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Taking care of those dirty Texanas and Tejanas.

I was at an outdoor mercado in Phoenix the other day; enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells around me on a beautiful sunny day.

Walking in the area where all things vaquero are featured, I noticed a couple of hand written signs on some of the vendors’ stands that read SE HORMAN/LIMPIAN TEXANAS (see photo). I didn’t give it much thought till later.

If you were learning Spanish, you would probably have thought the sign to read something along the lines of WE SHAPE/FORM AND CLEAN TEXAN WOMEN. Tejanas.

The possibilities for a raunchy Tex-Mex song are pretty good here. Check out the photo. Think ZZ Top collaborating with Los Lonely Boys. What would Selena have said about this? Tish Hinojosa would probably punch someone.

This is just one more reason NOT to use literal translation when communicating with another language/culture. What the sign actually means is: WE SHAPE (FORM) AND CLEAN COWBOY HATS. The most common hat this refers to are felt cowboy hats. The Texanas in question here are felt hats, such as Stetsons.

They offer the shaping/reshaping and forming of felt cowboy hats.

Another reason to avoid literal and literal translations.

So, go into a bar and start talking about clean and shapely Tejanas and see where that gets you.

30 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Great piece, hermano!
    There’s an awesome book; somewhat famous in Spain, compiled entirely of these that’s a must read for the fine connoisseur of literal translations called, “From Lost to the River.”(O sea… De perdidos al río) I read it many years ago and laughed for days on end. The idioms change between dialects of Spanish… Pero el sentido del humor Latino sigue constante! :)

  2. Tony- thanks for the tip on that book. I’ve never heard about it but will definitely look it up, I like these type of insights into the literal. It helps me stay sane. I think.
    Gennaro- wear your Texana and smile, carnal!

  3. Ha, we love it. Thanks for posting it on our site. GRITO de QUESO!!!

  4. Jaime Navarro

    Being from El Paso, Tx. I see alot of this! People here speak alot of “pocho”. More so 40 miles up the road in Las Cruces, NM. Always amusing! And to Tony V., let me say, being from Texas, wearing “Texanas” is fun!!!

  5. Thanks for the Gritos de Queso and the encouragement to wear Texanas to our hearts’ content!!!!! As Nopalistas, we encourage this type of behavior. Gracias!
    And yes, the southwest is not only Aztlan but also Pocholandia!

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