Manjioca: Uma Brasilian Feminista…

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” ~Audre Lorde~

Why “X”? by Alias September 15, 2008

Filed under: Politica — manjioca @ 8:59 pm

Why “X” ?
Why is there such an effort to use the letter “X” in names? I think about Malcolm X and his reasons but I feel that he had reasons different from those who use the letter in examples like Xueer, Xris, Xuan, etc. Why.

From my limited knowledge the letter “X,” when used in a Chicanismo context began as a form of resistance against the dominant languages: English and Spanish. In the Chican@ movement in the 60’s and 70’s it surfaced in examples like “Xicano Power”

Now the letter X in an indigenous context, more specifically Nahuatl, makes the sound of “Sh.”
So Mexica (Me-Shee-Kah) which is the people who inhabited Tenochtitlan and other regions of Mexico (Me-Shee-Ko) under the Aztec empire spoke variations of the language Nahuatl. The sound “Shh” of the X was replaced with the J sound of the Spanish who invaded the Mexica, making Mexico (Me-Shee-Ko) sound like Mejico.

Now, I can see where Xicano pronounced Shee-Ka-No can borrow the letter X from nahuatl.
But when you use the letter “X” instead of the “Q” in queer or instead of the “J” in Juan it makes no phonemic sense if keeping it in the Xicano (with nahuatl “X”) context.

So Xueer would make the sound Shu-eer
Xris = Sh-riss
Xuan = Shu-ann


One Response to “Why “X”? by Alias”

  1. xuanito Says:

    the x was used to represent unknown sounds to the spanish language. x does not always sound como shh
    tiene muchos usos
    el uso de lo desconocido
    el sonido lo definimos nosotra/os
    cuando dices que it makesn no phonetic sense…
    yo te pregunto
    according to whom?

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