Spanish words for pussy

Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Thu Jun 24 08:44:59 UTC 1999


"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:

>
> PS: I've been very circumspect in this posting, assuming that your subject
> line will attract more readers than any other message sent today (or for
> quite some time). I was reminded lately that an earlier excahnge of ours
> was roundly misinterpreted, and I don't want people, to think I liike you
> any less than I really do.

I'd like to emulate Dennis's circumspection, but the subject line begs
for a little elucidation.

The problem is that Spanish is NOT Spanish is NOT Spanish,  Local and
national flavorings can give such distinct twists to the same words that
anybody could get a bad case of homonophobia.

Example:  I took an Argentinian friend and her mother on a tour of the
sights of Cuernavaca, Mexico.  When we turned a corner (near the Borda
Gardens, as I recall), Esther's mother immediately turned right back.
Embarrassed, she said "I just can't walk down that street with that
sign!"  I had no idea of what she was talking about, until Esther
explained that the offender was the sign that said "Bar La Concha" --
the Conch Shell, a commonname for Mexican bars.  In argentinian Spanish,
apparently, "concha" is the crudest available word for, uh, ummm, well,
pussy.

Total misunderstandings, particularly sex-oriented double entendres,
happen fairly often when native speakers of Spanish from different
countries get together.  When a friend of ours was Director of Tourism
for the Mexican state of Chiapas, he went to Costa Rica with an official
delegation.  At a very formal dinner (gentlemen in suits, ladies in
evening gowns), Pepe was seated next to an attractive woman in deep
d├ęcolletage wearing an elaborate necklace. His eyes roved.

Pepe almost fell through the floor when the lady said "Le gusta mis
chichis?  Quiere tocarlas?"

As a Costa Rican, she said "What do you think of my necklace? ("Chichis"
is a C.R. equivalent of "gewgaws", often applied to jewelry.) Would you
like to see them up close?"  Pepe told us that as she said this, she was
reaching for the clasp.  (I've taken some liberty with the verb "tocar",
which a bilingual dictionary would render as "to touch, handle, feel",
because the alternate meaning was clearly intended.)

As a Mexican, Pepe heard her saying "Do you like my breasts?  Would you
care to feel them?"

As Pepe tells the tale, when he heard this he got obviously flustered
and started blushing.  A couple of ticks later, she realized what he
must have been thinking, and SHE got obviously flustered and started
blushing.  Then they both started laughing. Well, that sure broke the
ice, anyway. . .  and Pepe ends the story by saying that he and his wife
and the lady and her husband had a beautiful evening from then on.

Nonetheless, when I get to a dialect area I haven't visited before I
deliberately give contradictory signals when I first start talking with
local Spanish speakers.  In self-defense, I stick very close to formal
usage, strictly according to standard dictionary meanings. At the same
time I use (even emphasize) the provincial accent I acquired in the
Chiapas/Guatemala borderland, rather than the professorial accent I
think of as Universitarian Universalist.  People conclude that I must
come from a place that is Spanish-speaking, but far away from wherever
we are.

That keeps me from having to fight my way out of the interesting places
I visit.

--  mike salovesh             <salovesh at niu.edu>        PEACE !!!



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