Thursday, November 4, 2010
While waiting for radiation treatment, I noticed a sign on the wall: “If you are pregnant or may become pregnant… ” The Spanish translation used the word embarazada. Why “embarrassed” to be pregnant for these fecund people? Old Fart from Vegas
Dear Gabacho: You know what they say when you assume – it makes a culero out of you and you! Embarazada doesn’t mean “embarrassed” in Spanish; it means “pregnant.” But how two words that come from the same root took on such dissimilar meanings is one of those great etymological stories that makes this columna so pinche nerdy when it’s not shockingly vulgar. The English “embarrass” came from the French word embarrasser, itself deriving from the Spanish embarazar, which still has an alternate mean of “to impede.” That word came from the Portuguese embaraçar, and the Royal Spanish Academy theorizes that word originated from Celtic because its root palabra existed before the Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula. Why a word that signifies a blockage came to represent pregnancy is unknown to etymologists, but the Mexican theorizes it’s just a pre-Christian pun for a cock block – there’s that vulgarity of mine! The proper Spanish word for “embarrassed,” by the way, is avergonzado, which originates from the Latin verecundia and more accurately means “shame.”
Dear Mexican: I’m totally serious about my e-mail, so please forgive me if my question sounds ridiculous.I also mean no insult to anyone about my question or questions.There are a lot of antsy/jitterypeople along the United States’ southern border. Lots of those antsy people seem to want to grab anyone who looks like a Mexican, or acts like a Mexican, and deport anyone who appears to be a Latino into the nations south of the U.S. border.I’m mostly Caucasian in ancestry, but I’ve been told that I have American Indian roots plus American Indian facial features. So, I’m a mustached guy who looks like Freddy Prinze, Sr., but I have a skin tone that makes me look like Freddy Prinze, Jr.. So, if I go to the southern border states, will police check me for my papers because I look like Freddy Prinze, Sr.? Rob AKA a Guy Called “Swarthy” by Some White Irish Friends
Dear Gabacho: You know it!