I was reading the newspaper on Sunday, and I ran across a column that talked about a very popular nickname for El Paso.  I've never used 'El Chuco' before, and honestly, had never heard it used a lot until about 3 years ago.  What about you?

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I read the column and thought, come on, who really uses 'El Chuco' is regular conversation?  So I asked a bunch of friends and family if they ever said 'El Chuco', and a couple said they did, but only when they were representin' to people who were giving them grief about still living in El Paso.  You know the ones I'm talking about - the people who left El Paso for jobs or school, and when the come back, they spend the whole time telling you what bumpkins we are for still living in El Paso while they stuff their faces with L&J's mini tacos because they can't get decent Mexican food where they live!

I even asked some of Darren's Northeast vato friends - their words, not mine!  They said using 'El Chuco' in regular conversation among people who live here is for people who are frontin' with their friends.  They say it's definitely something they reserve for when they are defending our fair city to outsiders.

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'El Chuco' actually came about because the pachuco look and lifestyle developed here in El Paso.  But I think 'El Chuco' something people use when their El Paso-ness is called into question.  I also think that certain groups have started using it to show their displeasure with people they think aren't 'Mexican' enough.

Now you know what I think, so I gotta ask, is 'El Chuco' just frontin', or something you use regularly?