July greetings

The blog was on vacation for the past several months and is now officially back, refreshed and reinvigorated. I’m still living in Bogotá, and I still have lots of ideas and words to share. Along with translating, I’ve continued writing a monthly column for The Bogotá Post, and despite the silence on the blog I have no problem regularly writing 700 or so words on whatever topic the newspaper requests. Request being the operative word, there; my inspiration has hit somewhat of a wall, and their suggestions make everything so much easier for me. So if you have a request for something you’d like me to write about here on Vocabat, be sure to let me know.

I hope everyone’s Spanish studies are going splendidly and that you’re all enjoying your summer, winter, or in-between season, whatever the case may be. ¡Chau!


19 responses to “July greetings

  1. ¡Justo hoy me acordé de vos! Qué coordinación, che. No sabía que escribías para el TBP: ¡te felicito! ¿No serás la Dustin Luke de Colombia vos? :)

    Qué bueno que hayas vuelto. Espero que sigas bien. Te mando un saludo grande desde Argentina. :)



    • Hola Dani, muchas gracias por el saludo tan cálido! Ja, no sabía quién era Dustin Luke, quizás sea mi álter ego, no sé, tendré que hacer algunos videos ;)


  2. Nice to see you back. I’ve been blogging much myself lately.

    I’d like to know about the word berraco. I’m watching a mexican telenovela with several Colombian characters and I hear this word all the time in so many different contexts I’m having a bit of a time trying to figure it out,

    Mameloco is also another term I’d love to hear about. I heard this in Medellin but sadly I neglected to get a good handle on what it means.

    And could you post a link to the column you write? I’m sure you’ve posted it before and I misplaced the link.


    • Hi Rodney, thank you! My blog reading has decreased a lot lately, as I haven’t set up a way to organize the blogs I read since Google Reader disappeared (and that was quite a while ago!). I need to get on that stat so I never miss your posts!

      Berraco, noted. And I don’t know the word mameloco- makes me think of mameluco, which is like overalls or a baby’s onesie.

      Here is the link for the online version of the language columns of the newspaper. Mine are the Spanish ones, of course.


  3. Welcome Back :)


  4. Hi there :) Welcome back :)


  5. ¡Hola y Bienvenido! 😀 I wonder if you could help me with the use of an expression. I’m watching a telenovela from Mexico and another from Venezuela. A word that frequently comes up in both is Cuerno which means horn but it seems that there are multiple other meanings that seem to do with infidelity. I’ve heard it used in various ways that often sound hilarious but they’re always so excited and dramatic that I can never grasp the complete sentence. I couldn’t find examples of sentences using this expression on line either. Not that I’m expecting to need this personally 😜 I’d just like to understand it better. Are you familiar with this expression?


    • Hi Angela, thanks!

      Ponerle los cuernos a alguien (in Colombia ponerle los cachos a alguien is more common, with cacho also meaning horn) means to cheat on them, that is, to cuckold them. It would be great if you could share one of the dramatic sentences from the show!

      PS- Bienvenido works as an adjective, so you have to make the ending (feminine v. masculine, singular v. plural) agree with the noun it modifies, as you are really saying “(you are) welcome!” For that reason, you’d say “¡Bienvenida!” when greeting me. When used in general, like on a sign, you’re going to see “Bienvenidos,” as you are welcoming both men and women :)


  6. Okay ¡Bienvenida! 😀 Spanish grammar obviously not my strong suit. 😜Ponerle (or poner) los cuernos was used in some of the conversations. The telenovelas are “La Patrona”, Mexico, and ¡Valgame Dios!, Venezuela and I recommend both. I was surprised that both countries used the same expression when otherwise the Spanish sounds so different! I couldn’t make out the sentences well enough. I was hoping you could help me with that. Isn’t there a website for idioms? They’re both on YouTube so maybe I can find a clip. I’ll have to get back to you. Thank you!


    • Hi Angela, thanks for the recommendations. Regarding idioms, a quick Google search brings up many sites. Not sure if there’s one that’s the holy grail of idioms. Kudos for watching TV shows and persisting with Spanish!


  7. Thank you! I just love hearing the language and it really does help me a lot. I like it when they’re on TV everyday because it forces me to keep up with the storyline and therefore my Spanish! 👍
    Sadly, we don’t have a lot of choice here in 🇨🇦 when it comes to Spanish language programs. There used to be just one show available at a time and some were so bad that it was just too painful so I couldn’t watch.😩 But these telenovelas are actually good! They each have had multiple nominations and won awards.🏆 (Wikipedia). This is such a rare treat for me to have two that I really like… and from different countries! I’m even starting to get better at understanding Venezuelans! 😜

    Here’s what I’ve found so far about Cuerno. It’s used in so many different ways which explains why I kept hearing that word so often! Finding video clips though, is like searching for a needle in a haystack and very time consuming. So far I’ve only found one. I’ll post them if I can find a couple more at least.

    horn (de animal); antler (de ciervo); horn, feeler (de caracol)
    mandar al cuerno a alguien(informal) to send somebody packing
    poner cuernos a alguien (informal) to be unfaithful to somebody; to cuckold somebody (a un hombre)
    ¡cuerno(s)! gosh! (familiar); blimey! (muy_familiar)
    ¡(y) un cuerno! my foot!; you must be joking!
    coger al toro por los cuernos to take the bull by the horns
    estar en los cuernos (del toro) to be in a jam (familiar)
    irse al cuerno [+negocio] to fail; go to the wall (familiar); [+proyecto] to fall through
    ¡que se vaya al cuerno! he can go to hell!
    mandar a algún al cuerno to tell someone to go to hell (familiar)
    mandar algo al cuerno to consign someone to hell
    poner los cuernos a algún to cheat on someone; cuckold (anticuado)
    romperse los cuernos to break one’s back working; work one’s butt off (familiar); (EEUU)
    ¡así te rompas los cuernos! I hope you break your neck!
    saber a cuerno quemado
    esto me sabe a cuerno quemado: it makes my blood boil


    • Great, I love it! I actually just got a TV in my apt. yesterday, so I’m going to try to start watching some shows! Thanks for the inspiration.

      And thanks for the horns info! You’re doing my job for me ;)


  8. I’m sure you’ll have a good selection there. I’ve really enjoyed the few Telenovelas I’ve seen from Columbia. One of my faves was “Escalona” with Carlos Vives. Light story but great music!
    I’ll share the one clip I’ve found for now… It’s the entire episode so just fast forward. The time is approximate so start about a minute or so before so you see the whole scene which is very short. The older blonde woman is the villaness of the show who pretends to be a saint.

    @ 43:00


  9. The clip is of a different use for cuernos. I don’t know if I was very clear. It’s very short so if you blink you’ll miss it. It ‘s said at the end of the scene at around 43:38
    The entire show is on YouTube btw. It’s romance mixed with black comedy.


  10. Here’s another one I just found..very dramatic!… You may recognize the actor…he’s been around. Its very hard to find a decent video of this show but it’s good enough for this purpose:
    Forward to approx 28:00 – 28:35 (but watch the very beginning first…you’ll see why) ;)
    La Patrona Capitulo 75


  11. I found yet another way of using the expression that I hadn’t heard before and it’s great! The couple in this scene are discussing how to separate her husband from his fiancé and refer to each other as cornudos(as).
    La Patrona #87
    The scene starts at 37:23 and it is used twice beginning at 38:45


  12. This is the last one, I promise. These two examples are about cheating. The first one is kind of funny. Watch what she does in response! 😈

    ¡Válgame Dios! Capítulo 50

    at 10:45 …and at 21:50


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