Monthly Archives: December 2013

Well, I will be a monkey’s uncle

There is is hopping big news story that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Executed His 'Worse Than a Dog' Uncle, it reminds me of a family story about the Zacachichimeca. The Zacachichimeca were a tribe in Mexico that were nomadic raiders and whose name has loosely translated into the lowest of the dog people… at least to the Aztecs who conquered them and spilled their blood and made them slaves of sorts. 

I think that the name for the Zacachichimenca and for the recently executed uncle  is an interesting thing… namely the use of the word dog as a pejorative.

I have always been intrigued by the almost cross-cultural use of the word in this way. The thing is, most of the world does something like this with one word or another.

Once I called a friend a worm, with the intent being more in the glory of the being but they took great offense. While I maintained (to their disbelief) that it was well intentioned the truth was that it was not a term that spoke to them in a way they understood. I assume they got over it.

But, as a species that loves hierarchy it is interesting to ponder what thing a culture can perceive to be as low enough to be an insult.

“I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.”
~ Uma Thurman