Spanish Lessons


As: A whiz or an ass?

Spanish is the official language of Puerto Rico, yet a large portion of the population knows English, so bilingual puns play to a wide audience. Case in point, the lyrics to this cynical song by the band Polbo:

Yo era el as de las nenas, cuando tenía dinero.
Ahora sigo siendo el as/ass,
en otro idioma, tú sabrás.
"I was the ace of the girls, when I had money.
Now I'm still the ace/ass,
in another language, you know."

[Captions 13-6, Polbo > Yo era tan cool]


Like its English equivalent "ace," the Spanish as is both a good poker card and "a whiz" at something. The pun on as / ass works in this song because the two words are pronounced essentially the same way, with a soft "s" (unlike the word "as" in English, which is pronounced "az").

One more note regarding the bilingual audience for Yo era tan cool. The word "cool" is obviously borrowed from English. But one could argue that cool is going the way of "OK" / "okay" or "ciao" / "chau" / "chao" as a word that crosses linguistic barriers. We googled "es cool" (in Spanish) and more than 100,000 web pages came up. Cool, ¿no?


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