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Now that we’re getting ready to head back to Xalapa, we’re reflecting on “Yucatám” (pronounced with an “m” here in Mérida). Many of these differences come from the heavy Mayan influence in the region. Other linguistic differences originate in the Caribbean. Here are a few more “yucatequismos” to practice before heading down to the República de Yucatám.

Lo busco y no lo busco: This phrase (I look for it and I don’t look for it) means “lo busco y no lo encuentro” (I look for it and I can’t find it). My “cuñado” tells me that one day a friend was looking for his lost USB. He turned to Rafa and exclaimed, “¡No lo busco!” To which Rafa replied, “¡Pues, búscalo!” That’s when he realized that “buscar” here is also used as “encontrar”.

¿Masi no?: This expression means, ¿verdad? (right?)

Tuch: ombligo or belly button

Lóoch: To cradle someone in one arm

Chito: beso, kiss

Ma: no, a negation

Puchis: an interjection that denotes surprise. A man came by looking for his dog named puchis. Because “–is” is like saying “–ito”, I thought he’d named his dog “poochis” (from pooch in English). “Más bien” (rather), he was using a yucatequismo.

Lo dices y no lo sabes: (You say it and you don’t know it.) It’s a friendly way to say “You have no idea” or “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Once you think you’ve learned Spanish, a good way to test your linguistic skills is by heading to a region as unique as Yucatán.