Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chocolate y de chocolate

Mexico gave chocolate (chaw-coh-LATTE) to the world. And Mexicans also minted a handful of expressions with this very same word.

First, chocolate is used as an adjective to refer to something that is chueco (lit. crooked, not straight). Second, when used as a noun in the context of vehicles, chocolate means a used car or (most likely) conversion van illegally imported from the U.S. Third, in the context of baseball, chocolate stands for a strikeout. Fourth, when used in the expression de chocolate it means "as fake as a chocolate gun or a chocolate cigarrette", i.e. useless.

Example 1:

Don Ramón: No te pongas necio que nos van a sacar los de seguridad.
Kiko: Esos güeyes son de chocolate.

Don Ramón: Don't get so stubborn or we'll be kicked out by the security guards.
Kiko: Those guys are nothing but clowns.

Example 2:

Señito: ¿A poco si es usted médico?
Merolico: El título es chocolate. Pero igual toda consulta causa honorarios, señito. Acérquese.

Ma'am: Are you an M.D. for real?
Charlatan: That title is as fake as a 3 dollar bill. But fees will apply to any consultation, ma'am. Step over.

Check out the video of a merolico (charlatan) in Mexico City's Alameda Park talking about home-made remedies.

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