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I was applying for a serving job and the guy called me "mi ha" or something that sounds like it. What does it mean?

  • Posted Mar 18, 2010
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  • probably the person is older than you - ismarodri_uy Mar 18, 2010
  • Bienvenida al foro. Welcome to the forum. - 0074b507 Mar 19, 2010
  • Although this not what was meant It must have sounded like mía (f) (singular) which oddly means "mine" which would have been friendly too. - ian-hill Mar 19, 2010

9 Answers

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I agree both with Mattm and Jeezle, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. At least in Latin American countries, it is usually perfectly natural for an older person to address a younger one as "m'ija". It does not necessarily have the condescending or sexist connotations it may have in some English speaking countries.

When people the same age use it, then it means something closer to "gal"; or "bud", as in: "¡Ay m'ija, tú si que estás pelada!" ("You're so wrong, gal!")

  • Mar 18, 2010
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  • Thank you. He wasn't oogling me or anything and he did seem older than me (I look pretty young) so that makes sense. - rosymermaid Mar 18, 2010
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I think you can compare the use of "mi hija" in this context with the British use of "dear" or "love" which is indicating that the speaker has a friendly attitude towards you rather than has any romantic or sexual implication. In the north of England it is rather common for the person behind the till - be it a man or a woman - to call you "love" at paying for something in a shop. When giving back change they often say: "Here you go, love".

  • Mar 19, 2010
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  • Exactly right. I liked that very much about being en England. Reminded me of how people treat you in Latin America. - Gekkosan Mar 19, 2010
  • I know, makes me feel like they think I'm a local - which one person actually did think :). Never been to Latin America though nor have I ever been called "m'ija". Yet. ;) - chicasabrosa Mar 19, 2010
  • Tranquila, chica. There, now you have been. - h1deaway Mar 19, 2010
  • ¡Mijo! ¡Yo pensé que le ibas a decir "mija", para que se sintiera mejor! - Gekkosan Mar 19, 2010
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Daniel is essentially correct, except that it is indeed written "m'ija" or "mija".(There are plenty of literary examples of this) Since it is a contraction of "mi hija", it makes sense that it is written with "j", not "h". After all, "hache" is a mute letter in Spanish. Furthermore in certain contexts, the use - if not the literal meaning- is equivalent to "babe", "baby", or "gal. For example, a concerned old woman tells her young granddaughter: "La vida no es justa con las mujeres, m'ija, así que ten cuidado".

"Life isn't fair with women, baby, so be careful". I think that sounds more natural than "Life isn't fair with women, my daughter, so be careful". That said, "dear" also fits very nicely here. Interpretation is fun because really there are so many ways to say the same thing, and it varies so much depending on each particular perspective and background!

  • Mar 19, 2010
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Daniel, I am not engaging on an academic debate. I am simply stating, as a native speaker and avid reader, how we use the word. If you wish to pursue the matter for your own enrichment, I'll be glad to spend some time digging up literary references and common-use references for you. A quick search on Google with "mijo" will show you plenty of references in any event, including this thread on wordreference.

"miho / miha", may be a way to write it so that English speakers are able to pronounce it correctly, but it's certainly not Spanish. A native Spanish speaker would prononce "miho" as "mee-oh".

Cheers!

  • Mar 19, 2010
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  • Thank you for your time and help. I do know how "mija" is used. You will also find how "miha" is used on WR. - Daniel Mar 19, 2010
  • After all the poster was asking about "miha". - Daniel Mar 19, 2010
  • I did, because I love to learn new things, and you express a lot of certainty about this. However, searching on wordreference either way just yielded "No translation found for 'miho'." - Gekkosan Mar 19, 2010
  • Me too. - Daniel Mar 19, 2010
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Mi hija - my daughter. Mija - shortened form. He probably meant "baby" like in "babe".

  • Mar 18, 2010
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Could have been "mi hija" which means my daughter. Not good............

  • Mar 18, 2010
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"Jeezzle" is correct about it being short for "mi hija" -- but it is one word with a "h" and no "j" (it does not mean "babe or "baby" or "gal"):

"miha" is a shortened form of "mi hija" (slangy). This is really common and is a term of endearment and friendliness. "miha" in your case means "dear" -- and the guy was being very friendly and polite to you by saying "miha".

  • Mar 19, 2010
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I want to take this one step further...... I am called "miho" very often by a man here locally. Also I was in Mexico and the boss of several fishing boats began to call me "miho" after the first of four days. It made me feel good that he considered me to that close and easy going for him to call me "miho".

Now I don't know how it translates to English for a guy to call another guy "miho" -- but it is very friendly.

  • Mar 19, 2010
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  • "Son", or "kid". "¡Gracias por la ayuda, mijo!" "Thanks for the help, son". "Son" is used with non-relatives in English, the same way that "mijo" is in Spanish. - Gekkosan Mar 19, 2010
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Gekkosan said:

Daniel is essentially correct, except that it is indeed written "m'ija" or "mija".(There are plenty of literary examples of this) Since it is a contraction of "mi hija", it makes sense that it is written with "j", not "h".

It is with a "h". I just now found it on WR. So :miha" or "miho" is as I disccussed.

However when you use "mija" or "mijo" with a "j" it is a shortened form for daughter or son -- and would not be correct in the poster's case. It is "miha" in this case!

  • Mar 19, 2010
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