12 January 2009

The fat look...

There is an interesting Spanish phrase that is fairly common and I thought I would share it with you in case it might come in handy some day. The phrase is "Hacer de la vista gorda". You may sometimes hear it without the "de" as in "Hacer la vista gorda" and it is also sometimes used in a reflexive manner as in "Hacerse de la vista gorda". It literally translates as "To make with the fat look". It means "to purposely overlook, or "to ignore" or "to give it a blind eye to".

I will sometimes say to a worker who does a rather poor job of something:

"Pues, esta vez voy a hacer de la vista gorda pero no quiero verte repetir.
Well, this time I am going to overlook it but I don't want to see you do it again.

I might also say something like:

"Si no traes puesto tu casco no esperes que voy a hacer de la vista gorda y tu vas a evitar un regaño".
If you don't wear your hard hat don't expect that I am going to look the other way and that you are going to avoid a reprimand.

Here is a tongue in cheek example that fits a lot of people:

No me gustan la injusticia, la corrupción, la trampa, etc., pero por 100 pesos estoy dispuesto a hacer de la vista gorda.
I don't like injustice, corruption, or tricks, etcetera, but for 100 pesos I am disposed to look the other way.

Some day you might break a traffic rule (Heaven forbid) and so you might try this when talking to the nice policeman:

Oficial, ¿Puede por esta vez hacerse de la vista gorda?
Officer, for this once could you look the other way?

He might frown and pull out his notebook and act like he is getting ready to write you a ticket. Then you could say:

Oficial, ayúdame porfa. Voy de mucha prisa a mi trabajo. Yo le doy el dinero para que usted pague mi infracción y no necesita darme un recibo. Recuerda los caballeros no tenemos memoria.
Officer, please help me. I am in a hurry to get to work. I will give you the money so that you can pay my fine and I don't need a receipt. Remember that us gentlemen don't remember". (In other words...this never happened)

Ooops! What happens if he takes you to see the judge? Then you start all over again:

Su Señoria, ¿no puede usted hacerse de la vista gorda?
Your Honor, can't you overlook this?

About now all the ladies will ask, "Okay, Bob, but what if you are a woman?" I don't know ladies. At this point you are on your own. I would suggest that you start crying. That always seems to work.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Pilón is also the name of a famous brand of cuban expresso coffee readily available in Miami supermarkets. Pilón is also a town on the southern coat of Cuba and the name of an old form of Cuban music mostly started by Pacho Alonso which was said to imitate the rhythms of crushing sugarcane.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.