Roberto Torres: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
0:37 ten-gallon hat cowboy hat (originally from Spanish name, misunderstood by English speakers as “ten-gallon”)
1:11 gala event celebratory event, often with formal attire
1:25 campesinos roots farm worker history
1:31 walk Memory Lane time to think about old times, past memories
1:37 boycott withdrawing from economic or social engagement as a form of protest
1:42 E & J Gallo Winery a large California wine manufacturer
2:45 UFW flag
1:50 Coahuila, Mexico
1:52 migrant track: CA, OR, WA route following the harvest seasons along the U.S. Pacific states
2:19 one after the other following each other in order (without interruption)
2:25 impoverished poor
1:19 César Chávez
2:45 work ethic the idea that hard work is a good thing
3:05 Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
3:22 tied to my roots connected to my past, linked to my history
3:32 pickle hamper container for picking pickle cucumbers
4:24 applied mathematics a practical way to use math
4:30 avid reader someone who enjoys reading a lot
4:42 Español era mi primer idioma. Spanish was my first language.
4:52 at a deficit lacking, at a disadvantage
4:55 make fun of to mock, laugh at, tease
5:30 enthralled excited, fascinated, captured
5:38 mijo my son (Spanish expression of endearment)
5:40 endearing term word expressing closeness
5:42 tio uncle (Spanish)
6:16 Readers Digest's_Digest
6:26 pressure was on to become proficient strong influence to achieve or master (a subject)
6:30 live into the name develop in ways that fit the name
7:02 Councilman in San Antonio
7:12 Henry Cisneros
7:45 Toledo, Ohio,_Ohio
7:54 Secretary of H.U.D.
8:16 America’s Promise a U.S. alliance founded in 1997 to help youth people from all socioeconomic backgrounds
8:30 keynote speaker main speaker at an event or conference
8:42 Hispanics people who speak Spanish (a U.S. governmental designation)
9:12 autobiography book written about one’s own life
9:14 was floored was completely surprised (as if knocked down to the floor)
9:29 surrogate person who takes another’s place (due to original person’s inability to attend)
10:38 vacant military bases land and buildings that were formerly used by the military but are now closed
10:47 Goodyear (Tire & Rubber Co.)
10:48 Canton, Ohio,_Ohio
11:42 groundbreakings ceremonial events that signal the beginning of a new construction process
12:38 philanthropic community group of citizens who donate money and facilities to help community improvement
12:44 booming showing strong economic activity and growth
13:00 stifle limit, restrict
13:30 every entity every group, every organization, every membership
13:50 all hands on deck everyone working, everyone helping
14:04 in a nutshell basically, essentially, in summary
14:10 the (Marine) Corps
14:15 motto: Always faithful. saying in Latin: Semper Fidelis. (Sometimes abbreviated as Semper Fi.)
14:58 walk of life career or position in life
15:08 as strong as weakest link This expression uses a chain as a metaphor for a team: The group is only as strong as the weakest member.
15:15 boot camp initial training period in the military that is particularly harsh and meant to test an individual’s physical and emotional strength
15:42 a great ride a great journey or exploration
15:55 near and dear to very special, with strong emotional connection
16:00 Sí, se puede. Literally: Yes, one can.

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.