Saturday, December 14, 2013

The V Word

There are few words that I won't say. Few words disgust or offend me. Those few are all in the racial slur category. With that being said, I swear a lot, in case you hadn't noticed. Fuck being a personal favorite in English. For the longest time I have battled my tendency to cuss, trying to weed certain words out of my vocabulary. About a year ago, at the suggestion of my parents, I even went through this blog and edited out all the shits and fucks and whatnot. It only took me a short time to realize that it just wouldn't be possible. Sure, I have a semi-effective child and professional filter, but here? I can't hold back. It's not happening.

And when I began to live half my life speaking only Spanish, it was only natural that I began to swear in my second language as well. And in Spanish, my most used swear word is verga, much to my husband's disgust. He says my choice of words embarrasses him, that I sound like a naca, a cualquiera, a callajera. Ghetto.

Yup, he got it right. I'm well aware of what I sound like.

Again it was suggested that I watch my words. My mother-in-law tried to teach me to say a la ver gatos ni ratones quedan instead of saying a la verga. Yeah, that one didn't stick.

I understand why it's such a big deal. Honestly, I do. Especially when speaking Spanish, I understand that my language isn't lady-like. And I get that for whatever reason, a woman who says hijo de la chingada is more offensive in Mexico than a woman saying son of a bitch in the US. I don't know why, that's just the way things seem to be. And as a woman with a colorful vocabulary, I am misunderstood quite a bit. Maybe thought to be low-class. Okay, that's great, I just don't give two shits.

I really don't care if people think I sound like a low-class hood rat that was raised by a pack of wolves. I know who I am and I know how I was raised. I'm not planning on dining with any Juarez debutantes any time soon, much less the Obama family. I just express myself in the most accurate way I know how. Take it as you may.

Honestly, if you haven't noticed by now, I'm really writing this for my husband. It's my twisted way of putting my foot in the ground and valiantly saying, "Now you listen mister, if I want to say que ella es una perra mal nacida, you better let me say it!"

And you know, when I am speaking to people, sometimes I see a gleam in Ray's eyes. A little glint of pride behind all of his embarrassment. Maybe it's because he's proud of my Spanish even though he doesn't approve of my choice of words. Maybe it's because he wishes he could express himself so freely, even to strangers. I'm not sure. All I know is that this is me, and everyone is going to have to just take it or leave it.

34 comments:

  1. And there are very few who can come to the conclusion that who they are is who they are and that's that! You have always stuck by your guns and the hell with everyone else and not many have the guts to do that; always trying to fit in appease, make nice, etc. Not you and ya know what? We KNOW who you are and what's in your head. No patty cake mystery and it's all good. '-)

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    1. Thanks Zoe. Your opinion means a lot to me. <3

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  2. Yeah I love the fact that you are so real! You say it like it is and thats why I cant wait to read your blog every week. Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us!!

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  3. At least in our circles (our family is from Texas/DF/Sinaloa/Michoacan/LA), it is discouraged that anyone use ala verga, a la chingada, etc. I don't really associate it ladies. That doesn't mean we don't say really filthy things, we hide it albureando. And when I spout off, I get told the same thing, that its ghetto. But so does my brother, cousin, etc. So I think its equally disliked from either gender.

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    1. I would agree. I just don't care Grace. I wish I cared, but I don't.

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  4. I didn't cuss in Spanish until I started living with a Mexican man. And now it's vete a la chingada cabron, puta madre, and me vale verga all day long.

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  5. Hmm. I have to disagree with you here. You can swear all you want in English. The problem with swearing in a language that you weren't raised in, is that you just can never fully appreciate the emotional associations that accompany words. (I think that this applies for all words, not just swear words.)

    When I am visiting Guatemala (where I met my husband), I think everyone usually gives me a "free pass" to behave however I want. They understand that I am an ousider in the culture so I won't always know who to tutear and who to vosear and who to treat with usted. But I think that swear words evoke an emotional reaction that it's really hard for the listener to "override".

    The reason I say this is because when I meet people who have learned English as a second language who swear a lot, it's really hard for me to judge them fairly. I can think of two guys in particular (one Chilean, one Polish) who swear like sailors. They are really nice guys, but their foul language makes it really hard to like them! And I know I should be more sympathetic, because it's so hard to learn a second language and they are probably just speaking English the way they heard it spoken around them. But unfortunately I have to admit that their language has influenced my opinion of them.

    Just something to keep in mind...

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. It's just not enough for me to change who I am, how I speak, etc, I do keep it in mind, and it is certainly a concern that I have. But it's just not quite enough.

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  6. I have to admit, i have never heard that word before. Had to go ask my husband! My favourite was pendejo. Still love the sound of it. When I started learning Spanish no one around me swore. Then I went to a football game... Oh my god!! The language I learned!! If people are going to judge you because of a word, they aren't worth being around!!

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    1. I like pendejo too. I use it on the regular as well. And thank you, I would agree.

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  7. So I have lurked reading your blog with true admiration for some time. I'm half mexican, half white---a real mixer, and am bicultural in some interesting ways. But I swear like a sailor. And I am a professor. And a mom and grandma. And I'm not going to stop (tried off and on for some time)---really, one of the things that truly appeals in your writing is the authenticity. This is you, as far as I can tell and I like people who are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) the most in the world. Be you--and, in the dream where Michelle Obama and I are best friends, she swears like a sailor as well.

