Tuesday, July 02, 2013

More thoughts from Galicia

I passed a car hire agency today which labelled itself Un Renting. This got me thinking about the strange Spanish custom of taking English gerunds and turning them into Spanish nouns. El parking, for example. Or the even stranger custom of turning English nouns into gerunds and then into Spanish nouns. Well-known examples of this are el footing, el lifting and el spinning. Wouldn't it be good, I thought, if we adopted this approach for various service operators. So:-
Church - The praying.
Brothel - The fucking/banging/shagging/etc.
Hairdresser - The cutting.
Funeral parlour - The burying.
Crematorium - The burning.
Dentist - The drilling/filling.
Library - The booking.
Grocers - The greening.
Seamstress - The stitching.
Physio - The pummelling.
Bar - The pulling.
Shoe-repair - The cobbling.
Banking - The robbing.
Well, you get the picture. There's the usual magnificent prize for the best suggestion.

Talking of Spanish . . . My elder daughter, now back in Madrid, tells me that in Guatamala the superlative of, say, linda is not lindisima but relinda.

And still on Spanish . . . One of the headlines in respect of Spain's Sunday night defeat by Brazil included the phrase - Brazil humaniza a España. Literally, this means 'Brazil makes Spain more human'. But I feel 'brings Spain down to earth' is possibly a better translation.

Back briefly to English . . . The word 'Ta' for 'Thanks' is very common in Liverpool and, I believe, in the north of England generally, as well as Scotland. It's said the origin lies in the Danish for 'Thanks' - Tak. But there are those - like one of my house-guests - who think this is complete bollocks. To use the technical term. Are there any Danes out there?

Long-time readers will know that I have a large plastic owl which I occasionally take down to Veggie Square to try to keep away the ever-more-intrusive pigeons and the occasional impudent seagull. While I was partaking of a swift shandy elsewhere last night I noticed there was a similar owl on a pedestal between my table and the next one. You can judge its efficaciousness from the fact there were 3 pigeons eating crumbs on the latter.

Will the crisis see the end of the institution of bullfighting? I rather doubt it but the fullness of time - maybe 30 years - almost certainly will. Click here for more on the current travails of the fiesta nacional.

Will France beat the UK to an EU exit? It's looking increasingly likely. Click here for news of a eurosceptic who's doing rather better than Nigel Farage of UKIP.

Finally in this series of major questions . . . Can Pope Francis call a halt to the corruption gnawing at the heart of the Catholic Church? With a little help from his Friend, perhaps. Click here for more.


Ferrolano said...


“Tak” is not only Danish for thanks or thank you, but also Norwegian for the same thing. Any connections?? What I do understand is that the north of Scotland was at one point invaded by the Norwegians and in fact at least one town, Dornoch has a Norwegian name. A number of Scottish Gaelic words, for example; kirk, bairn are common to Norwegian also. It is not inconceivable that “ta” does descend from “tak”.

James Atkinson said...

Bairn is also found in Swedish too. Sutherland county in the far north of Scotland, means south land of course. The Vikings certainly settled there, but as usual the extent and process is still an area of some dispute.
Wikipedia on Scandinavian Scotland is worth a look.

Diego said...

"renting" in Spain refers to what is called a lease in the US.

Perry said...

In modern Swedish, litet barn means small child. Tack för alla means thanks for everything & tusen tack is a thousand thanks.

Modern Swedes are rather more polite these days.





Perry said...


In some ways I am not surprised that a lease is called el renting rather than el contrato de arrendamiento. Too many letters.....I blame el tweeting.


El gerunding:

Government - Upcocking.

European Union - Doddering.

Bonking - Bonking. (I hope.)

Quote from Big Bang Theory.

Sheldon in playing Super Mario.

"Hop, you little plumber, hop, hop, hop!


Colin Davies said...

@Ferrolano. And the Danes occupied the Wirral peninsula (and Liverpool), as well as much of NE England (Danelaw).

I need no more persuading.

@Perry. Thanks for those. V amusing.