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What does "conejos de Avila" mean in this context?
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Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Llanes (Asturies)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:15 pm    Post subject: Bad Words Reply with quote

Well now, there's a topic i'm good at.
I shouldn't be, but i must say that, being spanish, i'm really proud of the bad-words-knowledge i've acquired in these last few years.
i'm young (at age 23, i hope you think so too Wink ), so i'm all about cursing (sorry, mom!). Specially when i'm working. And my workplace being a "chigre" (small rural restaurant or sidrería), it's just getting worse. And i always curse in english.
It really makes my coworkers wonder, they find it very funny although they know i have an american soul (they call me "la yankee"). They never know what i'm saying, so it keeps them guessing, hehe!
I once was asked by my coworkers "qué cojones ladras?" (what the fuck are you barking? (fam. for saying). I found it really hard to translate the cursing, REALLY! You american guys are so polite when it comes to swearing... Like, when i drop something and i feel like saying "joder!" (fuck!) what comes out of my mouth is "shit!" (mierda!, which is a very mild word here).
Now, i'd like to explain the "estoy de puta madre" expression. My translation would be "i'm fucking well". That's what puto/a means in most of the spanish swearing expressions.
And, for all of you who are interested, we have "politically correct" equivalents too:
Estoy de puta madre ---- Estoy de puñetera madre
Joder! ---- Jo, Jolín, Jolines or Jopelines! (although this ones sound really childish in spanish)
Mierda! ---- Miércoles!

And about the "me cago en la mar" expression, there's a whole lot of them, like "me cago en la leche", but there are two really good ones that are used in Asturias, specially where i come from:
"me cago en la mar de Oviedo" (i shit in Oviedo's sea) (which is funny, because for those who don't know much about geography, Oviedo has no sea)
"me cago en les pites de Grao" (i shit in Grao's hens)
And another one my brother-in-law always uses:
"me cago en el hijo de mi madre" (in shit in my mother's son, which is himself, that way no one can tell him off, it's himself he's swearing about, right?)

Hope you found all this s*** interesting! hehe

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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4512
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Evina, such expertise!

And what would this mean: "el 'puto' sheriff" (the writer is talking affectionately, I think, about the man in charge--who is also the writer's father).

Am I right to assume that 'puto' adds an expletive to sheriff, just for humorous effect?

I was amazed to hear Asturians using the word "sheriff". Does it have any special meanings?

In the US a sheriff is related to law enforcement, but generally has a much broader set of roles than a police officer would. In West Virginia, for example, the sheriff is responsible for property tax collection, I think. So a sheriff's role is more intimately involved in the functional details of county government (which I think is probably also true in the British Isles).

There can also be a humorous side to the word "sheriff" in expressions like "Who made you a cookie sheriff?" (What makes you think you can tell me how to do something or how to live?)

Last edited by Art on Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always remember my Asturian/American grandfather saying "coño" this and "coño" that, whenever he dropped something, for example. I cracked up when I found out what it meant. In Spain, it's like saying "dammit." Not too bad, but you wouldn't want to blurt it out at a fancy dinner with the priest.

My Chilean friend says that his Spanish-descended father was known in Chile as "Coñito," which is what the Chileans call Spaniards.
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Miguel Angel

Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art said:"And what would this mean: "el "puto sheriff"(the writter is talking affectionatelly, I think, about the man in charge -who is also the writter's father).
Am I right to assume that it adds an expletive to sheriff, just for humorous effect?
I was amazed to hear Asturians using the word "sheriff". Does it have any special meanings?"
Well, it's more o less what you think. There is nothing similar to sheriff in Spain. We took the word from western movies. In these films the sheriff was the strongest and the faster at shooting. He ruled. He fought against outlaws and bandits and nobody was able to mob him. So, saying "el puto sheriff" is the same think as saying "el puto amo": something who rules, who nobody mob to, who is also respected. It isn't negative but often affectionate and ironical. I think it can also mean skillfull in a matter, the best. It depends on the context.
I think that "puto" here adds a sense of "whole", "totally". Maybe "el puto sheriff" could be translated as "the only boss".
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Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Llanes (Asturies)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, y'all!!!

