I lived in Mexico for nearly five years back in the late 1980’s. It was a great half a decade. Lots of parties, lots of new experiences, lots of new friends.
One of my best friends during those days was a guy from Harlingen, Texas, who spent probably 30 years before retiring to Mexico living in New York City. He’s gone now but he was the father of someone you may have heard about. My friend’s name was Walter Nixon and his daughter was Cynthia Nixon. If you don’t know the name, you’ve been off the planet for awhile. Cynthia is a New York actress who currently is best known for playing Miranda in the "Sex and the City" television series and movies.
But back to Walter. He had a love for language and loved nothing better than discovering a new word or phrase in Spanish. One day he was delighted to tell me he had discovered the Spanish word for firecrackers. It was, he said with a grin, triquitraque . . . pronounced tree-key-trah-kay. As Walter pointed out the word was perfect because it sounded just like the firecrackers exploding.
As I prepared to write this, I dug out my Larousse English-Spanish dictionary to verify the story. Firecracker, it said, could be translated as cohete or petardo. So then I went the other way and looked up triquitraque. Sure enough, along with "clickety-clack, bang, and boom" was the word "firecracker."
So thanks, Walter. Firecrackers will always be triquitraques to me.
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