Another fabulous post brought to you by: Amy (who would like people to start calling her by her new Cuban nickname: Kikita)
During one of my many adventures with Tio Timbiriche and Luza (my abuela), one of them was commenting on the clutter in my room (I think it’s artistic – but that’s not important right now) and they called this clutter a "timbiriche." I’ve heard them use the word in a few other contexts that did not involve my Tio, so I had to wonder . . .
- What does "Timbiriche" mean?
- Why do we call him "Tio Timbiriche?"
According to my Spanish Dictionary, a "timbiriche" is a noun for a "small store." Not to be confused with a "bodega" which is more of a grocery store.
At this point, I have no idea how ANY of the translations or explanations I’ve heard could be used to describe my Tio. I was forced to ask for a further explanation on the name.
It seems, it all started with a guy named Pancho Acuña. Timbiriche’s GRANDMOTHER took Acuña into her home and raised him as a son. (No, I didn’t ask why) He grew up as a brother to Tio’s father. So Acuña was like a Tio to my Tio. (are you following all this?)
Anyway, when each of the 5 children were born, Acuña gave each of them a nickname and Timbiriche was the one that fell to my Tio and it stuck. (Luza’s nickname was Muluchote, but it didn’t stick and she now uses it for my brother Adam)
There’s more . . . it seems Timbiriche was not the only nickname my Tio had. For a long, long time people called him "El Chino." I’m sure that has something to do with his eyes, but I spent a long time thinking Tio Timbiriche’s real name was Chino (it’s really Gerardo – I swear it’s as bad as a hip-hop star like Puff Daddy, I mean P. Diddy, I mean . . . AY CARAMBA).
This is not the first time I’ve run into this phenomenon.
"My name is Jose, but they call me Pepe."
"My name is Fulano, but they call me Hachi."
"My name is Maria, but they call me Cachita."
Luza says that Cubans pick their baby’s nickname before they pick the real name . . .
In blatant defiance of this Cuban law, Mami chose a name she thought was impossible to turn into a nickname and she did well. Many have tried to give me a nickname, but usually all they come up with is "Aim." Which is . . . let’s be honest . . . Lame. 🙂
So, as I continue to get in touch with my Cuban self, I have decided I need a "hard-core" Cuban sounding nickname . . .
You know the galletas "Kika"? Well, I thought that "Kika" was cute . . . and the first person I told my idea to said "Kikita" sounded better.
And now . . . I’ve taken to introducing myself Cuban-style:
"Me llamo Amy, pero me dicen Kikita."
("My name is Amy, but they call me Kikita.")
Fast forward to this afternoon: Mami overheard me saying, " . . . and they don’t call me Kikita for nothing!"
and then she muttered (loud enough for me to hear) "They DON’T call you Kikita . . . for Nothing!"