Monday, July 09, 2007

What I learned in Granada by Adam Katz, Age 11, part 3

In which we dispense with some misunderstandings and curiosities engendered by the previous two posts, have a cup of good hot tea with canela flowers, cardamom, and some spices that probably aren't poison (the blend as a whole is called paĆ­s and is delicious) and find out why spanish women are so damn dignified-looking

Follar literally means to pump bellows (think blacksmith...or a way to make a girl's skirt go all "Marilyn Monroe"). Joder literally means to have sex. It's a tough life but someone's gotta conceive it.

Useful note: unlike in English there is no word that simply means, well, "fuck." (As Allen Sherman points out in his book The Rape of the Ape, the word is direct and unambiguous while simultaneously lacking the clinical feel of words like "coitus.") So they improvise. Joder has the literal meaning in Spain, but not in Latin America. Thus: don't fuck WITH me, rather than don't fuck me.


Chingar, joder, and follar are the principle ones with hacer el amor (to make love), enchufar (to plug into an electrical socket) and dormir (to sleep) being close behind. Hacer el amor (to make love) is the polite way of saying it but you wouldn't use it to tell someone off. That would be like saying: "go get a woman who loves you to massage your shoulders and pleasure you all night asshole!!!" Doesn't have the same sting. Chingar, in Spain, is now understood as "fuck" but once meant "bother" or "annoy" much like, ironically enough for us English speakers, "molestarse," which STILL means to "bother" or "annoy" (violar being the criminal act). According to a Berlitz book on slang, Joder and Follar are best understood in Latin America as "bother" or "annoy" (why they couldn't just switch? search me). I suspect that with the age of television and the rise of casual swearing, all three will start to have the same (or similar) meanings in place of the confusion.

And not to be upstaged: correrse means "to orgasm" but it's a really the tamest of all of them.

"Echar un polvo" means to pour out dust. You can fill in the details, I'm sure.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED: "Estar hecho polvo" means "to be bone-tired." They also say "estoy jodido," more colloquially, of course. Estar hecho polvo and Echar un Polvo mean VERY different things but sound similar. Let the buyer beware.

much love.
Next week we'll talk about why spanish women are so damn dignified-looking in bed.