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Homework assignment – slang November 13, 2007

Posted by Emily in Spain, working.

Every Tuesday, I meet with the English teacher from my school and we have a beer or coffee and exchange languages, aka we talk in English for an hour or so, and then in Spanish, or vice versa. She speaks more English at the school than I do, for sure, and lived in England for a couple years, so her skills are good. Mine are improving, little by little. Starting today, we are each going to bring 5 examples of phrases or slang from our respective languages–things that are cool, current slang, or that are not easily translated or found in a dictionary.

These are mine for today:

It’s raining cats and dogs.

To die for (thanks, Kathleen!)

guilty pleasure


And I am going to give her the very important vocabulary relating to mullets, femullets, and rattails, including “Business in the front, party in the back.” Crucial here in Mulletland. We may also touch on “trashy” during this conversation…

So…suggestions? You can post them here in comments or email me directly.

Yesterday, I (re)learned a Spanish phrase–“no tiene pelos en la lengua.” Direct translation? to have no hairs on the tongue. Meaning? To say what’s on your mind, without thinking, without hesitation. Use it in context? Presidente Hugo Chávez no tiene pelos en la lengua. He was talking trash about the former president of Spain (Aznár), to the current president of the opposite party (Zapatero) and Zapatero was defending Aznár, saying he didn’t agree with his politics but he was elected by the Spanish people. Chávez kept yapping and Juan Carlos, King of Spain, leaned forward once to point at Chávez and say “You,” somewhat threateningly, and again to ask him “Why don’t you shut up?” “¿Por qué no te callas?” Juan Carlos is known as being really patient. Everyone’s talking about it and putting the phrase on their cell phones. It’s hilarious. See it for yourself:



1. B Hayes - November 15, 2007

Here are some thoughts:

Pisses me off
holy crap
makes my skin crawl

that’s all for now. i just had to take a break from con law, as we are discussing planned parenthood v. casey, and i am getting a bit worked up. back to class.


2. ann - November 18, 2007

wow. after watching that clip, i googled “por qué no te callas” and that’s the whole first page of search hits.

i didn’t understand until i did the search tho – they’re literally putting the audio of “por qué no te callas” as their ringtone on their móvils.

that is seriously funny.

3. Mom - November 19, 2007

How about “have a cow!”, “that rocks” or “you’re the bomb”?

Also, “break a leg” before a performance.

4. miamired - November 20, 2007

these are great! keep ’em coming!

5. Carol - November 23, 2007

Tell those bratty kids not to get too bent out of shape.

Very much enjoying your posts, Em.

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