Chin Pum Pan Tortillas Papas

Text: “chin pum pan tortillas papas”


Informant: A magic thing that, if you want something to work, but it doesn’t work, let’s take the TV. You like do a few things and then you’re like chin pum pan tortillas papas and you turn on the TV and it’s like ay it works. It’s like abra kadabra but it’s like *indistinguishable noises* and then it works. You know?

Me: Is this a family tradition?

Informant: Um I think it’s a regional thing. Not everyone in Mexico does it it’s just certain regions.

Me: Do you know the origin?

Informant: No

Me: What do you personally think of it?

Informant: Um it would help make things work magically, but it’s again a placebo effect thing.

Personal Thoughts:

As noted below under additional notes, this phrase may have originated from the 80’s TV Show ‘Chuiquilladas’. Of course, the show could’ve been inspired by another source. In the case that this originated in the TV show, this saying then appears to be a case of a pop culture catchphrase becoming a folk saying. While that may seem like inauthentic folklore (a TV show comes from a institution, presumably with power and money and authority), the use of the phrase seems to have moved away from the TV show to become something independent.

Additional Notes:

The following link claims that this phrase came “from the magician ‘Rody’ in this 80’s TV Show ‘Chiquilladas'”