Do you like eggs? Apparently, rioplatófonos do, as they have many expressions that refer to them, at least in a figurative manner. Today we’ll have a look at some informal expressions that include the word “huevo” (egg) or refer to it somehow, even if the actual non-literal meanings of the phrases are unrelated.
But to explain the meaning of each expression more easily, we’ll resort to this wonderful website called Grandes Frases Ilustradas: http://www.ggffii.com/ In this website, you can see the work of an artist who collected everyday phrases and represented the literal meaning conveyed by them through pictures made by himself. The result is hilarious and, at the same time, it helps us think about how crazy language can be!
Alright, let’s get started then!
- ¡ESTOY FRITO!
This expression is not exclusive to rioplatófonos and can be found in other linguistic varieties, too. It translates literally as “I’m fried!”, so this is the image that shows that specific meaning:
Now, what this phrase means is something different. It is used to express the idea of being very tired or exhausted, as in “estoy frito, me voy a la cama” (I’m exhausted, I’m off to bed). “Quedarse frito” further implies falling asleep immediately: “anoche me acosté y me quedé frito” (last night I went to bed and fell asleep right away). Another possible meaning for “estar frito” is to find oneself in a difficult or tough situation, so in that case it could be translated as “I’m screwed”.
- ME CHUPA UN HUEVO (Y LA MITAD DEL OTRO)
We have already discussed this expression here, but this time we will explain a bit more. This is an interesting expression, as it can be interpreted in different ways, even from a literal perspective. Look at this image to see one of the possible meanings:
Here we can see that one egg and a half are sucking a person. Through this interpretation, we can see that the expression is understood as “un huevo me chupa” (that is to say, for those who love grammar, that the egg is the subject of the sentence and the person is the direct object of the verb).
In reality, the correct (still literal) interpretation should be different: something is sucking one of my eggs… (So in grammatical terms we have something, a tacit subject, that is doing the sucking of a direct object, the egg, and this object belongs to me, the indirect object). But wait… WTF?! What would this even mean? Well, in this case, “egg” is to be interpreted as “testicle”. So, when rioplatófonos say that something sucks one of their testicles, the real non-literal meaning they are conveying, in a vulgar way, is that they do not care about that at all. So for example, we can say “me chupa un huevo lo que decís” (I don’t give a damn about what you say). Adding “y la mitad del otro” at the end simply adds more emphasis (and also shows that there are two eggs in total, which goes hand-in-hand with the anatomical explanation).
- CÓMO HINCHAN LOS HUEVOS
Do you remember the meaning of the verb “hinchar” in Spanish? We talked about it on this previous entry. Normally it means “to swell”, but in the River Plate area it also means to cheer or root for a team. That is why we can have the following literal representation of this phrase:
However, when rioplatófonos say “hinchar los huevos“, they are actually referring to something or someone that is causing their testicles to swell, giving the idea of feeling annoyed or irritated. So if you hear someone saying “no me hinchés más los huevos“, you now know they are saying “stop bothering me”, but in a kind of vulgar way. You can even shorten the expression and simply say “cómo hinchan…” or “cómo hinchás…” (how annoying…), and in such cases the missing information can be easily recovered from the context.
- SALIÓ UN HUEVO
What can “salió un huevo” mean? Well, the literal interpretation is that an egg went out, instead of staying at home:
But the verb “salir” can also have other meanings. For example, it can be used in the same way as “costar“, when talking about prices: “¿cuánto cuesta?, ¿cuánto sale?” (how much is it?). If someone answers this question by saying: “salió/costó un huevo“, it means it was really expensive or, in the case of “costar“, it can also mean that it required a lot of effort. For instance, “esta computadora me salió/costó un huevo” (this computer was very expensive) or “me costó un huevo resolver este problema” (I had to work very hard to solve this problem). Again, here we are making reference to (something as valuable as) a testicle. And likewise, this phrase can also take “y la mitad del otro” at the end to add more emphasis to the expression.
Ok, I think we’ve had plenty of protein already, so no more egg phrases for today! 🙂