Since I'm Evina's twin sis I feel like I can answer your question, Turin, hehe! (hope she agrees... Confused )

I worked for three years and four months in a chigre, so I heard a lot of "cagamentos", I don't remember most of them, but I promise I'll post them if I remember any.

The ones that I remember right now are, for instance, "me cagun to lo que se menea" ("I shit on everything/all that moves") or "me cagun to lo malu" ("I shit on everything/all that's bad/evil")

And I would say that the "estoy de puta madre" expression should be translated "I'm fuckingly well" (not "I'm fucking well" like my sister said... I think that could be missunderstood - but don't worry, eva, we'd never dare to doubt that you are! Wink )

Just as Miguel Angel said, the expression "puto sheriff" is so very positive in spanish (BTW, in asturianu we'd say "putu cherif") and we use it when talking about someone who has no competence in the field of expertise at discussion.

I have a complaint, though. I never heard that expression refering to a woman... Not that we're not good enough at what we do Wink . I guess that's because the sheriff was always a man, right? For women we use "puta ama" (amo literally means owner, but here is used as boss) or something similar (at least that's what people said to me when they told me I was a good "escanciadora" - you know, the funny thing we do when serving cider...)

Anyway, I also would like to say that the word "cojones" ("balls", male organ) is used as much as "coño" and has a much stronger connotation (is that even a word in english? Embarassed ). I mean, we use coño all the time, when surprised, when delighted, when mad, when sad... but the word cojones is used especially when in a bad mood...

Well, I think that's all I had to say. And I'm so sorry my english is not half as good as my sister's!! Crying or Very sad

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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy if you ask a question in this forum, you'll get a ton of interesting answers! Thanks to all!

Yes, Elsina, "connotation" is a good English word, and you used it perfectly.

Maybe "puto sheriff" and "puta ama" have a sense a little like "top dog" in English (although top dog isn't quite as positive or affectionate as you describe). Who'd want to be called a dog? But we generally think of it as better to be top dog than not.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would translate "el puto sheriff" as "the fucking boss". No more, no less. While top dog is correct, because it does define someone who is absolutely in charge, it is less "energetic".

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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hard part of translating in a case like this is that the cultures behind the phrases are so different.

Because of cultural issues, I'd be more likely to use "top dog". Although "the fucking boss" probably translates "el puto sheriff" better in literal terms, it's got other associations that would often make it difficult to use in an American context.

Many Americans believe that cursing is a sign of a poor vocabulary and that you don't need to curse to express yourself. Some won't even curse when they hurt themselves or are angry.

I assume that this is part of our Puritan heritage. This is one aspect of the very strong influence of conservative Christianity on American culture. (Of course, you see another influence in the way Bush and others talk about their war in Iraq.) Even if these influences are harmful, they're something Americans have to deal with. There are costs either way: if you curse you risk losing social capital and if you don't you lose psychological wholeness.

Of course, there is cursing in the US, but when someone curses it's often interpreted as lower class behavior. So--at least among the middle class--cursing is generally done among close friends, people you think (or know) will accept the cursing. And you might not curse on the job unless the other person has cursed first.

Men often won't curse in front of women, either, because it's assumed that women are more likely to be offended, or that women are more civilized. (This was especially true in earlier decades, like the 1950s, and is less true today. Then again, with all the thread of sexual harassment lawsuits, cursing on the job may be more risky today than it was in the conservative 1950s.)

Cursing may also be done to try to signal to the other person a desire for informality in the relationship. But it is often done as a test, "will this be okay?" One person has to initiate cursing, and they test the waters to be sure it will be accepted.

Let me be clear: my experience is fairly conservative in regard to cursing. There are families who freely curse. I don't curse with my parents and siblings and they don't curse around me--except for one person who only curses involuntarily when things go really badly or he gets hurt. Even my wife, who used to curse, no longer likes to hear it even. I'm sure there are many Asturian-Americans with very different family experiences. I suspect that my upbringing was much less "Asturian" than most. We were more Puritan than Asturian!

This image of America probably doesn't make sense if all you see/hear is American music (especially rap), TV, and movies. That's only part of America. There's this huge other America that we don't see in the media much. Maybe it's too boring!

