On Monday, first lady Jill Biden mispronounced “bodega” during a speech to a Hispanic advocacy group, prompting renewed comparisons to cartoon professor Peggy Hill.
Biden greeted the Bronx “bow-get-taas” during a speech in San Antonio, Texas, with such confidence that social media users were reminded of the cartoon character “King of the Hill,” a substitute teacher in Texas who taught Spanish without being able to say “Spanish” correctly.
The first lady’s pronunciation was more like that of the Colombian capital, “Bogotá,” than the standard “bow-day-guh” pronunciation.
The term bodega in the US refers to a small neighborhood grocery store. It originated with Puerto Rican residents of New York City, but is now used by residents of all ethnicities.
“Raul [Yzaguirre] helped build this organization with the understanding that the diversity of this community — as distinct as the bodegas in the Bronx, as beautiful as the flowers in Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio — is its strength,” he said. Biden in a speech to the UnidosUS group.
The teasing continued, more than one user write, “Jill Biden is Peggy Hill,” a comparison the first lady made earlier last year when she gave a speech in California and uttered “si se puede,” which means “yes, we can,” as “si se pwadwe!”
Another person wrote, “Jill Biden and Peggy Hill are both teachers, both full of themselves, both trash Hispanics, both massacred the Spanish language, both incredibly annoying, but at least Peggy Hill had some redeeming qualities. Jill has absolutely zero.”
The first lady uses the honorific “Dr.” in recognition of the Doctor of Education degree she received in 2007 from the University of Delaware.
In addition to her role as first lady, Jill Biden teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College.