Juan of Words


¡Ukela chistosa!

¡Ukela! ¿No que no?


Believe it or not, each one of these expressions carries its own weight when it comes to defining the word ukela. Yes, you’re right, if you’re thinking it sounds a lot like the word ukulele. At least it’s spelled very similarly. But ukela is more a PG-version of saying words like chingao, or even ¡cheet!

The latter, of course, is one of my absolute favorites.

Never mind that along the road to improving my own Spanish I learned cheet is one of those words many would refer to as an anglicism. If you’re not familiar, a word or phrase borrowed from English into a foreign language. Think words like troca, parqueadero and washateria. All words that are a hybrid between English and Spanish.

I think those words are my favorite because they come to be naturally. They’re not imposed on us as part of our accepted vernacular. Instead, they become a part of popular vernacular because we exercise their usage more often than maybe we should. They’re organic, if you will.

And, well, for me, I’ve always found them more fun.

So in summary, but not really… ukela is that word you use when things just aren’t going your way. When you want to say so much more, but remember “less is more.” When you’re just about to get mad and then decide to just laugh instead.

¡Ukela! ¡No te digo! 

This picture is pretty gratuitous, I’ll admit… but it very well might make you say ¡ukela!
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