1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)
  1. Juliet Aitken

    Juliet Aitken Senior Member

    London
    English, London, UK
    ¿Alguién podría decirme lo que significa "a hacer puñetas"?
    Tengo la impresión que este dicho es un poco como "a wild goose chase"? ¿Tengo razón?

    ¡Gracias de antemano!
     
  2. Mei

    Mei Senior Member

    Where streets have no name...
    Catalonia Catalan & Spanish
    Hi Juliet,

    I found this, hope it helps.

    Mei
     
  3. Juliet Aitken

    Juliet Aitken Senior Member

    London
    English, London, UK
    Yes, thank you Mei, I already read this - but it is the source of my confusion. It implies "puñetas" is pretty impolite - whereas to me it was not. I'll keep reading!
     
  4. nv1962

    nv1962 Senior Member

    California (USA)
    es, nl, en-us
    It needn't be necessarily "impolite" meaning "offensive" or "abrasive" - but it is a familiar expression. In other words, you could use it among coworkers, but I wouldn't say it if I'd be at my future inlaws', asking for the hand of their daughter!
     
  5. Hortelano Junior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    It's a little bit impolite. It means more or less: "Go to hell!"
     
  6. nv1962

    nv1962 Senior Member

    California (USA)
    es, nl, en-us
    Or, in another context: "to hell with it!" (E.g., you've worked all day to finish a report, and data have been changed five times already forcing you to make all pertinent changes, and just when you're in front of the door of the Big Kahoona, shining report in hand, a coworker runs up to you saying the dreaded words: "Marketing just came in with another 21 changes!"

    Now that's when you could say, albeit at your own expense: "¡A hacer puñetas!"
     
  7. Juliet Aitken

    Juliet Aitken Senior Member

    London
    English, London, UK
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=239346

    Many thanks to all. I think the Spanish meaning is exactly the one I thought and certainly I wouldnt' dare say this to my mother-in-law!

    However, I was confused by this thread on the forum, which gives some very different South American meanings...

    Just shows you have to be careful when you're travelling...

    Best
    Juliet
     
  8. nv1962

    nv1962 Senior Member

    California (USA)
    es, nl, en-us
    Ah, I just looked at that other thread you just linked to. That's a different use: as an expletive, without the "a hacer" bit. Like so: ¡Puñetas!

    That definitely has a more impolite ring to it, although it's not so "strong" as to be socially taboo beyond very close friends; in fact, it's a "substitute" for strong expletives, somewhat similar to (in the US at least) "dang!" which, as you know is, well... not that other much stronger expletive.

    At any rate, not "in-law material" either.

    Edited to add: both the use as an expletive, as well as the "a hacer puñetas" form that you're asking about here, are used on both sides of the Atlantic.
     

Share This Page