standstill, as the earth and your body reconcile from the long journey behind now. It’s knowing where you belong, even though you’ve never been there. Its understanding the minuscule things you took for granted before, and showering yourself in the certainty of genuine tradition. Its not something to be explored or studied. You just live it.


Mexi-Inspiration For The Latino Home!

It’s always a great day when we can all together ogle over some beautiful Mexi-inspired home decor ideas.  I’m calling it Mexi-Inspiration, ha!  Cheesy… yes, I know!  Actually, my idea is also to inspire Anjelica to start making some of these pieces for our own home as well.  We’ve already got the folding Mexican oil cloth chairs done and ready to be used at our next big party!  Any of these, could definitely be considered icing on the cake…. some more than others, of course!

By the way, it would be great to see some of your own decoration ideas, if you’re up for sharing that is?  Links and pictures are desde luego welcome.

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Alter as originally pinned by Julie Vogel

My grandmother in Mexico had a very elaborate and truly traditional Mexican alter in her home all of my life.  It was a soothing place for her personal plegarias and to this day remains one of the most cherished memories of who she was and still is to all of us: our matriarch!  La virgen she had is especially meaningful to all of us.

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Colors as originally pinned by Nelly Coptere.

Why can’t we have houses this beautifully decorated?  For real!  The colors may be a bit bright for some, but to me, they just inspire a sense of happiness.

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Sofa as originally pinned by Blame My Mom

I. WANT. THIS. COUCH!! That’s all I need to say about this one.

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Door as originally pinned by Lindsey Lange

A door like this would always make me feel bienvenido 🙂

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Window Terrace as originally pinned by Destiny Rogowski

You know, in Texas it’s probably too hot for something like this – I mean opening the window and letting the wind blow in – but I’d still be willing to try it!

Mexi Inspiration decor for the latino home mexi boho mexistyle juanofwords
Wedding Cake as originally pinned by Teresa Sanchez.

This one I just had to share.  It literally looks like the icing is embroidered on this cake!

How awesome!

Five Things to Know About Cinco de Mayo

five things you should know about cinco de mayo
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

5.  No!  It’s not an international holiday or even a holiday celebrated across Latin America.  Cinco de Mayo, while it has been adopted as a cause for celebration and as good a reason as any to enjoy a couple of margaritas, is actually a Mexican holiday.

4.  In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  That’s right!  Por eso you’ll hear so many gritos in bars and cantinas near you.

3.  In Many parts of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not even observed as a holiday.  In fact, in places like Puebla, where it is celebrated as a regional holiday, Cinco de Mayo is actually known as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla / The Day of the Battle of Puebla, which basically commemorates the Battle of Puebla of May 5, 1862 when Mexico defeated French forces who were trying to invade.

2.  Cinco de Mayo, contrary to popular belief, is not a celebration of Mexico’s Independence.  That important national holiday is actually celebrated every year on September 16.

1.  Finally, yes… Cinco de Mayo is certainly a great opportunity to celebrate not only Mexicans, but all Latinos who are proud of their heritage and culture.  Just make sure you understand what Cinco de Mayo is actually commemorating.

¡Ahora sí!  Happy Cinco de Mayo! ¡¡AJUUAA!!      

Mexi-Vocabulario: ¡Pipirisnais!

De la high… o sea de la alta sociedad.

The word pipirisnais is not in the dictionary.  That’s what you’ll get if you search the Real Academia Española’s website for a definition of this Mexican term.  Like many of our palabras, which one way or another have somehow gained popularity and an unofficial universal acceptance within our cultura for what they mean, pipirisnais is one of those words that cannot be very easily defined.

Therefore, probably the best way to express what pipirisnais means is to explain how or when it would likely be used.

Who better than Paris Hilton to demonstrate for us?

If you’re attempting to say something is a bit much, extra lavish, exaggeratedly expensive, or simply over the top, you might say ¡hay que pipirisnais! 

The Kardashians are pros at turning on the 'pipirisnais'.

If a certain somebody is acting extra snobbish or showing off more than they should, rubbing in your face how fancy or expensive their material possessions  might be, you might say no pues La Chela ya anda bien pipirisnais.  

From rags to riches. Marimar goes 'pipirisnais.'

Or in the case of telenovelas, when the dirt poor protagonist moves from the vecindad to the mansión, completely changes their wardrobe, and takes on a fleet of staff to do everything for them from now on, then all of the sudden the vecinos at the vecindario might simply refer to them as being pipirisnais.

Anything can be pipirisnais!  Yourself, your belongings, your parties, your pets, your thoughts, etc., etc., etc.  It’s quite the versatile adjective!

Though, sadly to be pipirisnais is not necessarily a compliment.

Mexi-Vocabulario: Arrullar

Bien arrulladito...

Arrullar.  To put one to sleep.  Or in this tertiary definition on WordReference.com, which by the way is my favorite, it means to enamorar con palabras dulces (to make one fall in love with sweet words).  ¡Ay caray! ¡Qué románticon!

In reality my reason for selecting this word is much less on the amoroso side.

Last night while running my mouth, somehow we ended up talking about falling asleep in front of the television.  Or more appropriately, having the television put one to sleep.  ¡Arrullarnos!  This always happens to me these days!  I’m convinced that it’s because I’m getting older.  Before I used to be able to stay up until all hours of the night, sometimes not even going to sleep until after 48 hours of being awake… but now, as soon as 1:00 a.m. hits, my body is ready to roll over and fall asleep.

Seriously!  It doesn’t even matter where we are anymore.  I can fall asleep just about anywhere!  Sitting down, laying down, standing up, in the bed, on the sofa, in the car, in a stranger’s home… anywhere!  My body is in complete control these days!

I will say though, being the big baby that I am, getting arrullado really does feel great.  Even if it is only by the television sometimes.