Thursday, June 16, 2011

OOOOOH, huevos!

Sidling up to the cash register at a market nearby, I asked the cashier if they had any eggs. Tienes huevos?

Guy: No entiendo.
Me: Tienes huevos? Huevos?

For God's sake, I grew up in San Diego, I know how to pronounce huevos. Must be the last vestiges of my cold-induced man voice screwing things up. Gotta be it.

Guy: Qué?
Me: Sabes, the things that chickens shit* out...
Guy: Qué???

Desperate now. Making hand movements.

Guy: Oh, HUEVOS! Sí, abajo . . . De dónde sos?


*The all-purpose cagarse, yesterday's word-of-the-day. I am getting quite creative with my descriptions lately. When I don't know a word for something and the charades aren't working, I've been heard to describe a vegetable peeler as "that thing that takes the clothes off a carrot" or a crochet hook as "a sewing needle for grandmas."

But Argentine slang—i.e. Argentine swear words—are another language altogether. And everyone swears, all the time, from the petite little old lady ordering croissants to the partners at the law firm. Foul language is not taboo here.

So I bought the only dictionary fit for this country, a little 70-page gem:
Che Boludo.

Now I'll actually understand when my boss tells me not to hinchar las bolas (swell his balls, i.e. be a pain in the ass).


  1. how DID you pronounce huevos?

    also how do you get by with the word llaves--did you concede and call them jahves?

  2. My sweet girl is never a hinchar las bolas !