n. na·cho (nä’chō’)

Story suggestion by: Shara M. Email us a story.

OedEver wonder about the word “nacho” and what its origin may be? Adriana P. Orr, former U.S. library researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary, wrote an article back in 1999 that tackled that very question. She recalls a day back in September of 1988 when a slip of paper with the word “nacho” was given to her from one of the editors. It was her job to research its etymology.

Was it back in 1978 when it appeared in an issue of the Tucson (Arizona) Magazine? Was it in 1969 when it was published in Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary? Or does it go back even further? Ultimately, Adriana’s search took her as far back as 1949 when she found a quote in a book titled A Taste of Texas:

“Sometime later he returned carrying a large dish of Nachos Especiales. ‘These Nachos,’ said Pedro, ‘will help El Capitan – he will soon forget his troubles for nachos make one romantic.”

However fascinating this magical quote was, she was never able to conclusively find the true origin.

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