History of Spanglish + A Spanglish version of Little Red Riding Hood

Sometimes we think of Spanglish as a modern invention – something that the younger generation has created as the Latino population grows in the United States and American culture becomes increasingly popular in Latin America. The truth is, Spanglish has been around a long time. The term, “Spanglish” was first coined by a Puerto Rican linguist named Salvador Tió in the late 1940s. Tió also came up with the word “inglañol” – which is not nearly as popular, (my guess is because it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue the same way.)

While the term “Spanglish” first started being used in the late 1940’s, its roots go much further back to the 1800’s, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the 100,000 Mexicans left on the new U.S. side of the border – Mexicans who later became known as “Chicanos.”

Honestly, while I suspected the origins of Spanglish to be something similar to what I found, I wasn’t prompted to research it until recently. Watching I Love Lucy with my little boy before he goes to school is one of my favorite parts of the day. An episode called “Ricky Minds the Baby” aired one morning and in this episode, Ricky tells the story of “Caperucita Roja” (Little Red Riding Hood), to Little Ricky – and he tells it entirely in very charming and amusing Spanglish.

1/18/54: “Ricky Minds the Baby”
I Love Lucy Episode 80 – Filmed 12/3/53
Story: Ricky decides that Lucy deserves a rest, so he offers to take care of Little Ricky.


Hispanicla.com – Spanglish I
Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America By Ed Morales
Wikipedia – Spanglish
Latinaish – Spanglish Songs
About.com: Caperucita Roja – Vocabulary


  1. Priceless! This is true Spanglish. *LOL* Like any kid would roll over and fall asleep after that story. (rice, beans, wine in the basket!) You brought back a lot of memories with this clip. I loved watching this show every day when I was a kid, but not because of Lucy … Ricky was always my favorite! : )

  2. Loved this! Showed it to the kids this morning…they had never seen i love lucy before! They were laughing and I had forgotten how funny that show was. We ended up watching another whole episode where Lucy tried to sneak a 25 lb cheese onto an airplane as a baby. Now watching this, I’m not so anti-tv. Thanks for the memories!!

    • Watched that one again last week, (the cheese “baby” on the airplane.) — Absolutely hilarious. The reaction of the woman sitting next to her with a real baby when Lucy says, “Baby? Nooo, I didn’t have a baby. It was cheese.” — The way she starts screaming. jajajaja… Love it. If you go to Hulu.com – through there, you can find tons of I Love Lucy episodes to watch for free, (with a few advertisements/commercials.)

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