I’ve been poring over medical vocabulary all night, looking stuff up and making orderly lists, and just kind of letting myself mentally wander. I’m just doing OB/GYN right now, so I’ve been thinking very intensely about sex, contraception, pregnancy, birth and babies for over two hours now. Searching for someone else’s vocabulary lists online would feel like cheating and wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to me. It all sticks much better when I just choose a topic and then try to make as many tangents off of it as I can. In two hours, I’ve done about 70 terms in English, many of them corresponding to a myriad of Spanish equivalents. I think I’ve more or less known everything I’ve looked up, but I was kind of fuzzy on many of them. While trying to position all of them right on the tip of my tongue, I precariously stack them like tiny fragile teacups. I could do this all night (and with relish), and there would still be so many more terms to learn. There’s no doubt, I’ll have to learn many of them sobre la marcha. I’m gearing up.
To my great surprise, the interpreters I’ll be working with have assured me that the vocabulary part of the job is lo de menos. What? Really? How can that be? I’m not quite sure. Still, I’m committed to saturating my brain with as many words as I can sop up. I truly love it.
None of tonight’s words are especially interesting. There are, unsurprisingly, a million ways to say “condom”; I like the word amamantar; I always find it interesting to think of the different ways that Spanish delineates between abortions and miscarriages; I learned what toxemia/preeclampsia is; and lots more. The morning-after pill, infertility, midwives, your water breaking, breast pumps. It all seems so very grave. Heaven forbid I stumble for a word while discussing the limen of life and the womb, that dark, sacred cavity. Heaven forbid I take any of this lightly. I promise I’m not as frolicsome in real life as my online persona would lead you to believe.
Since I’m painting my night for you, let me paint my morning and afternoon. Spanish-wise, that is. Here’s what I heard, thought of, wondered about, and wrote down in the course of this day:
Yo te recomendé con él. – I recommended you to him.
Poner la soga al cuello (a alguien, a uno mismo) – To dig sb’s grave, to screw them over
No podía mirarme a la cara. – He couldn’t look me in the eye.
¡Mírame (a) los ojos! – Look me in the eye! (Is that how we say it in English? I suddenly can’t remember.)
Esquivar la mirada – To avoid someone’s eyes, to not make eye contact
Sufrí un percance. – I had a setback/a snag/an accident/a hitch
Mi carro sufrió un percance. – I had a little issue with my car.
¡Estoy en ascuas! – I’m on pins and needles! (Ascua = brasa = “ember”)
Tariffs – impuestos, aranceles (NOT tarifa)
Tarifa por palabra, tarifa por hora – Rate per word, rate per hour
Skimpy – muy corto, chiquito (I learned this in a very funny way)
Mood swings – cambios de humor, cambios de ánimo, altibajos emocionales, cambios de carácter
Es muy yo – It’s so me
Besarte con alguien – To make out with someone (there are as many ways to say this as there are people to do it with)
And my favorite word of the day: besucón, besucona – adjective- fond of kissing; noun- smoocher
I loved the WordReference examples:
Este niño es muy besucón. – This child’s always kissing everybody.
Su novio es un besucón. – Her boyfriend is always kissing her.
Mi familia es muy besucona. – My family are all hugs and kisses.
Although Hispanic families get so much attention for how affectionate and touchy they are, I remember how I once astounded my ex when I told him that my siblings and I kiss our parents and grandparents on the lips (Not every day! Just when we greet after long absences. It’s not just us, right?) I really could have knocked him over with a feather, he was so shocked. Wish I’d known this word at a time so I could have shrugged at him and said, Hey, what can I say? Lo que pasa es que somos una familia muy besucona. But, seriously. Who’s going to complain about having that kind of girlfriend, anyway?
I also loved their choice of words with “smoocher” for the noun form. The adjective, then, would have to be smoochy, right? This word rattles around my brain and brings up Death to Smoochy, a movie I swear I’ve never seen but that I read a review of many, many moons ago. So, was the Spanish version Muerte al besucón–? It would have been if I’d had any say in the matter. Well, according to Wikipedia, it was just Smoochy. And Maten a Smoochy in Mexico. Oh well. Man, those movie title translators are no fun. No fun at all.
Well, it’s a new word to add to the favorites list and a new word to include in self-descriptions. I am very, very kissy. Not that anyone’s surprised.
What about you? What word did you learn today? Any new favorites? Non-natives, what’s your experience with those words and phrases? Had you heard them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?