language fun

Donkies and Burritos

20131013-212721.jpgEnglish speakers know that a burrito is a delicious lunch (or dinner, or half-eaten and cold the    morning after, a delicious breakfast).  But do they know that burrito is the diminutive form of the Spanish word for donkey?  I suppose the Spanish-speaking English speakers (like yours truly) know this, and so when I saw “super donkey” painted on the window of a Mexican place down the street from me in my beloved Fountain Square neighborhood, I felt pretty sure (and hopeful) that the super donkey was a burrito.  The funny thing to me is that super donkey is kind of a weird translation of super burrito.  In English, we don’t associate donkeys with any kind of tasty Mexican food.  So I have to wonder what the non-Spanish speakers in the community think of this sign.  I had a native Spanish-speaking friend call the restaurant and confirm that the super donkey is indeed a burrito and in the end, my curiosity got the best of me the other night when I found myself hungry in my food-less house.  I called up the restaurant and ordered a super donkey to go.  Weird translation or not, it’s a super delicious burrito.  And it’s also fun to say, “I’d like a super donkey for carry out.”

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