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Perder la silla

In addition to Dutch, Papiamento, and English, most Arubans can also speak perfect Spanish, as Landa Henríquez attests to by singing it with ease. The island has deep seated and ongoing ties with Venezuela, only fourteen miles to the south, and neighboring Colombia. So it should be of little surprise that Landa peppers her song with a common Colombian expression.


Ya sabes, te vas de Barranquilla y te pierdes tu silla

You know, you leave Barranquilla and you lose your chair

Caption 48, Landa Henríquez - Mujer Cuarenta

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The expression is actually a take on a popular saying from Spain which goes Él que se va a Sevilla, pierde su silla ("He who leaves Sevilla, loses his chair"). Either way, the meaning is the same: if you're not vigilent, you'll lose what is yours.

There is another way to express the same sentiment, and we hear it in a cumbia song playing at that disco that Milagros and Gloria have snuck out of the orphanage to visit in Muñeca Brava


Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente.

The shrimp that sleeps is taken away by the current. ["You snooze, you lose."]

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto - Part 6

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American English also expresses this idea with an analogy to sleep: "You snooze, you lose."




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