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    1. Love. And yes, what you see is what you get. I love your dream about the FLOTUS. Epic.

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  8. I am never able to post from my IPad,so I had to check, lol. I am the same way. I don't cuss very much on fb because I have a lot of professional contacts on there, but anyone who knows me personally knows I have a mouth worse than a sailor. Exactly like Ray, Jose says that it sounds horrible coming out of my mouth, is unprofessional, and it embarrasses him. I tell him nimodo, that's the way I am.

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    1. I get that. Like I said, I do have a professional filter. But this isn't my profession. At least not yet. And I don't want to hold back with you all. Y si! Asi eres... no cambias por nadien.

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  9. I only swear in Spanish at home and my husband thinks its funny (cute) because I don't really swear much in English either..:)

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    1. The bulk of my swearing in Spanish is at home, however, Ray does not find it "cute." Maybe he needs to have a chat with Mr. Perez?

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    2. hahaha....my husband swears like a you know what;) I have to remind him sometimes not to do it too much in front of our son. When we first moved here my son started talking like his dad, saying "simon" all the time...the neighborhood boys got on him about that and now he doesn't do it as much:)

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  10. I have to agree with Begonia on this. Don't get me wrong, I love your openness in expressing yourself and I know that ultimately is up to you which words you use, but the truth is that communication is a 2 way street, and the way words are interpreted matters as much as the intent. And when expressing oneself in another language, you have to make an extra effort to make sure that your intention matches how you will be understood by most people.

    I'm a native Spanish speaker, and I usually don't have any problem with swear words. But when someone uses the V word I do have a gut reaction of dislike. I guess I feel it as a lack of respect on the other part. And I know that's probably not what the other person meant, but still...

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    1. I think my intention is matched by most. I know there are many people who may disagree with my choice of words, but it is what it is. I do not disrespect anyone who many stumble across my blog.

      I always love your responses Miguel but this is something I am pretty much decided on. We'll have to agree to disagree. I'm happy you commented though because it's good to know what might get people going. I know the V word is a harsh one. But honestly? I am pretty harsh.

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  11. I love Google translate. Since I speak very little Spanish (a shame, since I've had 28 years of living with my wife and in-laws) I had always just accepted that the cuss words my father-in-law used were the equivalent of shit or damn. A favorite was his use of the term cabron. When I used this term at work in front of a Puerto Rican guy, he freaked the fuck out! He understood that I didn't fully know what I was saying, but insisted that it was bad, bad, bad! I just think it's a fun word.

    Oh, speaking of Google... do not go to Google Images and type in the word Verga. Por el amor de dios, who knew?

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    1. Cabron is a good one. I can only imagine how that work-day went. As always Dave, your comment is one of my favorites. Por el amor de Dios. ;)

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  12. A few years ago a group of dentist and dental students from Cleveland were volunteering at a clinic in a colonia of Snto Domingo, Dominican Republic. One of the dentist had learned his spanish in Mexico..so it was dame esta chigadera, dame aquel chingadera etc. One of the shocked mothers left saying "esta dentista es muy grosero". Mexicans love their chinga....have to say it is one of my favorite words in any language !

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    1. Lol, I get heckled on the regular for my "Mexican" Spanish. My dad lives in El Salvador so he regularly scolds me on my Mexican Spanish. Apprently, it's just not the same as other Spanish? (I'd love it to the end of the Earth anyway)

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  13. I live in Jalisco and a woman swearing is not to cool here. I understand all of her points and I don't disagree with her HOWEVER if you swore in
    public here in my Village they might think you were something you are not. I don't cuss in Spanish and don't think I need to learn the words. I can
    cuss well enough in English. Good Luck figuring it out.

    Zed in Mexico

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    1. If you swear here in Juarez people think you are something you're not. I honestly just don't care. People can think what they think. I know who I am, I know my intentions. The rest is just details.

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  14. Su esposo tiene razon,la gente te va a ver como una naca pelada,pero a ti te vale verga,nice..

    Viajero

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    1. Pues asi es. Me vale verga. ;) Que disfrutas tu fin de semana.

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    2. Emily, have you delved in the learned skill of "albur"? There are little books you can buy to teach you how to do it, and maybe Raymundo could help! It is generally considered "men's speech" but I have heard of women versed in the art, and you could join their club! I would LOVE to hear you do albur next time we visit!!! I know you didn't like the ver gato thing but if you ran off a string of that stuff you might change your mind.

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    3. Albur... can't say I've heard of it. Tell me more!

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  15. Ask Ray what it is. And you can buy paperback books on how to do it. There are lots of movies, too, comedies, where the male actors do it. It's a form of hidden cursing where the nasty words are hidden cleverly in the phrase. You already know one, about the cat. But there are thousands more, way dirtier than the cat, most having to do with verga, culo, meter, chingar, joto, puto, etc. etc. to your heart's content. It's a verbal art -- you could apprentice to some master (or mistress) and have a great time!

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  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albur

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