Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The cultural mashup dictionary: Wi-5?

Photo by TexasT/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Overheard in a public library in South L.A., this language gem is what "wi-fi" can easily sound like to Spanish speakers' ears. There are, of course, those who prefer to turn the term into Spanish altogether, as in "el wifi" (pronounced "wee fee"), but say it out loud and it makes perfect sense: "el wi-five."

This latest entry to the evolving cultural mashup dictionary comes courtesy of blogger, library worker and avid tweeter Art of @Chicano_Soul, who was on duty at the Junipero Serra Branch Library on South Main St. this week when he heard a girl nearby say it. He tweeted:

Sorry. No free "Wi-5" (@ The Circulation Desk)

Thanks for sharing, Art.

Multi-American’s cultural mashup dictionary is an evolving collection of occasional entries, bits and pieces of that fluid lexicon of words, terms and phrases coined as immigrants and their descendants influence the English language, and it influences them.

Recent entries have included Googlear and Twittear and Feisbuk (lots of social media) and perhaps my favorite to date, Tweecanos. The series started off with the meaning and etymology of the term 1.5 generation.

Have an entry to suggest? Feel free to post it below.