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... what handles are left over. Does that phrase sound to you? But where does it come from? We tell you how a simple handle became a word with many senses.

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What does an Argentine mean when he says he  's a handle ? Is it good or bad? Or does it depend on the case? In a country where leftover handles, a simple common noun became an adjective describing various things. But let's start from the beginning: where does the current use come from?

In its most literal sense,  a handle is the one that opens  (doors, windows) and sometimes the one that allows something to work (on certain tools, for example). The term also has a figurative meaning that follows from the literal. Says the  SAR :

  •  Power  that someone has and exercises because of their social, professional or hierarchical situation.  In this office Juan HAS THE HANDLE. 
  • Influence someone tries to exert on another person to encourage them to think or act in a certain way.  Pedro DA handle Juan. 

If we look at our   lunfardo  , in tangos,  the handle  is an important person , who orders, dispositions or decides in a situation, who has influence or power. Similar to what the SAR says. But  handle  is also something else. It's that stimulus,  that impulse, that leads us to do something . And that sometimes causes us anxiety.

That's why you can

  •  be  handle: when we are anxious about something that is about to happen. “I'm going on vacation at the end. I'm re handle.”
  •  stay  handle: when we stayed with the feeling that it was not enough: “I went to train, but was re tranqui. I left handle.”
  •  give yourself  a handle or handle yourself : when we think a lot and we turn around the same thing. I mean, when we were machined, “Don't give yourself a handle. It's going to be solved.”
  •  be  handle: when a person is very anxious and  intense  with certain things. “Have you finished the series yet? You're a handle.”

Intense, emotional, passionate, exaggerated. Does it sound to you? Bring doors — then — that, in this country, there are plenty of handles.

Publication Date: 13/12/2020

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Que es un chongo What is a chongo?
10 phrases that only argentines understand

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