Wednesday, April 10, 2013

FAMILY NICKNAMES



Everybody on Guam knows, if you want your Chamorro "fix," you go to Chode's.

Empanåda, latiya, titiyas....you name it.  You can find it at Chode's.

If you know the family, they are the Sablans.  So how did the nickname "Chode" come about?

First, let me get something off my chest.  It's not CHOT - DE.  It's CHOD - DE.  I would spell it "Chodde."  We hang around a bit on the D sound before we move on to say DE.  So I would put an extra D in there.

But it's definitely not Chot - de.

A family member told me that their grandfather was short.  If you know them, and I do, they are short people.  So someone started calling the grandfather "shorty."

Well, 70 years ago, you try getting Chamorros to say "shorty."  We don't like the R sound.  Sorry, R.  But "guitarra" becomes "gitåla" and "horno" becomes "hotno."  That's "guitar" and "oven" for those who may not know.

So there's the first change.  From "shorty" to "shotde."

But we don't like the SH sound either.  It's not found in Spanish, either.  But Spanish "sandia," or "watermelon" becomes Chamorro "CHandia."  We like the CH sound!  Just make sure it's a true Chamorro CH sound, not a Spanish or American CH sound.  That means our CH sounds more like TS.

So, "shotde" becomes "chotde."  But it takes less effort and rolls off the tongue more easily to make the T a D.  Chotde becomes Chodde.

CHAMORRO NICKNAMES ARE BEING INVENTED ALL THE TIME

Not all family nicknames come from Spanish times.  Chode was invented during American times.  Nicknames are being invented even now.  So be careful about what you do or what you say.  Your grandkids may one day be called by that word or action!

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