Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Provinces in Spain where the surname Bodoque appears

A branch of the Camacho family on Guam are better-known-as the familian Budoki or Bodoki.

As is normal, we don't have any concrete evidence for the origin of this family nickname.  It isn't a current Chamorro word for something.

Many of our family nicknames come from the Spanish language, so that's always a good place to start looking.

Bodoque is a last name in Spain.  The map above shows you where the surname appears in the different Spanish provinces, and the number of families having it.  As you can see, there aren't many families with this last name.  In no province at all are there ever more than 20 families with the name.  So I doubt this is how the nickname came to Guam.  Because the last name is so rare, I don't think a Spaniard or Hispanic man with the name Bodoque came to Guam and some Chamorro got tagged with his surname for some reason.  But, you never know.

Instead, the word bodoque has many different meanings in Spanish.  Perhaps a Chamorro started being called bodoque for one of these reasons.

First of all, let's go to the oldest and original meaning of the word, which goes back to Spain.  A bodoque was a mud or clay ball thrown at a target.  Maybe someone on Guam liked to throw mud balls or something similar at a target and was nicknamed Bodoki.

Remember that Guam had a lot of Mexican influence and, in Mexico, a bodoque could be a ball made of anything light, like paper. 

Secondly, bodoque can also mean a kind of stitching.  This would have been more of a woman's thing to do.  But maybe a man sported some article of clothing using a bodoque stitch.  The possibilities are endless how this nickname came about.

Sticking with the Mexican angle,  bodoque can also mean a physical lump on someone's body; another possible origin of this nickname.  Some guy on Guam walking around with a lump; a bodoki.

In Mexico, it can also mean something done badly; a child; and it can also mean someone not too bright.  Because it can refer to a child, it can thus also be used for adults in an affectionate way, as in romance.  "Bésame, mi bodoque!"  "Kiss me, my baby!"

Because of all these meanings, especially referring to children, bodoque has been applied to certain fictitious persons.  In the Spanish version of the animated film Ice Age, Roshan is called Bodoque.

And in one Latin American country, a TV personality, a smart-mouthed rabbit, is named Bodoque.

Chamorros got their nicknames in many different ways.  How someone got to be nicknamed Budoki is, for the moment, anybody's guess.

But I believe he was nicknamed using the Spanish word bodoque, probably because of one of the meanings originating from Mexico.

And, to make matters a bit more obscure, was it really a Camacho who was first called Budoki?  Because some think that it was a Flores who first had that name, and that a Flores woman from the Budoki clan married a Camacho, and their children, with the last name Camacho, took the Budoki nickname from her.  This happened, at times.  People were sometimes known by their mother's family's nickname and not their father's.

We'll have a lot of questions answered in heaven when we meet our Chamorro ancestors and corner them with all the mysteries they left for us to figure out with no documentation.

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