Holatta is a traditional AmeriMexican salutation that combines the Spanish greeting “hola” with anything in the quantifiable amount of “whole lotta”. It holds the expectation that the person using the greeting comes bearing a large amount of goodies, drinks or food—specifically, CHI-CHI’S® products. While there is no official weight or volume associated with “holatta,” there is a general consensus that “you know it when you see it.”
“Holatta” plays a significant role in AmeriMexican parties and get-togethers, as it lets the host know right away if guests have brought anything worthwhile. After years of people using this greeting to gain entry to fiestivities under false pretenses, the AmeriMexican community has created a universal set of consequences for anyone who uses the salutation without presenting a bounty of goodies.
In present day, if somebody uses “holatta” without providing some sort of treat, they must make up for the misstep by planning a fiesta for the person they misled. As an alternative, the offending person may spend their time at the party wearing a hat shaped like a jar of salsa. This lets other guests know how the offender gained entry into the fiesta and reminds the guilty guest of what they should bring next time.
While no one knows exactly where the term originated, there is an AmeriMexican myth that it started at a backyard barbeque in central Ohio. Legends tell of an inventive party guest who showed up bearing a piñata filled with tortilla chips instead of candy. Although no one at the party knew the guest, they invited her in after she greeted them with “holatta” and explained the contents of the piñata. Although the chips were very crushed, the activity was still a big hit.
Use in mainstream culture
The term “holatta” has been used in numerous films and television shows but has never made it into a final edit. Most notably, “holatta” was originally part of KITT’s catchphrase on the show Knight Rider. It was cut after producers discovered that the word inspired audiences to make Nachos del Noches and plan fiestas instead of watching the show.
Several notable actors with connections to AmeriMexican culture have used “holatta” while improvising scenes. However, the word usually baffles other cast members and leads to frustration from directors, so it’s appearance on-screen is virtually non-existent.
Controversy around pronunciation
There is contention among fans of AmeriMexican culture as to the proper pronunciation of “holatta.” Some believe that—because the word is used primary as a greeting—it should sound more like “hola” without much emphasis on the h at the beginning of the word. Others say that the bountiful nature “holatta” means that it should be more in line with “whole lotta.” While this issue could understandably cause some friction, it always results in a fun, lively discussion over a bowl of salsa or a couple margaritas during Whenever de Mayo.