Back to Index

Spanish Ethnic Labels: Chulo

Ana Marķa Eccles gives a few more meanings for the term "chulo":

"Estas o vas muy chulo" means smartly dressed (in a lower class fashion). "Eres un chulo" means a boasting, somehow despicable person. "Es un chulo" means "pimp". "Una chulada" means exaggerated, or false bravado. I always think of a "chulo madrileno" as a fellow with tight parts, a scarf around the neck and a visor type beret, dancing, clinging tightly to his partner, a "chotis' on a tile. Yes, a real "chotis" dancer would contain himself in that minuscule space...Remember "la Verbena de la Paloma," a very well known zarzuela (musical comedy)- ,p>My comment: Linda Nyquist says the word is common in Mexico and means pretty, attractive. It seems to be one of the words which must be used carefully, since they have different meanings in various Spanish-speaking countries. The word "cholo" has been very much in the Mexican news, which have devoted an inordinate amount of space to the murder some eighteen months ago of a popular TV personality, Paco Stanley, who was allegedly involved in the drug traffic. For all that time six people supposed involved have been in jail, notably "El Cholo", said the be the one who actually shot Paco Stanley. They were released for lack of proof, becoming national heroes. "El Cholo" is a sinister-looking character, confirming the definition given earlier, a thug.

Ronald Hilton - 1/27/01