20 April 2009

The Importance of Waiting

This afternoon, desperately trying to avoid some boring work, I IM'ed with a friend about the Spanish word for "stab": puñalada.  I think that word is too long and elegant to mean "stab," and I was discussing this with him.  The writing went as follows:

Me:       It's too long and elegant a word for what it means.

Him:   "puño" means fist in Spanish.

             "puñalada" means fisting.

Me:       Oh, my God, I didn't want to know that!! I didn't want to know it, 
              and now I can't unknow it!

Him:     [typing at the same time, so the words pop up one second after I 
               sent mine] 
              So puñalada means the gesture you make with your fist when you 
              stab someone.

Oh. That's all right, then.

And now here's a joke (not the octopus joke.  Otherwise...):

What did the Indian say while it was chasing the potato?
"When I catch you, I'm gonna scallop you."

My sister made that joke up when she was nine.  Not bad for a nine-year-old, I think you'll agree.


Anonymous said...

Hi. Your friend is wrong. Actually the word comes from latin "pugnare", and means "to penetrate". It is not related to fist.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. thinking better, I think I was too harsh, too "Mr. Knows All". The thing is that there is a development: from "fist" (pugno in Latin, puño in Spanish, "punho" in Portuguese, passing to "puñal" ou "punhal", which means a small dagger, that can be hidden in the "puño" and THEN "puñalada" that is the act of using the dagger or puñal, and not the fist, in somebody, i.e., stabbing. Perhaps your friend was joking, relating the two end-words. All the best :)

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