Monday, November 1, 2010

Salir por patas

Salir por patas literally means "to exit by foot". In Mexican slang it is used to refer to escaping from a potentially dangerous situation, to run away at maximum speed without looking back.

A similar expression is patas pa' que las quiero, which literally means "feet, what do I want them for!?". In this case the person saying patas pa' que las quiero, is announcing that he or she is just about to salir por patas.

Example 1:

Carlos: Pensé que la tira venía por mí y dije ¡patas pa'qué las quiero!
Ernesto: No venían por tí, pero al darse tinta de que saliste por patas comenzaron a sospechar, ya revisaron tu expediente y ahora sí te andan buscando.

Carlos: I thought the cops were coming for me and said ¡let's put these feet to a good use!
Ernesto: They were not here for you, but after noticing you left in a hurry they became suspicious, went over your files and now they are looking for you.

Cautionary note: Salir por patas also means to go out to get feet. Here is an example of how it can be confusing.

Evaristo: ¿No está su marido?
Hortensia: No, salió por patas.
Evaristo: ¿Y por qué la prisa?
Hortensia: No, fue por patas de puerco porque vamos a comer tostadas.

Evaristo: Is your husband there?
Hortensia: No, he exited by foot.
Evaristo: Why the hurry?
Hortensia: No, he went to buy pork feet 'cuz we're gonna eat tostadas.

Patas de puerco (pork feet) are found in any decent grocery store in Mexico.  

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