06 August 2012

Poor Yunior.

Salcedense (noun) Person or native of the region of Salcedo; since the construction in question is Spanish, the region is likely to be either the city of Salcedo in the Dominican Republic or a territory in Ecuador. (Pronounced: sahl-seh-DEN-say.) 

As used in the new Junot Diaz short story, "The Cheater's Guide to Love" (New Yorker, 7/23/12 issue). The subject described as a salcedense (the narrator's ex-girlfriend) is assumed to be Dominican in this case from context provided by this later passage:

In general, any Spanish word ending in -dense denotes origin or nationality, hence the little used but grammatically Estadounidense, resident of the Estados Unidos (United States).

(And while we're here, clavo saca clavo means roughly "one worry replaces another"; literally, one nail takes out another.)


Elizabeth said...

More evidence she's Dominican: "You have dreams where she's talking to you like in the old days - in that sweet Spanish of the Cibao, no sign of rage, of disappointment."

Elizabeth said...

I also was really, really surprised when Elvis calls the narrator "Yunior", because besides the one reference to the Arrakeen and the one to NEUROMANCER, it seems hard to believe that this is really the same Yunior from THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO. I guess someone's cultural parlance changes as they age?

Ellen said...

It could just be another man from a similar background nicknamed Yunior, not the same Yunior...

The theory I have seen floated is that not only is it the same, he's a pretty transparent stand in for the author. But I haven't been able to find any evidence of that (other than that the author is Dominican-American, lives in Boston, has lived in NJ and had a fiancee at one point).