by Meier, Matt S.
Publisher:Hill & Wang Pub
From Wikipedia: The terms "Chicano" and "Chicana" (female, also spelled "Xicano" or "Xicana") are used in reference to US citizens of Mexican descent. However, those terms have a wide range of meanings in various parts of the world. The term began to be widely used during the Chicano Movement, mainly among Mexican Americans, especially in the movement's peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s. For Mexicans, "Chicano" meant "poorest of the poor" but during the Civil Rights movement, they used the word to unite themselves. ~~~ The origin of the word "chicano" is disputed. Some critics claim it is a shorterned form of "Mexicano" ("Mexican" in Spanish). The word "Mexico" as spoken in its original Nahuatl, and by the Spaniards at the time of the conquest, was pronounced originally with a "sh" sound ("Mesh-ee-co"), as opposed to current pronunciation, and was transcribed with an "x" as was the usage in Spanish at the time. The difference between the pronunciation and spelling of "chicano" and "mexicano" stems from the fact that the modern-day Spanish language experienced a change in pronunciation regarding a majority of words containing the "x" (for example: México, Ximenez, Xavier, Xarabe). The "sh" sound was dropped[clarification needed] and in most, but not all, cases accompanied by a change of spelling ("x" to "j"). The word "Chicano" in the US was evidently not affected by this change. ~~~ The Chicano poet and writer Tino Villanueva traces the first documented use of the term to 1911, as referenced in a then-unpublished essay by University of Texas anthropologist José Limón. Linguists Edward R. Simmen and Richard F. Bauerle report the use of the term in an essay by Mexican American writer, Mario Suárez, published in the Arizona Quarterly in 1947. Mexican Americans were not identified as a racial/ethnic category prior to the 1980 US Census, when the term "Hispanic" was first used in census reports. ~~~ Some believe that the word "chicamo" somehow became "chic...
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