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

The cultural mashup dictionary: ¡Tricotrí!

Anyone remember walking up to a house on Halloween night as a child, goodie bag in hand, knocking on the door and shouting this?


Thanks to @rainmaker_mike and @ergeekgodess for tweeting the first pronunciation of "trick or treat" as it has been hollered by generations of Latino kids making the rounds every Halloween in the U.S. Here's one of their tweets from this morning:


LOL, so true! RT @rainmaker_mike@ergeekgoddess: How do you say Happy Halloween in Spanish? ¡Tricotri!

This is what "trick or treat" sounds like phonetically to Spanish-speaking ears, and thus how it comes out when Spanish-dependent parents (and their kids) roll up to the door, their little Spidermen and Disney princesses screaming "¡Tricotrí!" I distinctly remember shouting this outside a doorway in Bell once when I was five or six, dressed in a mummy costume made from an old sheet - and thinking, at the time, that this was actually how you said "trick or treat."

I got candy, so it worked.

Have an entry to suggest? 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 Wi-5GooglearTwittear 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. Feel free to post new suggestions below.

And Happy Halloween.