Thursday, April 4, 2013

¿Por qué no te echas un coyotito?

If there's one word in Spanish that probably everyone in the US learns, it's the word siesta.  I doubt that I need to explain what it means, but just to make sure no one gets left in the dark, a siesta is a nap.

Me voy a tomar una siesta, me estoy muriendo de sueño
I'm going to take a nap, I'm really sleepy

Those of you who are really astute may have noticed "I'm really sleepy" is not a direct translation of "me estoy muriendo de sueño".  Literally "me estoy muriendo de sueño" is "I'm dying of sleep".  Sure it's understandable, but we just don't say that in English, or at least I've never heard it.  

OK, It's time to get back on track.

Tomar una siesta is a great way to tell people you're going to grab a few winks, but you're not going to impress anybody and it's kind of boring to be honest, at least when you compare it to some of the other options you have.  Let's take a look at these other options.

Echarse una siesta

Antes de salir a la fiesta me voy echar una siestecita para recargar pilas
Before I leave for the party I'm going to take a little nap to recharge my batteries

A siestecita is just a diminutive of the word siesta.  Use whichever one you prefer.

Now we're starting to sound a little more native.  But we're not done yet, we're just getting started.

Echarse un sueño

Voy a echarme un sueñito
I'm going to get a little sleep

Sueñito is another one of those diminutives and it comes from the word sueño which officially means dream or to be sleepy.  You can also use the word sueño if you're not big on diminutives.

Our next phrase involves the word pestaña, which means eyelash.

Me voy a echar una pestaña, estoy muy cansado
I'm going to take a nap, I'm really tired

And of course you can use it in it's diminutive form.

Me voy a echar una pestañita de 1 horita no más
I'm going to take a little nap for just an hour, no longer

So far all the ways we've looked at to say we're going to lay our heads down for a little bit are pretty neutral and should be recognized by all Spanish speakers, but this next one might be  exclusive to our Mexican neighbors.

Echarse un coyote

Ahorita que no está el jefe, me voy a echar un coyotito
Since the boss isn't here right now, I'm going to take a nap

¿Por qué no te echas un coyote?
Why don't you take a nap?

And there you have it.  Three ways to say you need to recharge those pilas and one additional way to say it if you want to sound muy Mexicano.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Otras formas:

    Echarse un pisto
    Escurrir la baba un rato
    Echar una cabezadita

    Para la noche:
    Entregarse a los brazos de Morfeo

  2. I've often said "I'm dying to sleep" which isn't far afield from "Me estoy muriendo de sueno" (I am dying for sleep).

  3. Pregunte a Siri "Tengo sueno, que debo hacer?" y ella contesto "Debes echate un coyotito, te esperas".