Spanish expressions - Mexico and other countries - Page 19

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Spanish expressions - Mexico and other countries - Page 19


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  #181 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2016, 05:03 AM
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Default "cero a la izquierda" (zero to the left)

I've occasionally heard the phrase "cero a la izquierda", which is literally "zero to the left", but didn't really fully register it until recently. It's in a song by Ricardo Arjona, but his songs have a lot of idiosyncratic phrases and metaphors. It's also the name of a song by Los Huracanes del Norte. But it wasn't until my husband recently used it that I stopped him to clarify the meaning. It is used to describe someone of no consequence, a nobody, or who has no real influence on anything.

If you feel like you aren't being taken into account, you can say "Me siento como un cero a la izquierda." Presumably it is because in mathematics, a zero to the left doesn't change the value of the number, it's just a placeholder.

Here's the song by Los Huracanes del Norte:

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  #182 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2016, 10:09 AM
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Hola. Buenos días. The custom of greeting the room is very common here in Southern Andalucía which, considering very many of the South American Spanish people originate here is why it is quite common there. It is normal to do so when entering anywhere, bars (if you can be heard over the hubbub of chatter and the television(s), shops, elevators, etc. I think it is great and ought to be common elsewhere as well, it would certainly make the world more cheerful.

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  #183 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2016, 11:46 AM
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Where we live - when you do something nice for someone (give them a piece of fruit or stop the car so they can pull out in front of you) they often raise their hand but with their palms facing their face. I don't know if that is true throughout Mexico ? I - on the other hand - raise my hand with the palm out, kind of like a wave. Hope that is not insulting...

The other custom seems to be when someone makes this peculiar gesture with their index finger and thumb. The tip of the index finger taps against the thumb - like a bird pecking at food. I take the gesture to mean - 'I agree with you'....

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  #184 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2016, 01:26 PM
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So I was just searching for common hand gestures in Mexico. Apparently the second gesture I mention above might mean 'hurry up' ? I'm a diver and when you communicate with another diver if they are alright or that you are you make an ok sign... Well that is apparently a no no here. The other thing I am in the habit of doing is a 'thumbs up' gesture meaning ok - not sure how that is interpreted here.

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  #185 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2016, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatos View Post
So I was just searching for common hand gestures in Mexico. Apparently the second gesture I mention above might mean 'hurry up' ? I'm a diver and when you communicate with another diver if they are alright or that you are you make an ok sign... Well that is apparently a no no here. The other thing I am in the habit of doing is a 'thumbs up' gesture meaning ok - not sure how that is interpreted here.
The thumbs up gesture is pretty universal. Definitely 👍🏼 OK to use in Mexico.

Here's a video demonstrating several Mexican hand gestures. How you had described the gesture of palm facing face I couldn't really recall having seen, but in the video you can see how there is a little gracious movement of the hand outward (especially by the young man in glasses), which is familiar to me. The only gesture in the video that I wasn't familiar with was the one for being afraid.

VIDEO: 6 Common Mexican Gestures

In terms of rubbing the thumb on the first two forefingers to mean hurry up, the way my husband does it isn't quite like the gesture meaning money. He rubs his thumb crossways over the fingertips quickly several times, "¡Vamos, vamos, vamos!", kind of like the motion of snapping your fingers, but without the snap and several times quickly in succession. (This is a hand gesture I'm very familiar with. ) Actually my husband just told me I use this a lot, too, I guess subconsciously...

The rubbing fingertips and thumbs gesture to mean money is used in the same way in Guatemala as NOB, possibly because there has historically been more US cultural influence in Guatemala. But the common gesture in Mexico to signify money or "billete" is also used in Central America and I think throughout Latin America. This is palm facing up, last three fingers curled towards palm, thumb and index finger slightly curved but not touching. This can mean various things, depending on context. It can mean something is expensive. It can mean someone is wealthy or "loaded" (especially if accompanied by the "pointing with the eyes" towards a specific person). It can mean I don't have enough money to do something (with a corresponding facial expression of regret).

The "pointing with eyes" gesture shown in the video above is common, but you can also "point with your mouth". Pucker your lips in the direction of whatever you are "pointing to" with a little upward movement of your head. This is common in many Latin American countries. Here's a funny video showing this.

This Is How Latinos Really Point At Things; We Bet You've Done It!

Here are a couple more links illustrating common hand gestures in Mexico.

Mexican Hand Gestures | Culture | MeXscape

A Lesson in Mexican Gestures - Gadling
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  #186 (permalink)  
Old 21st December 2018, 01:39 PM
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Default Cachetada con guante blanco

I heard a new-to-me Spanish phrase yesterday. The Colombian version I heard was “dar bofetada con guante blanco” but in Mexico it is “dar cachetada de guante blanco.

It literally means “to give a slap on the cheek with a white glove”, but I don’t think there’s an adequate phrase in English to capture the meaning. It’s a way of rebuking someone but in an elegant, subtle, nonaggressive way, and by doing so, disarm them.
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  #187 (permalink)  
Old 21st December 2018, 02:09 PM
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The thumbs up gesture is pretty universal. Definitely 👍🏼 OK to use in Mexico.
But definitely NOT in Greece, should you happen to go there.

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  #188 (permalink)  
Old 21st December 2018, 02:26 PM
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But definitely NOT in Greece, should you happen to go there.
Can you share, at least obliquely, the meaning in Greece?

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  #189 (permalink)  
Old 21st December 2018, 02:52 PM
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Can you share, at least obliquely, the meaning in Greece?
an American finger (F-U) ¿Entiendes Mendes?
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  #190 (permalink)  
Old 27th January 2019, 01:54 PM
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Default Viento en popa

I recently asked a friend how her son is doing and she responded, “Está viento en popa”. That was a new phrase for me. “Viento en popa” literally means “wind at the stern (of a boat)”, i.e. you have the wind behind you pushing you “full steam ahead” (sorry for mixing my nautical metaphors).

So if something or someone “va viento en popa” or “está viento en popa”, it’s going great, having success, making great progress.

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