Monday, July 19, 2010

Que codo eres!

Que codo eres!

If we interpret that literally, you've just told someone what an elbow they are, because codo means elbow.

But this is another one of those times where a literal translation falls short.

In Spanish, when you call someone codo, you're calling them cheap. So if we revisit our translation...

Que codo eres
You're so cheap

Codo is one of several ways to call someone cheap in Spanish.  There's also tocaño or tocaña although that probably translates more like stingy.

And surprisingly, you can call someone cheap without saying a word.  I think you ladies will appreciate this one. When that guy at the bar refuses to buy you a drink, you can just glance over at your girlfriend and tap your elbow, and she'll get the message.  And so will he, if he's looking.  Keep in mind that when you talk about a third party, you need to say "Que codo es".

Now guys, don't think I've sold you out.  If someone calls you codo, you can reply with...

No soy codo, sino ahorritivo
I'm not cheap, I'm thrifty

Lastly I'll leave you with a tiny bit of culture and a chiste (joke).

In Mexico, people from Monterrey (for whatever reason) are famous for being codo.  So with that bit of information, I think you can appreciate this joke...

¿Qué pasaría si se inunda Monterrey?
What will happen if Monterrey floods?

Se haría una inmensa sopa de coditos.
It'll make a huge elbow soup

Captaste el chiste?
Did you get the joke?

I hope you found this useful and maybe even entertaining.  I've had the fortune (misfortune?) of being called codo, and having this little of information made the situation even more humorous and memorable. 

¡Hasta la proxima!


  1. Hi Rodney, I was just wondering if you would blog about how you go about finding people to talk with in Spanish. Here says you live in Georgia, so it's not like Miami or a border town near Mexico. I am learning Spanish and I take weekly conversation classes with native speakers. Your blog(s) have been very helpful and entertaining! Anne from DC (USA)

  2. FYI, the word for "stingy" is tAcaño(a), not tOcaño(a)--capitalized for emphasis. Just trying to help.