Tag Archives: spanish

Hermoso

Almost every day, Nora and I go into the same corner store as part of our morning routine. Everyone knows us there. And every single time we go in, the guy working the deli counter smiles at Nora and says “Ah, hermoso!”

Now, I’m no Spanish expert (despite having taken Spanish in middle school, high school, and part of college…) but I’m pretty sure “hermoso” means beautiful for a boy, whereas if you were to call a girl beautiful, you would say “hermosa.”

So either the deli guy thinks Nora is a boy, and has thought this for 9 months now, or he is simply using the word “hermoso” as a gender-neutral term. Since my Spanish knowledge is spotty (#ivyleagueeducation imgres-2), I really couldn’t be sure.

So today we conducted an experiment. I put Nora in the girliest, most unmistakably feminine outfit she owns:

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We enter the store:

Deli Guy: “Ahhhh! Hermoso! Is very nice dress! Pretty butterflies!”

Me (relieved that he is obviously using ‘hermoso’ interchangeably, and has known all along Nora is a girl): “Aww gracias! That’s very nice!”

Deli Guy: “Ah de nada! You very welcome.”

(I smile and begin to walk towards dairy section)

Deli Guy: “But why he wear dress?”

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Bilingual

My sister: “It’s great having a nanny from Colombia because now Tyler is learning to speak Spanish.”

Me: “Yeah I mean that’s cool and all but anyone can learn Spanish– they teach that in school. Thanks to my nanny Nora will learn to speak…

(googles language of Trinidad)

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Oh.

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Goddamnit.