Mexican X Part XVII: Hot Xalapeños

I’ve eaten both Ethiopian and Korean food with jalapeño peppers, so I thought it was time to explore the etymology of this worldwide phenomenon.

“Jalapeño” is short for Spanish “chile jalapeño” or “jalapeño pepper.”

Some fresh jalapeños. From López-Dóriga Digital.

The suffix -eño makes nouns and adjectives out of place names (for example isla, “island” becomes isleño, “islander”). It evolved from -ineus, a Greek and Latin…



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David Bowles

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