Mexican X Part XIV: Xingona Power

David Bowles
6 min readJun 5, 2019

In recent years, many Chicanas and Mexicanas I admire have begun calling themselves “Xingonas,” a tweak of the Mexican Spanish word “chingona.”

To me, this “reclaiming” is awesome. Other folks, however, are offended by the root word, “chingar.”

Why? What does it mean? Where did it come from?

Let’s investigate!

At the risk of angering the same neo-Mexicanists I always provoke, “chingar” does NOT derive from Nahuatl, as Octavio Paz purports in the otherwise shocking and important fourth chapter of…

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.