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Friday, July 21, 2006 (read 1348 times)
 

Learning Spanish expressions: Growing Midgets

by Erin

I've been collecting expressions in Spanish. As a further step in my neverending quest to improve my Spanish, I'm trying to pepper my castellano with slang. And colloquial expressions. I dream of sounding less like the books I read, which my Spanish teacher tells me just will not do. I dream of sounding local.

One day a few months ago I stumbled onto a gem.

Straight from the mouth of my effervescent Spanish officemate, who in a moment of Friday frustration threw up her arms and let this beauty fly:

¡Es que me crecen los enanos! Allow me to translate: Her midgets are growing.

Confused? So was I. But isn't it a wonderful phrase?

Turns out it's a my-luck-is-so-bad, nothing's-going-my-way, I-can't-get-anything-to-go-right castellano classic.

It's shorthand for a longer complaint:

Me pongo un circo and me crecen los enanos. My luck's so bad I start a circus and my midgets grow!

As a Chicagoan, I've always been partial to blues lyrics for my own frustrating moments: "If it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all" comes to mind, sung off key while faking a little Albert King air guitar. But I'm switching. From now on, me crecen los enanos. In English and Spanish.

You have to love a phrase born of frustration that conjures up such a fabulously fun visual. Who can be frustrated with visions of a circusful of tall midgets?

In closing, may your midgets be short, your fat ladies large and your Spanish speaking friends full of intriguing colloquial expressions.

How about you? Got a favourite Spanish expression?


Keywords: spanish,spain,slang,learn,expressions,colloquial,beginners

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