The Concept of “Ahorita”

If you spend any significant amount of time in Mexico City – or even just a single day, for that matter – you’ll almost certainly hear the phrase “ahorita” being uttered. It doesn’t exist in most Spanish-language dictionaries, so what does it mean exactly?

A Brief Spanish Lesson

Roughly translated, ahorita means “in just a moment from now.” The root word, ahora, means “now.” The “-ita” suffix is a diminutive, which “lessens” the meaning. Mexican Spanish is filled with these diminutivo nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. For example, beso is a noun meaning, “the kiss” or “a kiss,” depending on the article preceding it. Besito is a diminutive noun meaning, “the small kiss” or “a small kiss.” Similarly, momento means “moment,” as in Un momento, por favor, which means “One moment, please.” Mexicans prefer to say “Un momentito, por favor,” which means “One small moment, please.”

The augmentative – opposite – of diminutives are also common in Spanish, usually in an “-ote” (masculine) or “-ota” (feminine) form. If beso is “kiss” and besito is “small kiss,” then besote is “big kiss.”

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Stinking Badges

One of my goals, both short and long-term, is to get a job teaching English, a job I can live on. I figured Craigslist was as good a place to start my job search as any, and in less than 30 seconds I was already overwhelmed by what I’d found. Half the jobs were either bullshit or too far away. (Apparently there’s plentiful employment in Santa Fe, the wealthy, non-pedestrian-friendly far-western “burb.” Think Oak Brook if you’re from Chicago, Long Beach if you’re from Los Angeles or Arlington, VA if you’re from Washington, DC.) Perhaps 20 percent were for 7 am lessons, great except that I don’t even go to bed until about 3 am. The remaining 30 percent were in my target neighborhood, fit my desired salary, or simply sounded cool. Some didn’t even required TEFL certification (which I don’t have regardless, although I plan to change that beginning early 2013). Most, however, required Spanish fluency.

Houston, we have a problem.

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