Monday, May 21, 2007

Peas and mi chichi - habla español? (2)

One day we were getting peas from the vegetable man who comes round the village in his van.

We used to ask for guisantes but now we don't bother. We ask for chicharros like everyone else does in the village.

In the local town you can use either, it really depends where the shop owner is from as to which word they prefer to use.

We used to call ordinary flat green beans judias but, like the chicharros, we have adopted local custom and call them habachuelas.

And I have given up asking for patatas too, and slip into the idle use of papas. Asking for patatas was often met with blank looks anyway.

Back to the peas. So while we were asking about the use of the word chicharros, the (40-year-old) daughter of our neighbour started talking about mi chichi.

Not surprisingly it isn't an abbreviation of chicharros. And definitely not a good idea to go up to the guapa (pretty) shop assistant and say you want some of her chichis.

To save you googling it - it is the part of the female anatomy that is always used as an obscene swear-word in English.

Words that I try not to use. One of the vague feminist principles I can remember is that it is not cool to use such words in an insulting, derogatory, or abusive context, ie the word association is not good.

Apparently though, it is not always insulting, derogatory or abusive here.

My female neighbour in her late 70s will cheerfully stand outside talking and say "coño!" meaning not much more than drat. Can I imagine my mother at the same age (or any age) saying "c***!" in a casual conversation with the neighbours? It gets used on Spanish television too.

And according to neighbour Marcey, you can walk onto the bus, and say to a good friend "Hola, mi chichi...que hay?"

I do not think any of my good and very long-term friends would be impressed if I greeted them with "Hello, my little c*** ... how are you?"


TAPhillips said...

Ok... so now that I've found and read a couple of passages from this blog at work... everyone is wondering why I'm laughing out loud alone in my cubicle...

Katherine and Pippa, said...

I meant to be serious on here. I just don't get round to it often....