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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


ALTHOUGH MOST OF MY POSTS ON SUZENYMS are devoted to editing and writing topics, now and then, it’s fun to share some personal stuff. This is one of those posts.

One of the things that Mike, my husband, and I've been trying to do for some years is to become fluent in Spanish. I started studying long before he did. To my great annoyance, he’s become proficient while I still butcher the language into hunks of jamón. Lately, he’s taken up learning Costa Rican slang – Pachuco. Having a good friend and several grad students who are Costa Rican gives him an edge. Last night, he shared some Pachuco sayings from his slang dictionary with me. Here’s an example of a typical night at the MacGregor household:

Mike:    Listen to this. Al lobo viejo coma carne fresca. 
Me:       (frowning) The wolf…the old wolf eats fresh meat.
Mike:    Meaning, old men like younger women.
Me:       Really? Better not.
Mike:    Here’s another one. Al tonto ni Dios, ni el Diablo lo quierren.
Me:       A fool neither God…neither God nor the Devil likes a fool. Uh huh.
Mike:    (bursts out laughing) Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha! (in Spanish: Ay, ja, ja, ja, ja!)
Me:       What? What is it?
Mike:    Caballo con la vienda, mujer con la espuela!
Me:       What? Cowboys on the veranda, women.…?
Mike:    No! (still laughing).
Me:       Just translate it.
Mike:    Horse with the reins, woman with the spur!
Me:       Not likely! Stop laughing so hard. It's not that funny.
Mike:    (calming down) Here’s a good one. Cada loco con su tema.
Me:       Every crazy has his theme. Yup.
Mike:    You’ll like this one. Dios los hacen, y el Diablo los junta.
Me:       God makes them, and the Devil…brings them together?
Mike:    Yup. It’s a comment on marriage.
Me:       Ah. I like that one.
Mike:    (smiling) I thought you might.

(Yes, we're a strange brand of wanna-be Spanish geek. And since it's September 11th, I should add a Feliz Cumpleaños a mi esposo.Y si tú lees este mensaje, Miguel, besos y brazos!

Stay tuned.


  1. Miguel10:04 AM

    Ese mensaje es mas tico que el gallo pinto!

  2. And for those of you who don't know, gallo pinto is a Costa Rican dish of rice and beans. And yes, I had to ask.