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The Royal Spanish Academy and the Mexican Academy of Language agree on the definition of the word as referring to something "belonging to Mexico City"[1][2], in particular referring to people native to the capital.

Chilango is a Mexican slang demonym for a person living in Mexico City that either was born in Mexico City or its surrounding areas or moved to that human agglomeration. It has a negative connotation when used by someone in one of the 31 sovereign States of Mexico.

People from Mexico City have come to embrace the term and use it with pride. This "chilango pride" has also led the pejorative term "Chilangolandia" in reference to Mexico City. They also consider that any non-Chilango who uses the term does it in a derogatory fashion, and although widely used, it is considered pejorative since its not uncommon of people not from Mexico City to view Mexico City dwellers as "different" from them: selfish, dishonest, corrupt, manipulative and treacherous. The embracing of this term also lead to the publication of Chilango, a monthly humouristic magazine, in November 2003 in which real events conform the majority of articles but trying to make fun of the city itself. It included within its pages the Time Out city guide, but this was retired in early 2007. The magazine defines Chilango in an article in December 2004:

About Chilango:

First, it was Tenochtitlan. Then, Mexico City. Today, it's proudly called Chilangolandia, capital city of the IMECA empire.

[...] Chilango etymology refers, overall, to the hot sauces variety in the central valley and it comes to the ending ango making fun of the Nahuatl, always so toponymic as in "Tenango". Chilango does not refer neither to the city's name -because is the country's too- nor to the administrative DF, but that imaginative territory one doesn't know exactly its borders and where every vegetable becomes, sooner or later, a taquera sauce [...]

The accepted etymology of the word "chilango" is most likely a derivation of the Nahuatl word Ixachitlān, that actually refers to the whole of the American continent.

Two widely used terms for a resident of Mexico City are Defeño (derived from D.F., Distrito Federal and not an official Spanish word) and Capitalino, which can also be used both in a positive or a derogatory sense, although the latter is generally accepted as a neutral demonym.

The term is also used to refer to food of Mexico City origin.

Chilango is also a chain of Mexican restaurants in the UK, located on Upper Street near Angel, Fleet Street, Meadowhall in Sheffield and soon to be opening a branch in Bluewater, Kent. Its fame is from serving high quality Mexican street fare, such as Burritos and Agua Fresca in a hip environment and at competitive prices.

It has received critical acclaim by columnist and bloggers alike, as arguably the best Mexican food in London.[3][4][5]

On March 3, 2010 the UK restaurant and bar industry also voted Chilango as the best new concept in the UK at the 2010 Retailers' Retailer of the Year Awards.[6]


  1. ^ Diccionario de la lengua española - Vigésima segunda edición
  2. ^ Academia Mexicana de la Lengua
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Chilango Review". The London Insider. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  6. ^


  • Today, the term Chilango is still widely used and refers to a variety of people ranging from people that has the accent of a Chilango, to those who live, work or study in the Mexico City. Due to the lack of education and ethics of people from different boroughs in the city, Chilangos are widely perceived to be selfish, dishonest, untrustworthy, manipulative, and treacherous. Some people claim that people who are born and raised in Mexico city are called "Capitalinos or Defeños". However, most Mexicans of the 31 Mexican states do not distinguish between native Mexico City inhabitants and those who moved there and call all residents of Mexico City "Chilangos", even "Chilanguillos," an even more pejorative term.

See also



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