Wednesday, September 26, 2007

“Tinieblo” Explained

The Starbucks prize for uncovering the meaning of tinieblo goes to NYC’s Peter Yonka – my brother-in-law, no less. Congratulations!

Jose Jaramillo Mejia is a columnist for the Colombian newspaper La Patria. I get the impression he’s this paper’s version of William Safire, writing about the meaning of words and phrases.

His article covers the meaning of tinieblo in detail: “a furtive lover of a lady” according to my machine translation. Señor Jaramillo calls it a neologism – a new coinage – with roots in the Latin word for “darkness,” the dark, lack of light.

Paraphrasing his column, ordinary lovers and young men are different from this guy: El Tinieblo does not fall in love with anybody; nobody falls in love with him. It is a pastime, a resource for sexual gratification without roots or commitments.

Unless Mexican Spanish is wildly different than Colombian Spanish – which it may well be – we’re drinking a mezcal whose brand name implies a Don Juan, a Casanova….perhaps a little bit more. (No, I don’t feel any different, thanks.)

Señor Jaramillo nominates tinieblo for the Royal Academy’s official dictionary of the Spanish language with the meaning of the occasional lover. Uh-huh. Peter deserves today’s award for “best research.” Happy drinking.

Photo by Corazón Girl with thanks.

1 comment:

Richard Laurence Baron said...

See the comment added by Mr Agave from - below. RLB