Peas and mi chichi – habla español? (2)

One day we were getting peas from the vegetable man who comes round the village in his van.

We used to ask for guisantes but now we don’t bother. We ask for chicharros like everyone else does in the village.

In the local town you can use either, it really depends where the shop owner is from as to which word they prefer to use.

We used to call ordinary flat green beans judias but, like the chicharros, we have adopted local custom and call them habachuelas.

And I have given up asking for patatas too, and slip into the idle use of papas. Asking for patatas was often met with blank looks anyway.

Back to the peas. So while we were asking about the use of the word chicharros, the (40-year-old) daughter of our neighbour started talking about mi chichi.

Not surprisingly it isn’t an abbreviation of chicharros. And definitely not a good idea to go up to the guapa (pretty) shop assistant and say you want some of her chichis.

To save you googling it – it is the part of the female anatomy that is always used as an obscene swear-word in English.

Words that I try not to use. One of the vague feminist principles I can remember is that it is not cool to use such words in an insulting, derogatory, or abusive context, ie the word association is not good.

Apparently though, it is not always insulting, derogatory or abusive here.

My female neighbour in her late 70s will cheerfully stand outside talking and say “coño!” meaning not much more than drat. Can I imagine my mother at the same age (or any age) saying “c***!” in a casual conversation with the neighbours? It gets used on Spanish television too.

And according to neighbour Marcey, you can walk onto the bus, and say to a good friend “Hola, mi chichi…que hay?”

I do not think any of my good and very long-term friends would be impressed if I greeted them with “Hello, my little c*** … how are you?”

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11 thoughts on “Peas and mi chichi – habla español? (2)

  1. Ok… so now that I’ve found and read a couple of passages from this blog at work… everyone is wondering why I’m laughing out loud alone in my cubicle…

  2. LOL @ the last sentence! Yeah, this was a good one! Strange though, how it is often parts of the female anatomy that is used in a derogatory way. The male body parts are often used the other way around.. and even more so in my native Swedish..

    1. i hope you got the word in question (having read your post about north american swearing), which you could always google of course under coño. I am sure there is a great thesis in there about societal attitudes to sex, gender, and swearing. There are derogatory terms used from male anatomy, dickhead being the one to spring to mind, but otherwise, the abuse is from a woman’s body. Which does not please me one iota.

        1. I guess I wrote the story for an English speaking market, but British English as I have no idea how north American works. It’s pretty obscene in the UK, obv like your Satan and hell, so to hear 1) an 80-year-old grandma saying it cheerfully and 2) her daughter calling her mates a little c*** was just so bizarre.

          But on the male side, you’ve got balls, you’ve got guts. Although alternatively, bollocks – rubbish :D

          Fascinating topic when you look at it!

          1. It IS … for sure :D ..fascinating!
            I was taught British English as a kid in school. When I was seventeen, I started working for an Am. company [in Sweden], and of course wanted to talk like them, so I switched. But still, it sits there, what I learned as a kid … especially when it comes to pronunciation. The a:s in certain words.. bath, comes to mind, demand, and all the ones with aw; law, paw.. With them I just can’t seem to switch to the North American way of pronouncing them.

  3. I happened to discover this word “chichi” at a party last weekend. Once I started to understand the full meaning of the word and how casually it’s used, I too was surprised.

    1. Hey well done at discovering it so quickly!!

      It is just so beyond the english speaking comprehension.

      Years later I’m still scratching my head even thinking about using it. Big no!!

    1. Coño is all over the place, but I’ve rarely heard chichi, I doubt I would have learned it had it not been for Marcella. Thinking about it though, I’m sure my older cousin who lived in Brazil for years used a similar variant in Portugues.

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