First lady Jill Biden on Monday mispronounced “bodega” during a speech to a Hispanic advocacy group — drawing renewed comparisons to cartoon fellow teacher Peggy Hill.
Biden hailed the “bow-get-taas” of The Bronx during a speech in San Antonio, Texas, with such confidence that social media users recalled the “King of the Hill” cartoon character, a substitute teacher in Texas who taught Spanish without being able to correctly say “Español.”
The first lady’s pronunciation was closer to that of Colombian capital “Bogotá” than the standard pronunciation “bow-day-guh.”
The term bodega in the US refers to a small neighborhood grocery. It originated with New York City’s Puerto Rican residents but now is 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 of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio — is your strength,” Biden said in a speech to the group UnidosUS.
Mockery followed, with more than one user writing, “Jill Biden is Peggy Hill” — a comparison that the first lady previously drew last year when she delivered a speech in California and pronounced “si se puede” — meaning “yes we can” — as “si se pwadwe!”
Another person wrote, “Jill Biden and Peggy hill are Both teachers Both full of themselves Both talk down to Hispanics Both butchered 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 that 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.