Friday, December 12, 2008

Intrinsically insightful Spanish metaphor of the day

The main Spanish word for "wife" (other than mujer itself, which is more generically "woman") is esposa, obviously cognate with English "spouse." And there's a masculine form esposo, which means "husband," though I think you more commonly say marido y esposa for "husband and wife" than esposo y esposa.

But while Spanish does have a verb esposar, it does not mean the same thing as the English "to espouse," or, "to get married." If you get married in Spanish, that's casarse. To esposar somebody... to handcuff 'em. In fact, the word for "handcuffs" is las esposas -- "the wives."

Insightful people, those Spaniards...

UPDATE: [laughing] Five minutes after this post went up, Christi la esposa de Esteban, who actually knows Spanish, dropped this comment onto the preceding post...great minds, I guess. Or, at least, minds with similar senses of humor.

So, Christi, did you enjoy this bit of Perilous brilliance?


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I started to tell Christie about the post where you explain the perils of the dropped tilde, but she immediately got a pained expression on her face and began to wave me off. Apparently she is all-too-familiar with that particular faux pas.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous la esposa de Esteban said...

Yes Kenny, I teach Jr. High and body humor is where they are at. But no, I do not teach them the bad words - they can look those up on the Internet themselves.

One of my favorite puns in Spanish is cazar "to hunt" which in most Spanish dialects is pronounced the same as casar "to marry."


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