Teachers Try To Americanize A Mexican Child's Name And Get A Hilarious Result (To Us, At Least)

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Back in "simpler times", Americans often Anglicized (made more English-sounding) the names of Mexican children. A little boy named Juan would have his name changed to John, for example.

Ramón "Chunky" Sanchez recounts a time his teachers had a little trouble renaming the new kid.

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My name when I started kindergarten was Ramón. And by the time I was in the second grade, everybody was calling me Raymond. You know, out in the playground, in the classroom, "Raymond!" "Hey, Raymond!" "Hey, Raymond!"

So I'm trying to adjust to this, you know what I mean? And if there was a girl named Maria, her name became Mary, and Juanita became Jane.

So one day, we got a new student by the name of Facundo Gonzalez. Facundo Gonzalez, man. When he came to school, we noticed they called an emergency administrative meeting.

We could kinda hear them talking through the door, "What are we gonna do with this guy," you know what I mean?

"How are we gonna change this name," you know.

One teacher goes, "Well, you know what? Why don't we try to shorten the name a little bit?"

And they go, "Yeah, but how do you spell it?" "F-a-c-u-n-d-o." "Why don't we just spell it, F-a-c?"

And one teacher goes, "Well, that means his name would be Fac." And the other teachers looked at him.

"No, that sound too much like a dirty word.

We can't be saying, 'Fac, where's your homework,' you know? 'Where's Fac at,'you know what I mean?"

Well, that was a trip we always remembered going through elementary school, because Facundo was the only guy who never got his name changed.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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As told to the good people over at StoryCorps by Ramón "Chunky" Sanchez. Read more about Anglicization in the New York Times.

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