Dawning well

Shot from our terraza a few years back, but it ain’t changed a lick.

HOW DID you dawn today? asked the little meatball woman, about as wide as she is high, who sweeps the plaza every morning, as I passed.

I dawned well, I responded, and asked how she dawned. Her dawn was good.

¿Cómo amanecío?  is a common way of asking how you’re doing in the morning. The infinitive amanecer means “to dawn.” It’s an odd question in English, but not in Spanish.

It was about two hours past dawn, and my child bride and I were getting our morning constitutional, six plaza laps, a bit over 20 minutes. But, being Thursday, there was more, a humble street market.

My bride paused at the principal stand, run by three energetic guys who arrive early in a good-sized, “pre-owned” van they recently purchased with their profits, to pick up tomatoes, onions, strawberries and avocados. I kept on walking.

My objective was movement, not marketing.

Then we went home, sat on the porch and drank fresh orange juice.

It was not still dawn, but it was still good.

18 thoughts on “Dawning well

  1. I have often wondered about many of the Spanish sayings, like this one, whose literal translations do not make sense. (Andale — Walk it?!? Walk what, shouldn’t it be apurate?!? LOL!) I ask my wife about them as they come up. Of course, she never has a answer. She has asked me about a few in English too (mostly slang terms).

    I hope you are enjoying the warmth down there Felipe. We are freezing up here today!



    1. Mike: Andale has a number of meanings. “Walk it” is not one of them. It can mean “let’s go!” or “You’re right about that!” And other things, I guess. Apurate is hurry up! Andale is used like apurate at times.

      Often, literal translations miss the mark.

      Weather is grand down here.


      1. Yes, that is what I meant. People tell me “andale” when they are hurrying me along. (Andar=to walk) (le=him, her, it -indirect object pronoun) (Anda+le = walk it) Unless I am totally off base that is how I literally translate it. Therefore the correct use of Andale would be: The dog needs walking! Andale! (Walk him/it! Correct?)
        How on earth do they get “you’re right about that!” from Andale?!? I will never totally understand the Spanish language or the Mexican culture. LOL!!


        1. Mike: You would only say andale after telling someone to walk the dog if you were telling the person to get a move on. Shake a leg! Forget walk it and andale. Doesn’t work.

          As for the other usage, some things you just can’t translate directly. If someone said to me, for instance, that Obama was the worst president in American history, I might well say: ¡Andale!

          Or: You said it, brother!


  2. Cómo amanecío was a common question asked in my Latin household, growing up, usually by my mom. Then, it meant a variety of things, ‘how has your morning been so far’ with a smile, or, maybe, ‘I haven’t seen you this morning, how are you, hmm…? ‘ I didn’t get asked the latter. I was too young.
    But it is a great greeting, especially at dawn 🙂


  3. F used to tease me when I asked, “‘¿Cómo amaneciste?” He’d invariably say something like, “Do I look like the sun?” This always puzzled me as I had been taught to believe it meant what you wrote in your post. Is it perhaps an expression mostly used by the older generation?

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we continue to add to our vocabulary of Chilango slang.


      1. I think so. Once, early on in the relationship, he tried to persuade me to tell the management of the hotel where I was staying, “Me encabronan sus pendejadas.” Fortunately, I suspected this wasn’t the thing to say, so never said it.


  4. Does your ‘hood use the term, mirave? Literally, it means look, look. It’s common there as a mild imperative form of look here now.


      1. It’s quite possible I am mistaken. My brain and body are both under attack this week. I have been besieged by a malevolent dose of food poisoning with a side of parasites. Also, I don’t hear very well. Laurie


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