A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/26)
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Entry from April 07, 2011
El Centavo (J. C. Penney nickname)

J. C. Penney is a department store chain headquartered in Plano, Texas. According to the book Dancing with the Devil:
Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas
(1994) by José Eduardo Limón, J.C. Penney is nicknamed “el centavo” (Spanish for the cent or the penny) in South Texas.

“El centavo” is rarely seen in print, but the J. C. Penney nickname possibly has a much greater oral use in South Texas. A faux French nickname of J. C. Penney is “Jacques Penné.”


Wikipedia: J. C. Penney
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (formerly Penney’s) (NYSE: JCP) is a chain of American mid-range department stores based in Plano, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. The company operates 1,107 department stores in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. J. C. Penney also operates catalog sales merchant offices nationwide in many small markets.

Most J. C. Penney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Previously, most stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular in the latter half of the 20th century, J. C. Penney followed the trend by relocating its stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening some standalone stores, including some next door to competitors. Certain stores are located in power centers and can be considered big-box stores. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998. It has streamlined its catalog and distribution while undergoing renovation improvements at store level.

Google Books
Dancing with the Devil:
Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas

By José Eduardo Limón
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press
1994
Pg. 143:
Didn’t buy it at JC Penney exactly. First, a friend got it from a friend who lifted it at el centavo.
Pg. 221 (Glossary):
centavo Literally, a cent or penny. Hence, in south Texas, JC Penney is sometimes called el centavo.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 07, 2011 • Permalink