Many Dominicans do not go by their given name in the community. They have apodos. The amusing part is that for some reason almost all introduce themselves by their given name to me, but the community knows them by their nickname – their apodo. Therefore I have no idea that I know the person when everyone in the group is talking about them.
I also have not found rhyme or reason for many of the apodos. When my friend Jen called me Trash, that was clearly a play on Ash. When my Dad called me Crash, that was a play on Ash and me crashing the car.
But Miguel who runs an English school and has been supportive of the Construye class is called Stocker.
My Dominican mom is called Cunini.
Sometimes there is a reason. My host dad Nelson can be talked about as el agrónomo (agronomist) which makes sense as it is his job for the avocado cooperative.
But sometimes I don’t even understand how the apodo can be distinctive. More than one female is called Negra (Black in the female form). And Altagracia who helped me start the cleaning products class is called Hembra. Hembra means female nothing more.
I of course can be La Americana or La Rubia. Although my mom called me Negra for my hair and I told her according to the Spanish I was Morena (Dark Brown)An .
Well that’s my brief overview.