dar calabazas

scriptum

Senior Member
Israel / Hebrew, Russian
Hello everybody,

Could anybody explain me the expression "darle calabazas a alguien"? I understand its general meaning, but what is the logic behind it? Why pumpkins and not, say, watermelons?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • marcoszorrilla

    Senior Member
    Español - España
    calabaza.


    1. f. calabacera (ǁ planta cucurbitácea).
    2. f. Fruto de la calabaza, muy vario en su forma, tamaño y color, por lo común grande, redondo y con multitud de pipas o semillas.
    3. f. calabacino.
    4. f. coloq. Persona inepta y muy ignorante.
    5. f. coloq. Mar. Buque pesado y de malas condiciones náuticas. ~ bonetera.
    1. f. La de forma de bonete y gran tamaño. ~ confitera.
    1. f. La de mayor tamaño entre las conocidas. ~ pastelera.
    1. f. calabaza bonetera. ~ totanera.
    1. f. calabaza confitera. ~ vinatera.
    1. f. La que forma cintura en medio y es más ancha por la parte de la flor. Sirve después de seca para llevar vino u otro líquido. dar ~s a alguien.
    1. fr. coloq. Reprobarlo en un examen.
    2. fr. coloq. Desairarlo o rechazarlo cuando requiere de amores.
    En cuanto al significado el origen no lo conozco.

    Un Saludo.
     

    marcoszorrilla

    Senior Member
    Español - España
    Creo que aquí hay algo interesante al respecto:
    Diego Saiz (New Jersey, Estados Unidos) se maravilla de la universalidad de la expresión “dar calabazas” para suspender en un examen o rechazar una proposición amorosa. Don Diego aporta el testimonio de un amigo ucraniano que también emplea esa frase para señalar que los padres no dan el permiso para que se ennovie su hija. Es más, entregan una calabaza al pretendiente rechazado para que no siga adelante.
    No es extraño que el signo de la calabaza haya penetrado en varios idiomas. En latín la cucúrbita o calabaza se ve como un símbolo de lo falso, flojo, con poca sustancia. En efecto, se trata de un fruto muy aparente pero poco denso y poco sabroso. Es más, en la vida tradicional se vaciaba fácilmente y se utilizaba como recipiente. En el castellano de la época del Quijote, la expresión “echar a uno calabaza es no responderle a lo que pide, como el galán que saca a la dama en el festín a bailar, y ella se excusa, dando a entender que [el mozo] es liviano y de poco seso, por querer que salga a danzar con él, no siendo o su igual o de su gusto, o que le dejó en vacío hecho calabaza” (Tesoro de Covarrubias).
    Un Saludo.
     

    cutsandnicks

    Member
    Germany, German and Spanish
    That is correct. "Dar calabazas a alguien" means that you refuse somebody's invitation, approaching, etc.

    How is the English expression to define that behaviour?
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    How is the English expression to define that behaviour?[/quote]

    I think in English they say "to give smb the axe"
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    No hay un frase que tenga un vegetale en inglés :p Pero supongo que el frase "To decline someone's/another's advances" would be appropriate?Por ejemplo:1. He asked her to go out with him, but she declined his advances. OR2. He asked her to go out with him, but she declined his request. In the first example, she is saying no to him totally - she is trying to escape him.. in the second example, the emphasis is more on her answer to his specific question. Like they're good friends and she's said "sorry I don't want to go out with you, but...", this example allows for her to kiss him, for example, without accepting his request to go out. In the first example, she wouldn't kiss or cuddle, or anything like that.That being said, "to decline another's advances/request" is quite formal - you probably would not use it in conversation. The informal version would probably be just: "She rejected him".
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Yeh I'd be very careful about using that one... in Australia we'd be a bit surprised at the use of that phrase - it's very rarely used but we do get it, nevertheless the sexual sound is difficult to get past, especially if you're saying it in a spanish accent - rrrrr!
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    With 'to give somebody the axe' - the idea is that you're cutting them off completely, for example the phrase is often used to say you're firing somebody from a job. It's not really in reference to a request or proposal though...
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    Creo que aquí hay algo interesante al respecto:


    Un Saludo.
    That’s incredible, but now I remember the Ukrainian expression (“daty harbuza”). I heard it several times, when I lived in Ukraine as a child, and forgot it completely. I have searched for the phrase in Google and found the following information: originally, a hollow pumpkin was something of a consolation prize for unsuccessful matchmakers. By giving it to them, the bride meant to say: “my chest is empty, I have no dowry, so you don’t have to feel disappointed”.
    Thanks to everybody who replied. And particular thanks to marcoszorrilla.
     

    Jor

    New Member
    Spanish, Argentina
    "Dar calabazas" is an idiom, an it means to give someone the brush off, to make someone fail in an exam or to reject someone´s romantic proposal. In Argentina, although we are familiar with the phrase, it is not usual in everyday language, I guess it is more common in Spain. Some people say that "dar calabazas" to someone means not to give him what he expected because pumpkins are considered a symbol of falsehood, since they have a very thick shell and little content in comparison.
    Hope it helps.
     

    AuPhinger

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    That is correct. "Dar calabazas a alguien" means that you refuse somebody's invitation, approaching, etc.

    How is the English expression to define that behaviour?
    In the social relationship sense, to "brush someone off", or to "give someone a/the cold shoulder" would fit the theme of this discussion (in US English).

    However, the overall definition of "dar calabezas" seems to be more of "consolation prize". The history, going back to the Ukraine, was fun and interesting---Thanks to all!
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    The history, going back to the Ukraine, was fun and interesting
    The word's history is probably much longer. "Calabaza" traces back to the Arabic "qerabat" (water-skins), "harbuz" to the Turkish "karpuz". All of them seem to descend from an Old Persian word meaning "melon"...
     

    Santaynez

    New Member
    USA, English
    En una entrevista reciente a Charlize Theron en la que el reportero le pedía matrimonio ella acabó diciendo algo como:
    " I have something for you. I'm an axe"
    ¿Podría ser? No estoy segura de haberlo entendido bien pero lo han traducido como "Tengo algo para ti. Calabazas"


    Sounds to me that she said "Ananas," meaning "f*** off."
     

    Cattya

    Member
    Spanish
    Hello everybody,

    Could anybody explain me the expression "darle calabazas a alguien"? I understand its general meaning, but what is the logic behind it? Why pumpkins and not, say, watermelons?

    Thanks in advance!
    "Para explicar la relación del rechazo amoroso con las calabazas, algunos aluden al carácter antiafrodisíaco que ya se les atribuía en la Grecia Antigua o durante la Edad Media. La calabaza simboliza lo falso o de poco valor, porque resulta engañosa: promete mucho por su tamaño, pero defrauda por ser poco densa e insípida."
    Fuente: Blogolengua.
     
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