Curious Mexican Expressions :A Taco is not always a taco


A  taco is not always a taco, what does this mean? Taco is a word often used in very colloquial expressions in (Mex)Spanish to refer to a meal or something to eat. A “taco” could mean: a tostada, a sandwich, pasta, rice, steak, a burger, a caldo, pizza, sweet bread, ham and eggs, a microwave meal….etc  In a word, a variety of things. Reminds me of how in Korean the word “pap” means rice (cooked) but also means, meal.

Examples of  Expressions with “TACO” :

#1 “No tengo que ofrecerte, mas que un taquito. “ = Literally this means I have nothing to offer you, but a small taco. *Notice how the word taco takes on the diminutive “taquito”.  Remember the post on diminutives? Diminutives are used to soften commands, statements, express politeness. So the expression would mean something like “I don’t have much to offer you except a humble meal.”

#2 “No he comido un taco en todo el santo dia! “= Literally ” I have not eaten a single taco during this whole blessed day!” Meaning:  I haven’t had a single bite to eat today.

#3 Say you have company and your parents aren’t around when they come home and see the guests they ask you “Ya les ofresciste un taquito?” Literally: did you offer them (guests) a small taco?= Did you offer the guests something to eat?

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