Lo Que Pica el Gallo

Hablando de lo que pica el gallo…formando un arroz con mango.

Le zumba el merequetén

The power went out Friday afternoon after some FPL mishaps the night  before.  Nunca falla.  Turns out we were one of the unlucky 2,600 customers that had power pulsating in and out in intervals until it finally went out for good. After my dad called and exaggerated the degree of the problem (like a true Cuban) we were told to expect the power to return by 5pm. An hour and half without power on a hot summer day in Miami? Le zumba el merequetén!

This cuban idiom probably has no definite, literal translation and I believe derives from or alters to a few other sayings. When used properly and in the correct context they all adhere to the same meaning and emotion. However, there’s no real way of defining it. Zumbar, listed in the Spanish dictionary as a verb, means to buzz or hum. But according to the unofficial Cuban dictionary (someone should probably devote their time and efforts in creating one,) zumbar means to throw or heave. Le zumba el merequetén in this case translates to it heaves the merequeténMerequetén has no translation. In fact, I assume it’s simply a made up word. It’s origin?  Ask abuela.

Variations of the saying depend upon mood or extremities. At times you may hear “le zumba el mango” instead. Of course, no one will be throwing a mango anytime soon but I guess that’s where the dicho comes from. In the event of an unbelievable occurrence, usually something ridiculous or hard to swallow, someone would probably feel the urge to lob something. Cubans may have at one point felt that a merequeten (probably what they would call the first thing they could get their hands on) or a mango were appropriate things to dodge at someone when in disbelief about a situation.

So after an hour of not-so-patiently waiting, my brother made the second call to FPL and was answered with an automated system. “The expected time of power restoration is 6:15pm.” Another hour?!

No no no, te digo yo a ti. Le zumba el merequetén!


About Lyanis

I'm always a little skeptical about filling out an "About Me" section. I'm supposed to tell you about who I am, when really, as wordy as I tend to be, no one can really get to know someone from a box confined to a certain number of characters. You see, I'm a bit complicated. I don't like to admit it, partially because I like the simple things in life but truth is, we're all complicated and none of us come with instructions on how to decode one another. So in the mean time, to better understand me for me, I'll give you the basics: I'm a hometown Miami girl born to Cuban parents. I'm the only girl of 4 children still living at home with mom and dad while I work and study in hopes that one day, all this writing pays off and...well... literally pays off. I'm working on getting my Bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Communications. I tried reaching for my roots and focusing in on Spanish, pero que 'va, I like Cuban Spanish and Spanglish way better than the Spanish the teach in college. Both my parents have instilled the importance of family and togetherness in me and my siblings. For that, I'm thankful. Although at times my house resembles una casa de locos, it is that very essence that makes me a little bit more of who I am, and provides me with the material I write about here. I have big dreams for myself as well as for Lo Que Pica El Gallo. This is just the beginning of a long journey and I sure do hope you stick around to see where it takes us.

One comment on “Le zumba el merequetén

  1. Pingback: Dicho: Le Zumba el Merequeten

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2010 by in Dichos and tagged , , , , , , , .

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