Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spanish Know What to Call Their Banks

Autonomous City of Melilla, Spanish Africa

In Spain the retail banks are mainly called "cajas"  Some of the banking firms have names like Cajamar and Unicaja.

Here's the thing.  In Spanish the "j" is a hard sound akin to clearing your throat but quickly.  If you slip only slightly you end up turning it into a "k" sound which is all wrong for the language but perfectly appropriate for a name to call a bank.

For readers foreign to Canadian euphemisms "kaka" is the word used by excessively precious yuppy mothers for their baby's bowel movements.  "Oh, did my little darling go kaka in his didi?".  Apparently excrement or bowel movement or scat are terms too harsh for the delicate sensibilities of urban infants.  So city kids go kaka.

I share the popular view that most banks are kaka, especially the Canadian ones.  But now I get to say it.  "Bye dear.  I must go kaka.  Back in a minute".

Who'd have thought foreign languages could be so much fun?

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