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Burqueño Slang

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Burqueño slang, spoken by residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, includes such expressions as umbers, said ominously when someone’s caught doing something wrong, as well as get down, meaning “to get out of a vehicle” and put gas for “fill a vehicle’s gas tank.” Then there’s the Burqueño way to get off the phone: bueno bye! This is part of a complete episode.

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3 comments
  • Hi. Just found your website and podcast. I am intrigued by the use of “get down” in Burqueno slang. I live in Augusta, GA, and grew up in the country near here. I tend to think of that as a rural country term. My father would use it in reference to trucks. For instance, if you are a kid, riding in a truck with your father, and he took you somewhere you didn’t want to go, and perhaps you are dawdling and don’t want to get out, he might get annoyed and shout, “GET DOWN OUT OF THE TRUCK!!” It was always my thought that it was because of the height of the vehicle, although sometimes someone might accidentally say. “get down out of the car.” My uncle had a pony, and we would also, “Get down off the horse”– as opposed to getting off the horse. Because horses and ponies are tall. So you get down off of it. I don’t know the history of it, but that’s how it was used when I was young. I am 40. I don’t live in the country anymore, so I don’t know if this use is dying or not. I would have thought, if I heard that in Albequerque, that it had to do with a rural history and truck/horse use, as opposed to a Spanish link.

  • It happens with Other languages as well. My wife and many of her friends come from the PRC or Taiwan. They often speak English with Chinese grammar. Many times the English isn’t quite correct English. Often Chinese words or idioms sneak in the English conversations; everyone refers to this version of Chinese English, Chinglish.

  • This reminds me of a friend who lived in Israel for a time, and who reports the common use of “Shalom-bye!” as a farewell greeting. Importantly, however, the greeting is said as though “shalom-bye” is one word.

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