Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nos arreglamos el chongo

If you've always wanted to know what a chongo is, today's your lucky day.

And if you've never heard of the word chongo, today's still your lucky day.  And guess what else? You'll really impress your Mexican friends with this one.  Your cool points will go through the roof.  OK, it's not that cool, but you will surprise them.

Enough chit-chat, let's get to it.

Here's a picture of a chongo.

That's right, a chongo is a hair bun.  At least in Mexico it is.  In other countries chongo could mean something completely different, so make sure you know your audience.  Anyway, a more universal way to refer to a chongo would be moño de pelo, or simply un moño.

Here are some examples:

El chongo no es sólo para domingos relajados u ocasiones en las que haces ejercicio -- puedes arreglarlo de forma elegante para ocasiones en las que te quieras ver más formal.

The hair bun isn't just for lazy Sundays or when you workout, you can make it look elegant for the ocassions you want to look more formal.

¿Cómo puedo arreglarme mas? ... casi no me peino; me peino con un 'chongo' así equis, no me maquillo  no me gusta usar tacones.

How can I make myself up more?  I almost never do my hair.  I put it a bun, whatever. I don't put on make up and I don't like to wear heels.

Simple enough right?  But guess what?  There's more.  There are also a few expressions that use the word chongo, like agarrarse del chongo.

This picture should take all the mystery out of the phrase "agarrarse del chongo":

Although our female friend  in the black shirt (la de la camisa negra) is pulling the other girls cola (pony tail) , our phrase agarrarse del chongo  still applies because agarrarse del chongo  refers to a fight between women even if hair buns and pulling hair isn't involved.

Let's look at some examples:

Julia y Carolina se agarraron del chongo afuera de la escuela
Julia and Carolina were fighting outside the school

Las niñas estaban felices pero se agarraron del chongo por sus juguetes
The girls were happy but they started fighting over their toys

Lilia esta a punto de agarrarse del chongo con Marisa
Lilia is about to get into a fight with Marisa

Otra vez, ¿te agarraste del chongo con tu jefe?
You got into an argument with your boss again?

Sé que a veces somos como el agua y el aceite, nos agarramos del chongo por que a veces tu dices no y yo digo que sí, o tu dices sì y yo digo que no
I know that sometimes we're like oil and water, we argue because sometimes you say no and I say yes, or you say yes and I say no.

Did you notice that agarrarse del chongo doesn't always refer to a physical fight?

Well, now that your chongo is all out of place (literally or figuratively), it's time to arreglarse el chongo.

If you're not familiar with the verb arreglarse, add it to your list of verbs to learn because you'll hear it a lot and it has several different uses.  The definition we care about in this post is to fix yourself up or to make yourself look nice.

Keeping our definition of arreglarse in mind, arreglarse el chongo doesn't refer to fixing your hair (although it can),  in this context it refers to making things right, working things out or straightening things out between you and the people you were agarrando el chongo with.

Now we can translate today's expression means.

Nos arreglamos el chongo
We worked everything out

Arreglamos el chongo is very much a Mexican saying, so if you want something a little more universal, go with:

Arreglarse con alguien

Teresa peleó con Jose y no poder arreglarse por el orgullo de los dos.
Teresa fought with Jose and they're not able to straighten things out because they're both prideful.

Me arreglé con mi ex
I worked things out with my ex

And that just about wraps things up.  I'll leave you with a few other posts I wrote about hair:

Tengo el pelo chino and Soy pelimorado a rayos

That's it for today.  ¡Hasta la próxima!

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