A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Mexico - Méjico
Monday, June 12, 2006

When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico they built churches on top of pyramids and adapted Mayan and Aztec gods to Catholicism. But it was the language of the aboriginal population that perplexed the Spaniards. One problem was a sound that manifested iteself in many different ways. But the Spaniards standardized it all with the letter j. The country became Méjico and Mexicans were Mejicanos. After Mexican independence Mexicans reverted to the letter x which had different sounds: Mexican words that beging with x are pronounced as sh so Xola is shola. An x in the middle of a word can be an s as in Taxco but j (or h) as in Oaxaca. The county of Bejar in Texas (during the Spanish period) became Bexar during the Mexican period. When Texas became Texas Bexar county became Bear County. Under Spain the inhabitants had been Tejas Indians. These were then Texas Indians and finally the state became Texas.

In 1953 my mother went to Mexico from Buenos Aires to see if our family should move there. When she came back she wrote the word as Mexico so I insisted in pronouncing it like an x. To this day Spaniards insist in writing the name of the country with a j as Méjico. To me that x made Mexico that much more exotic. When we finally arrived in Mexico in 1955 I fell in love with Mexico and I have felt a pull that has never diminished even in my contentment in Vancouver.


Previous Posts
Brother Stanley Repucci CSC

Neil Wedman - Artist

Patrice B - One Of The Boys

secret Gardens

Alex Summers

Mexican Antiquities

Rebecca, Rosemary & Marilyn

Bif, Rebbeca & Grace

Arthur & Arthur

J. Robert Janes & His Paris

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010