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Argentine Expressions Vol. III

Where do typical Argentinian phrases and expressions come from? Does today's use have to do with their origin or were
How we talk
| 10 October, 2019 |

Where do typical Argentinian phrases and expressions come from? Does today’s use have to do with their origin or were they deformed so much that it can no longer be traced? If you are interested in the topic, you can check the previous submissions here and Here.

Medical expressions: “There is no aunt”

We all know what it means: that there is no solution for a certain question or that there is no remedy or alternative, things will be like this (whether it hurts or doesn’t suit us). But what is the origin? what? Do you have to see aunt in all this?

It seems that the “atutía” was a derivative of copper that was used as a remedy for different ophthalmological diseases (I don’t even want to think about how it was used, the combination “copper” plus “eye” gives me chills). The original phrase “There is no atutía” (as far as I could investigate it was a rather expensive substance) became deformed over time and resulted in this expression that we continue to use today. So you know, when someone says, “there’s no aunt,” they’re saying, “there’s no more copper derivative.”

“ Bondi”

Argentines (at least the porteños) don’t take collectives, we take bondis. How do we go from “collective” or “omnibus” to this particular word? Spoiler: we owe it to the Brazilian brothers.

In English, “ticket” is “bond.” As in most American countries, trams were originally English companies. San Pablo, one of the first cities in Latin America to have a tramnetwork, had the tickets written in English. In Portuguese the words cannot end in consonant, so they cut off perfectly: they added an “i” and the passage ended up calling the transport.

The rest is history: some Argentinian went to San Pablo, met the tram and, returning to the pampas, told his compatriots about technological progress. Those compatriots extended it and here we are: one of the most common expressions for any Buenos Aires is “I’m waiting for the bondi”.

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