Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hacer manita de puerco

Literally, manita de puerco means "pork little hand." Hacer manita de puerco has nothing to do with preparing pork feet (see salir por patas). Hacer manita de puerco means "to twist somebody's arm in a painful way." It is a metaphor to indicate that the person whose arm is twisted is being forced to do something against her will.

The cartoon below shows a union leader haciéndole manita de puerco to a politician. 

Cartoon "Manita de puerco" by Helguera.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Large numbers

On a warm morning, a Buddhist monk visiting Mexico saw a little kid playing on the beach. The kid was digging in the sand. He was creating a small pond that was getting filled with water from the ocean. The monk asked him if he knew how many ponds could be filled with all the water of the ocean. The kid stared at the monk and without hesitation said: just about pinche mil chingocientos.

Here are some large numbers worth knowing. Use them with confidence in reference to amounts and quantities emphatically large:

Un Chingo
Un Putero
Un Madral
Un Putamadral = Un Putero x Un Madral
Un Chingomadral = Un Chingo x Un Madral
Pinche mil chingocientos = un putero de chingos de madrales

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Planchar el traje

Literally, planchar el traje means "to press or iron the suit". It is an expression used to convey that something passed like a steam roller over somebody, leaving his or her suit completely wrinkle free. It's a metaphor for a clear defeat. It is commonly used in sports and professional life. A synonym would be "to walk over".


¡Chale! Volvió a plancharnos el traje nuestro acérrimo rival.
Damn! our arch rival walked over us one more time. 

Art by Banksy.

Monday, March 7, 2011


In the mid-1980s the band Los Plebeyos (The Plebeians) popularized the song "El Pípiripau". Its lyrics describe a guy who's followed by women--although he claims he does not consider himself too handsome (muy carita). Part of the chorus goes like this:

Me siguen las mujeres
Es porque tengo lo que quieren

The song is full of false modesty. The term pípiripau is used to refer to a dude who thinks very highly of himself, either when it comes to girls or to success in life. Check out the music video below.