What Is A Bodega

Add a comment May 27th, 2012  
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What Is A Bodega, In some parts of America, it’s called a “party store.” In others it’s called a “corner store.” And elsewhere it’s a “grocery”. In New York City, the term for a small, local retailer that sells everything from beer to diapers is “bodega,” and it was in the stockroom of one of these stores that 6-year-old Etan Patz lost his life 33 years ago today.

On Thursday, a former bodega employee named Pedro Hernandez told police that on a sunny morning in 1979, he had lured the boy into the basement of a store in Manhattan’s SoHo district, choked him to death and then hidden the body in a trash bag. He is accused of second-degree murder.

While most local outlets went ahead and called the crime scene a bodega, TIME refrained from using the term in our story on Etan today; not everyone in the country is familiar with the Nuyorican, Caribbean or Noo Yawk patois that spawned the term.

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