Artfully Learning Fun(ny) Spanish

La esposa y las esposas.
” La esposa y las esposas.

Learning a new language (and culture) is both fun, and sometimes, funny. The general assumption about Spanish is that you can put an “o” on the end of the wordo (see, like that) and that this “o” will make it Spanish. Lots of the words are the indeed the same or similar in English and Spanish. These are called cognates. An example is dictionary: diccionario. Looks the same, must be the same. But, how easily one can land, mouth on foot! Here are some other words and phrases that can make for sticky or embarrassing situations (does my quick doodle better illustrate the point?).

“embarrazado” = to be a pregnant man (the “o” means that you are a man). To be embarrassed is “avergonzado” which makes me think about modern journalism being “gonzo”…
“las esposas” = the wives or handcuffs (useful if you are talking about two or more wives or handcuffs). Perhaps somehow related to “ball and chain?”

Also, today is “martes trece” or “Tuesday the 13th” which is the equivalent to “Friday the Thirteenth” — a day of bad luck, a day not to leave your house, not to start a new business, etc. in Spanish-speaking countries. Perhaps a day to stay indoors looking up funny cognates online. I am taking note of these as I go along, so if I get them wrong, please comment! I look forward to trying to avoid too many encounters of foot in mouth once I get to Colombia.

3 thoughts on “Artfully Learning Fun(ny) Spanish

  • I always took the wife/handcuffs thing as a sexist joke of the language, unfortunately… it seems to be much more likely to see “marido” instead of “esposo” for “husband,” but “marida” isn’t a word, as far as I’ve heard. Ahahaha wimmins, they’re all like being in prison!!

    Much of this is highly regional, but it’s always good to know any common slang for genitalia. For example, in Argentina you can say “llego como a las doce y pico” to mean “I’ll be there a little after 12” but in Chile, “pico” means… something different… and my roommate laughed at me for saying it out of habit… twice.

    • Kristina,

      Thanks for the heads-up on the Argentinian arrival time… I shall have to share this with those headed in that direction. Apparently, the “esposa” comes from Latin. I think that people use other endearments for their wives, but I can’t recall them right now.


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