Ah, Spain. Land of bullfighters, flamenco, tapas and tacos.
Wait, no. That’s Mexico. Four years later, my friends do ask me, “How delicious are the tacos in Spain? I bet you don’t want to eat any when you’re home.”
Quite the opposite, amigos. To a Spaniard, edible tacos are much too spicy, and tacos to a Spaniard is a generic word for swear word, meaning the same as palabrota. A Spaniard’s favorite taco? I mean, joder and mierda more than get their due, but in the South, cojones reigns supreme.
It makes sense, when you think about it. I remember when I went to the hallowed ground at Pompeii and was initially shocked with the remains of a woman trying to crawl away from the lava, only to be preserved for camera-happy tourists by being swallowed up by ash. Then, on our free hour to explore, I noticed strange symbols on streets and buildings: a phallic symbol. Come on, we’re in the Mediterranean, and everyone knows that machismo is alive and well here.
That’s right, cojones is best translated as balls.
I’ve gotten an exercise in the language this weekend at the Novio and I have been painting our 42 square meter casa (and here is your special mention, corazón). From the extreme temperatures to the falling plaster work, the word cojones has converted itself into the taco del día, the swear word of choice.
I once read a book that talked about the meaning of the word, which claimed that in older ages, having cojones was another way to say one was courageous. I am exposed to the Spanish language the majority of my day, and I’ve heard that expression infrequently. The cojones I’m talking about conjure disgust, exasperation and good old anatomy.
Estar hasta los cojones – to be sick of something
Literally meaning to be sick of something, cojones can be replaced with el mono (bun), la polla, narices, or any other body part. Since it’s got the use of a taco, it’s typically for anything severe. For example, Estaba hasta los cojones de sus tonterías might mean, He was sick of her silly games. Likewise, Estoy hasta el moño con este trabajo, is a more polite way of saying you’re f-ing sick of your job.
Tocar los cojones – to annoy, to be annoyed
This is the Novio’s favorite, and it’s often said to me! Tocar los cojones (pelotas, polla, huevos) is meant to express being bothered by something. Generally, it’s used in the negative command form, or in the positive present simple form. My nov loves to tell me, No me toques los cojones, or don’t bother me/stop doing that/you’re being annoying, go away. In the simple form, however, it states a fact and that something annoys you on a regular basis. Repasar este puto blog me toca los cojones. Proofreading this blog annoys me (hence the many mistakes).
Por cierto, tocarse los cojones, a reflexive play on the phrase, means to just be all-out lazy. What did you do today, Cat? Pues, me he tocado los huevos (though I did write this blog!) Thanks, Buckley, Jose and Juanjo for the clarification!
Mandar cojones (huevos) – what a pain, geez
This is the newest palabra acojonuda that I’ve learned, and it’s usually employed as an interjection to express surprise. For example. Your annoying neighbor leaves his fish-ridden garbage outside your door overnight and the smell has wafted into your house. That is something that manda cojones. Or you read that the Bolsa has dropped yet again and that those clowns in the parliament still have no idea how to stop it? Well they sure do mandar cojones, right? More than anything, it’s just used as it is: Manda cojones.
Sudarse los cojones – to not matter
If I ask the Novio what he’d like to eat for lunch, he sometimes answers me, a bit annoyingly, Me suda los cojones, which literally means, it makes my balls sweat. Más bien, it translates to I don’t care or it doesn’t matter. I’ve used it to tell someone to do whatever he feels like (also an eloquent, haz los que te salga de la polla, look that one up).
De los cojones – stupid (as an adjective of emphasis)
If something is bothering you, it’s athonishingly simple to add “de los cojones” to emphasize your point, such as, este calor de los cojones, this f-ing heat. It can also be used in a much more severe way, but my neighbors read this blog!
As I write this blog, Kike has started preparing his lunch. He’s bought huevas, the so-called manjar de dioses, or Gods’s treat. I was once with a vegetarian friend in the Corte Inglés supermarket when she inquired as to what exactly they were. The fish monger simply took the orangey and veiny fish part and stuck them up under a headless fish. That’s about as close to cojones as fish have got, I guess.
Any other good ones to share, Hispanophiles? Write me in the comments. This will all be useful to me when I take the DELE in a few months!