Origins of the Chabacano Ansina, Endenantes, Enantes, and Masquin

When I read an article wherein Gemma Cruz-Araneta (former tourism secretary) was saying that she would hear Mexican Indians use the word 'ansina', I automatically thought that ansina is a Nahuatl word. Nahuatl is a language spoken by the Aztecs and rumor has it that there are a number of Chabacano words with Nahuatl origin. Immediately, I set out to research the word ansina.

To my surprise though, it turned out that ansina is not a Nahuatl word but it is actually Spanish, old Spanish that is. Well, considering that Spanish reached the shores of Zamboanga in the early 1600s, it is actually no surprise that Chabacano is peppered with old Spanish words.

There are two varieties of this word, the other being ansí though it is not used in Chabacano. According to the Diccionario de la Lengua Española de la Real Academia Española (DRAE), besides in old Spanish documents, this word is still used in parts of rural Spain like Aragón and some states in the United States that border Mexico like Colorado and New Mexico. Here are some examples on how it is used in Spanish (still according to DRAE) with their English translation:

Yo soy así/ ansina
That’s the way I am

Así/ ansina es como lo arrestaron
That’s how/ This is how they arrested him

Lo hizo así/ ansina:
He did it like that/ this

Esto no puede seguir así/ ansina
Things can’t go on this way/ like this

Así/ ansina ocurrió el accidente
That’s how/ This is how the accident happened

Así/ ansina están las cosas
That’s the way things are

Un hombre así/ ansina
A man lke that/ this

Now here are some examples of how this word is used in Chabacano along with their rough English counterpart.

Chabacano: Ansina ya gayot el vida
English: That's how life is

Chabacano: Ansina yo de rabiao/quiere contigo
English: That's how angry/ in love I am with you

Chabacano: Ansina ba yo contigo ya enseña?
English: Is that how I taught you?

Chabacano: No hay (nuay) cosa pasa na mga gente ansina
English: Nothing will happen to people like that (people like that won't be successful)

Chabacano: Ansina ba or Ansina?
English: Is that so?

Chabacano: Ansina mio novio
English: My boyfriend is like that

As you may have noticed, ansina/ansí translates to like this/that in English.

Ansina in Spanish is used to describe how a person or an event/action is. The usage is Chabacano is the same. Ansina/ansí is así in modern Spanish.

Other old Spanish words that got incorporated into the Chabacano language are endenantes and mas que (pronounced in Chabacano as masquin or misquin). The archaic phrase endenantes and mas que have now been replaced by hace un tiempo (a while ago) and aunque (although) in Spanish.

I had no idea whether there are other parts of the world wherein these two words are still used. However, I did try using endenantes while I was chatting online with a Mexican and he did understand me because of the word antes in endenantes.

Aside from endenantes, we also have enantes in Chabacano. These words can also be pronounced and spelled without the 's' at the end by some people (endenante, enante). Enantes is also considered as archaic Spanish. Another variation that comes from these words is delnantes.

Here now are some examples wherein endenantes and masquin is used (with a rough English translation):

Ya limpia yo conel casa en denantes
I cleaned the house a while ago

En denantes pa tu taqui?
Have you been here a while already?

Masquin anda pa tu alla, no hay mas tu cosa puede hace
Even if you go there, there is nothing that you can do

Caliente man yo ta senti masquin Diciembre ya...
Why do I feel hot even though it's already December…