As a Mexican American linguist, I knew this day would come.
People keep asking me the origin of Chicano. “Isn’t it indigenous?” they say.
:takes a deep breath:
Okay, promise you won’t get mad? Allí vamos.
Let’s get one thing straight: no matter what the origin of “Chicano” ultimately turns out to be, we Chicanos get to decide what it means for us, okay? If we decide (as we increasingly do) to spell and pronounce it “Xicanos” or “Xicanx” as a nod to Nahuatl, we can. It’s ours.