My nephew and I were recently sick simultaneously which made for fairly gross Skype sessions. We were both really congested and had noses and upper lips which were rubbed red from all the blowing and wiping. I tried to make light of the situation by saying that we had matching mustaches and were Jamaican and he giggled, I think because he heard the inflection signifying “funny” and not because he got either joke.
In the dead space between when I am used to having my comedy stylings appreciated and the next terribly witty thing I say, I realized that I had a Word Outlier right under my nose.
bigote — Pelo que nace sobre el labio superior. [Hair which sprouts from the upper lip.] ORIGIN Possibly from Arabic bei Got (translated in Spanish as “por Dios” but I can’t find if this is in the sense of “for God” or “oh God”).
Normally I don’t like it when organized religion crops up in places I don’t want it (that would be everywhere), but this word is AMAZING, regardless of what God’s doing there.
On a family vacation to Jamaica when I was just a wee lass, I made a funny that became part of my family’s vocabulary. I was walking along the beach with my father and I noticed that we were both wearing blue swim trunks. (His were actual mens trunks, mine were the bottoms from a bikini.) “Somos jamaicas!” I exclaimed, conflating “Jamaican” the nationality with “gemelo” [twin]. I’ve suffered from acute language-fusion my whole life.
Learn something from my mistake
Jamaican people are actually called jamaiquin@ or jamaican@ in Spanish. Remember that the @ in Spanish is used to gender-neutralize words.