Roman Nicknames: El Pek

Walk with me through the evolution of David Pizarro's colloquial name:

First there was El Pequeño. The little one. That was too long, so it became El Peq. Then, a final bastardization and the nickname was settled: El Pek*. In other words, he couldn't even get the full word for little, it had to be shortened down. Ironic or a conscious call?



Bonus fun fact about El Pek: he's retired from the Chilean national team, because he thought the organization was too unprofessional at the time, and that he'd rather spend his time off with his family. In his home town of Valparaiso, high in the hills, he's done a face lift on his old neighborhood which, judging by surrounding areas was run down and beaten up. His entire family resides there now. I went there when I was in Chile last winter (because how could a romanista possibly resist the Roma connection half way around the world?), and it's very noticeable what a role model he is. Which is understandable, particularly in the area he grew up and has helped out as best he can. Also, on the way back from the cultural enlightening experience that was Pizarro's home, heading towards a less culturally refined experience (a visit at the house of Pablo Neruda), my little eye spied a replica of la lupa capitolina, sitting high on a pedestal in the center of town. What the what? At first I thought I was seeing things, thing no one else did; nostalgia induced by the Roma related visit. After all, what are the odds you'd run into the symbol of Rome there of all places? I never did get an answer to that, my enthusiastic inquires were met with shoulder shrugging in the context of 'oh that old thing? Who knows'.


*I will not even entertain the notion of the downright lazy Piza, or its related car crash of a nickname: Pizza. Get it, as in the food that's a staple of a balanced and healthy diet? Yeah, it's horrible.