I'll be interested in hearing from others about whether this is there experience in America. Anyone?
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Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Gijon

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 9:19 am    Post subject: Traducción del Mensaje de Art / Art's message translation Reply with quote

La gran dificultad de traducir bien en un caso como éste se debe a que las culturas que hay detrás de las frases son muy diferentes..

Por cuestiones culturales, probablemente sería más correcto utilizar "top dog". Aunque "fucking boss" es una traducción mejor de “ puto sheriff” desde el punto de vista literal, probablemente tiene otras connotaciones que a menudo lo harían difícil de utilizar en un contexto americano.

Muchos americanos piensan que maldecir, imprecar o “hablar mal” es una muestra de un vocabulario pobre y que no es necesario hacerlo para expresarse. Algunos no lo harían incluso si se lastiman o están enfadados.

Asumo que esto es parte de nuestra herencia puritana. Es un aspecto de la fortísima influencia del cristianismo conservador en la cultura americana (por supuesto, se puede ver otra influencia en el estilo de Bush y de otros cuando hablan de su guerra en Iraq.) Incluso si estas influencias fueran dañinas, son algo con lo que los americanos tenemos que vivir. De cualquier modo todo tiene un precio: si usted maldice, se está arriesgando a bajar el nivel de su posición social; y si usted no lo hace, pierde su integridad psicológica.

Por supuesto, en los Estados Unidos también se “habla mal”, pero cuando alguien lo hace, se interpreta a menudo como un comportamiento de la clase social más baja. Por eso -- por lo menos entre la clase media – maldecir se hace generalmente entre amigos íntimos, entre la gente que usted cree (o sabe) que lo aceptará. Y posiblemente no hablaría mal en el trabajo a menos que antes haya oído maldecir a otros

Tampoco los hombres hablarán mal delante de una mujer, porque se asume que hay más probabilidades de que se sienta ofendida y que las mujeres tienen “más educación” (esto era especialmente cierto en décadas anteriores, como los años 50, y es menos verdad hoy. Aún así, con el tema de los pleitos sexuales por hostigamiento, maldecir en el trabajo puede ser hoy más peligroso que en los conservadores años 50.)

También se puede “hablar mal” para tratar de “romper el hielo” con otra persona y tener una relación más informal. Pero a menudo se hace como una prueba, ¿me aceptará esta forma de hablar?". Una persona tiene que empezar a “hablar mal” y ver el efecto que produce en los otros para saber si lo aceptan.

Voy a aclarar una cosa: mi experiencia es bastante conservadora en este tema. Aunque hay familias en las que se maldice con total libertad, yo no lo hago delante de mis padres o de mis hermanos y ellos no lo hacen delante de mí – a excepción de alguien que maldiga involuntariamente cuando las circunstancias son realmente malas o se hace daño. Incluso a mi esposa, que antes hablaba bastante mal, ya no le gusta tanto oír palabras soeces. Estoy seguro de que hay muchos astur-americanos con experiencias familiares muy diversas. Sospecho que mi educación era mucho menos "asturiana" que la mayoría. ¡Éramos más puritanos que asturianos!

Quizá esta imagen de América no tenga sentido si todo lo que se ve y escucha es música americana (especialmente rap), TV, y películas. Eso es solamente una parte de América. Hay otra parte, mucho mayor, que no aparece demasiado en los medios de comunicación. ¡Tal vez sea demasiado aburrida!

Me gustaría que otras personas me contaran sus experiencias al respecto en Estados Unidos.¿Hay alguien que quiera hacerlo?
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JoséM, thanks for the wonderful translation of a very long message!

¡JoséM, gracias por la maravillosa traducción de un mensaje muy largo!
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Joined: 15 Feb 2004
Posts: 157
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:07 am    Post subject: Dirty Language Reply with quote

I think that anybody watching American movies will get a bad impression and think that everybody talks the same way as in the movies, where every other word is 'fucking this' or 'fucking that'. It's true that, especially teenagers, some people think it's 'macho' to use words such as 'mother fucker', but the more educated people get, the less cursing they do. At least that's my opinion.Although even I, when something goes wrong, am prone to say "damn" or even "'God damn".
Actually, when I was a very young boy living amid other Spanish children, it was popular to use the expression " me cago en Dios" without really thinking what we were saying.
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Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 25
Location: Oviedo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JoseM wrote:
normalmente en los coloquios. La palabra es usada como una exclamación para la sorpresa, pero también a emphatise algunas frases: ¿" ¿ Qué coño quieres "? ¿(Qué quiere usted? ¡), ¡ Coño, que bien sabe esta sidra! ¡(Esta sidra sabe muy, muy bien!).

