Why Is the Word in Spanish for 'Wives' and 'Handcuffs' the Same?

“Why Do Mexicans Hate Yellow Cheese?” from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

DEAR MEXICAN: So there I was, sitting in Spanish class, like the good half-frog/half-wop (i.e., “frop”) that I am, when I observe the Spanish teacher write the word esposas on the board. Imagine my shock/horror when the teacher told us esposas has two meanings: “wives” and “handcuffs”! PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A COINCIDENCE!

Fropito From Laguna Hills

DEAR GABACHO: On one hand, I can point to Latin—show that esposas is the feminine plural of esposo, which comes from the Latin sponsus (same root word for “spouse”), which comes from the Latin spondere, which means “to bind,” and note that that's exactly what handcuffs do. And then I can carry on the misogynistic theme and mention that wrists in Spanish translates as muñecas, which also means dolls, and that even the Real Academia Española doesn't know the etymology of the word or why the two words mean the same thing. And I can conclude by decrying machismo in Mexicans, that it's so ingrained in our culture that it's even infested etymology. On the other hand, only a single guy would ever ask why esposas simultaneously means “handcuffs” and “wives.”

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DEAR MEXICAN: Just wondering why do Mexicans love to eat shit? You can walk down the street in any Mexican city any day or night, and the smell of frying intestines and so forth is overpowering. To anyone but a Mexican, this is a repulsive smell—it literally repulses, meaning it calls up an instinct to get as far away from such smells as possible. But one sees such food stands covered in Mexicans, like flies on shit. What gives here? Is shit, i.e., intestines, really a good food? Or what? What am I missing here?

The Only Living Fresa in Puebla York

DEAR PENDEJO: You're talking trash on tripas, which mankind has eaten in one form or another—sausage, dinuguan, chitlins, hamburger meat, tacos—since your ancestors were wiping the culos of Olmec emperors. Fresas such as you might sneer at tripas as pauper food, just as the elites of society all have through history, but whatever: That's at least one thing ustedes will never gentrify. Besides, you already took the real shit in Mexican society by embracing Maná.

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DEAR MEXICAN: I'm a gringa with the star sign of Leo, so I love cats, and I also love Mexican men. But here's the rub: every Mexican I meet seems to be allergic to cats or just hates them. I can't deal with it. Am I just picking the wrong Mexicans, or is there some kind of aversion to four-legged furries in the culture that I'm not privy to?

Sad Cat-Loving White Girl

DEAR GABACHA: While consumer surveys show Mexicans do own cats (more so than African-Americans or Asians, for that matter), Mexicans will always prefer dogs to gatos because we like their companionship and barking abilities—think of them as our ADT alarm system. Besides, the only pussy Mexican men worry about ain't feline.

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