Ahí va una anécdota de las de Oviedo de toda la vida. Allá por los años 50, en la calle Conde Toreno (una de las cuatro que rodean el Campo San Francisco), enfrente del antiguo chalet de Concha Heres, actual sede del Banco de España, se levantó un edificio que era, si no el más alto, uno de los de mayor envergadura de la ciudad. La gente, sobre todo la de los pueblos que bajaba a Oviedo, al pasar junto a ella, la miraban, asombrados, y exclamaban "¡Coño, que alta ye!". Pues a la casa le quedó, por supuesto, el mote de La Casa'l Coño.
Xurde / morbreiz
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Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 327
Location: Cabrales

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

En temas de cagamentos, hay uno tipico de Asturias que no se menciono, me refiero al : me cagüen mi madre, o me cagüen tu madre.

Luego de EEUU, me llama mucho la atención el "Mother fucker" o "fucker mother", no me acuerdo ahora mismo el orden, que se oyen mucho en la música rap, por ejemplo de Eminen o en la pelicula Pulp fiction de Tarantino. Si me acuerdo bien, incluso el actor Samuel L. Jackson llevaba esa palabra cosida en su billetera. ¿Es común su uso? ¿Se asemeja al asturiano que mencione aquí arriba?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morbreiz, es realmente asombroso, que el edificio tendría el nombre "La Casa'l Coño".

Berodia, la primera versión, "m.f.", es la orden correcta.

No, penso que "m.f." no es tan corriente aquí como "coño" es allí. Aunque el empleo de palabras como "fuck" (joder) es común en la música de rap. En cierta forma puede ser generational (relacionado con la edad del orador), pero la edad no es la razón totalmente.

Corsino tiene razón que la maldición a menudo esta considerado una rasgo de "la clase inferior". Desde luego, la verdad es que la clase alta expresan las maldiciones, también. ¡Dick Cheney recientemente usó la palabra "fuck" (joder) en una respuesta enojada a un senador en el Senado estadounidense! Era en los titulares de las noticias porque no son los modales que esperamos en nuestros líderes.

Hay muchas personas que serían muy ofendidas por el empleo de aquella palabra, entonces generalmente evito usarlo. Incluso en este foro, algunos de nuestros miembros podrían repugnar por esta conversación entera.


Morbreiz, that's really amazing, that the building would eventually have the name "La Casa'l Coño."

Berodia, the first version, "m.f.," is the correct order.

No, I'd say that "m.f." isn't nearly as common here as "coño" is there. The use of words like "fuck" is common in rap music, though. Some of this may be generational (related to the age of the speaker), but that's not it totally.

Corsino is right that cursing is often viewed as "lower class." Of course, the truth is that the upper class curses, too. Dick Cheney recently used the word "fuck" in an angry response to a senator in the US Senate! That was news because it's not the manners we expect from our leaders.

There are many people who would be very offended by the use of that word, so I generally avoid using it. Even in this forum, some of our members might be disgusted by this entire conversation.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1770
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is difficult for our Asturian members who have not lived in the EEUU to fully appreciate the puritanical strength of some of our verbal taboos. I'm not sure I would agree that "bad language" is a class issue in and of itself. However, I do think that people with more education tend to use it to better effect, and that that sometimes means using it less frequently.

I teach genetics, evolution, bioethics and a course entitled "Evolution in Biology and Literature." Last fall, I introduced what has come to be known as "potty mouth day," which starts with a discussion of taboo words in English and European languages and leads into a discussion of the censorship of ideas in the scientific community and in western culture in general. It is a real eye opener for most of the students, and they have fun with it. One of the best students I have had in years commented that "that was a fucking good class today."

Bob Martinez
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